Rome city council backs 2024 Olympics bid

City administration votes in favour of Olympic plan.

Rome city council voted 38-6 in favour of the capital’s bid for the 2024 Olympics, during a special session at the Campidoglio on 25 June.

The vote makes Rome's candidacy official and came two days after Paris announced its bid for the games, joining the other candidates, Boston and Hamburg, with Budapest also expected to put its name in the hat. The host city will be selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2017.

Following the Rome vote, which took place under a flag of the city's 1960 Olympic games, the capital's mayor Ignazio Marino said the 2024 Olympics would leave a "renewed, modern and sustainable identity for our city."

The six no votes came mainly from the opposition Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S), which has been against the bid since its announcement by Italian premier Matteo Renzi at the Rome headquarters of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) last December. Among those who voted in favour was the former mayor and opposition politician, Gianni Alemanno, who said that voting yes "wasn't a question of being for or against Marino but rather about giving a present to Rome."

Evento «100 anni del CONI»

Organisers behind the bid are reportedly considering a budget of €6 billion – of which about €1.5 billion would be supplied by the IOC. This "cost-conscious" budget, which would work out at roughly half of what London spent in 2012, would make use of the city's existing sporting infrastructure such as Stadio Olimpico and Olympic swimming pool. However Rome would still need to build an Olympic village, most likely to the north of the city. The proposal could include Naples, Florence and Sardinia, thanks to recent rule changes by the IOC.

Also in Rome's favour is the fact that the games would coincide with many construction or renovation projects in preparation for the city's 2025 Jubilee, or Holy Year, which occurs every 25 years.

Rome considered hosting the 2020 Olympics but the idea was dropped in February 2012 by then-premier Mario Monti who said that Italy could not afford to host the games due to its economic situation. The proposal to bid for the 2024 games was first mooted by Monti’s successor Enrico Letta in 2013.

Rome’s candidacy has caused many to question whether Italy’s economic situation has changed much since Monti’s “painful” decision to drop the 2020 bid. The prospect of corruption has also been raised, following the recent scandal at the Milan Expo 2015 and the escalating Mafia Capitale case involving alleged criminal infiltration of Rome's city administration.