Will L.A. and other bidders for the 2024 Summer Olympics avoid referendums?

Hamburg ballot

A ballot of a referendum held Tuesday on whether Hamburg, Germany, should push ahead to host the 2024 Olympics. Voters rejected a bid. 

(Axel Heimken / AFP/Getty Images)

As Olympic leaders rebound from a stinging defeat in Hamburg, where German voters rejected a bid for the 2024 Summer Games, questions remain about the viability of the  remaining candidate cities.

So far, Los Angeles and the three others seem determined to push forward.

On Wednesday, the city council of Budapest, Hungary, rejected a referendum proposal after Mayor Istvan Tarlos reportedly told council members he wasn’t convinced that “two years before the hosts are chosen, voters have enough information about hosting the Olympic Games.”

Staging the Olympics can be risky, with the prospect of billions in potential revenue weighed against billions in costs.


The International Olympic Committee recently enacted a reform package that seeks to make hosting simpler and less expensive, but it remains to be seen if Agenda 2020 will sufficiently ease fears.

While Hamburg-area residents voted against bidding on Sunday, there have been no substantive talks of a referendum in Los Angeles, which entered the race three months ago.

The leaders of Rome’s bid said this week that they expect to avoid a vote. A board of five legal experts was created to monitor transparency in the campaign.

Support for a bid among Hungarian citizens has risen from 40% in August to 53% this fall, according to Nezopont Intezet, a nonprofit research firm in that country.


Los Angeles and Paris are considered early front-runners in the competition. IOC members are scheduled to select a host in the summer of 2017.



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