July 5, 2017 / 3:36 PM / 3 months ago

Olympics-IOC heaps praise on 2024 Games bids in evaluation report

BERLIN, July 5 (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has hailed the Los Angeles and Paris bids to host the 2024 Olympic Games as “outstanding” as the two would-be Games venues prepare to make their penultimate presentations to IOC members.

Four other cities - Budapest, Rome, Hamburg and Boston - also expressed interest before quitting the bidding process, leaving the last two candidates, both of which are hoping to win the right to stage the Games for the third time.

Paris hosted the 1900 and 1924 Olympics, with the 1932 and 1984 Games being in Los Angeles.

The IOC will vote for the 2024 winner on Sept. 13. The organisation’s executive board has recommended that at the same session, the city that misses out on the 2024 Games should be named as host for the 2028 Olympics. That proposal is expected to be confirmed next week.

“Over the course of our evaluation, these two world-class cities proved their ability to host exceptional Olympic Games,” wrote the head of the IOC evaluation committee, Patrick Baumann.

“And they did so in a way that clearly reflects the unique circumstances and flavours each city has to offer to the world.”

Both cities are praised in the report as having the potential to deliver successful Games, with Los Angeles being commended for its low-risk strategy of using existing or temporary venues.

“There are only three new permanent venues proposed, and each one is already planned by private investors irrespective of the Olympic Games,” the report noted.

The Los Angeles bid is based on private funding and requires no major construction from the side of organisers with 97 percent of venues existing or temporary.

Paris’s plan to use iconic venues including the Eiffel Tower, the river Seine and the Louvre museum, and its compact two-cluster plan with 93 percent of venues existing or temporary also won approval.

But the IOC said creating an Olympic-sized atmosphere across the central Olympic zone remained a challenge, and noted that there was still some land which needed to be acquired for the construction of the Olympic village. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Julian Shea)

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