Budapest, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Paris, Rome bid for 2024 Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday named Budapest, Hamburg in Germany, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome as the final candidates for the 2024 Olympics.

The winning bid will be announced after a vote by the IOC session in the Peruvian capital Lima in September 2017.

IOC president Thomas Bach said there were five “outstanding cities” in the race for the Games which will be decided in two years.

“What we see are five really highly qualified candidate cities,” Bach told reporters. He added that the contest for 2024 would be “strong and fascinating.”

The announcement of the five cities — Hamburg’s candidacy will depend on a public referendum in the city on November 29 — was made hours after the midnight Tuesday deadline for bids.

Toronto and the Azerbaijan capital of Baku had considered entering but finally decided against, leaving Los Angeles and Paris as the two early frontrunners.

Toronto’s mayor announced only on Tuesday that the Canadian city would not bid because of financial uncertainties. Meanwhile, Bach said that Baku — which hosted the inaugural European Games in June — could return and try for the 2028 Games.

The contest will be the first completely run under the IOC’s Agenda 2020 reforms aimed at making bid contests less expensive and bureaucratic.

The IOC wants to make Olympic Games more sustainable through the use of existing venues. But it also imposes new conditions, including hosts having to guarantee there will be no sexual discrimination and ensuring the freedom of the media to report on the Games.

“The whole procedure is much more transparent from the very beginning of the invitation phase,” Bach said of the new bid rules.

“What we wanted to achieve there in Olympic Agenda 2020 is more diversity and more creativity in the competition,” he added.

With some potential cities, notably Boston in the United States, put off by the costs, the IOC will contribute $1.7 billion to staging the event.

Bach said the IOC is also giving $1.5 billion to Rio de Janeiro which is hosting the Games next year. The 2020 Games will be held in Tokyo.