The Budapest 2024 Olympic Games bid team today unveiled a strong and distinctive case for Budapest - and other mid-sized global capital cities - to host the world’s greatest sporting event, the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Presenting details of the Budapest bid to a gathering of the world’s National Olympic Committees and Olympic leaders in Doha, the Budapest 2024 delegation outlined a number of convincing points as to why Budapest is the “right sized city at the right time” to stage the Olympic Games in 2024
These points included the many and various advantages of hosting the Olympic Games in mid-sized global cities like Budapest, which offer new horizons, opportunities and vitality to the Olympic Movement. The Budapest 2024 delegation described their approach as “ the real alternative” to the larger capitals and mega cities that have hosted the Summer Olympic Games in recent times.
The advantages of the Budapest 2024 Bid include:
●A low-risk financial and delivery strategy, based on a proven capacity to deliver major infrastructure and major events on time and within budget. Most of the Olympic venues and support infrastructure are already in place. In the last 7 years more development has taken place in Budapest than will be needed in the seven years up to the Games in 2024. Only 3 additional venues are needed for the 2024 Olympic
Games in Budapest.
●Extremely short travel times and distances to sports settings and accommodation, including the Olympic Village. Modern venues closely connected to transport services that will bring athletes, spectators, local communities and international visitors closer than ever to Olympic venues and celebrations with an average travel time of just 12 minutes.
●A vibrant and festive city atmosphere and youth culture with a deep love of sport in a nation where Olympic athletes are heroes, and venues will be full of spectators, creating the biggest open air city festival in the world.
●A series of stunning backdrops comprising the River Danube and other World Heritage Sites.
●Secure and safe environment.
●Bringing the Olympic Games to Budapest will leave a lasting legacy for the Olympic Movement, bringing the Olympic Games to the nations of central Europe for the first time; harnessing the power of the Games and building on new foundations of freedom and optimism in Budapest and beyond in Central Europe - strengthening role and relevance of Olympic sport in modern society.
Expanding on the advantages of the bid, the Budapest delegation further highlighted that:
Budapest is the answer to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Agenda 2020 reforms Budapest 2024 is a natural match for Agenda 2020. Long-term infrastructure projects have transformed Budapest into a city ready to host the Olympic Games, aligned with the new Olympic model based on sustainability, and affordability, making the Budapest Olympic Games bid an instrumental part of the city’s overall development programme.
As Budapest 2024 Bid leader Fürjes commented: “The Agenda 2020 reforms make it possible for a new generation of mid-sized cities to host the Games, creating new possibilities for the Olympic Movement that will reinforce the IOC’s modern agenda.
” Budapest will engage the host city, nation and, for the first time, an entire new region of Europe. Thanks to the geography and urban layout of Budapest and Hungary, every person in Hungary can be involved in the Games and experience the unforgettable Olympic atmosphere. Plans are in place to ensure that 90% of the population in Hungary will be 90 minutes’ travel or less from Olympic sport. This will be made possible with a move away from the traditional host city model and alternatively featuring six nearby Olympic cities that are easily accessible from the capital, via modern four- to six-lane highways.
At the heart of continental Europe, Budapest is easily accessible by rail, road, and air. Bringing the Olympic Games to 150 million people for the first time in central Europe.
Budapest Olympic Games will Transform the city and grow sport in central Europe and beyond One fundamental benefit of the Budapest bid presented in the Doha presentation, is Budapest 2024’s ability to optimise and utilise the venues after the Games. At a time when legacy of an Olympic Games is vital to the IOC, Budapest provides a credible option of lasting improvements to the city and nation as a whole. As Fürjes explains, “the legacy for each of our venues is carefully considered in the context of comprehensive business plans that continue to be honed as we progress.”
Budapest would leave a powerful legacy for sport, including new facilities for local and regional athletes of Central Europe for the first time – this will include a Velodrome.
Budapest is one of the world’s fastest growing global sporting capitals and has been awarded the title of European City of Sport in 2019.
According to recent research, Budapest is recognised as one of the fastest rising global cities for major sport events, ranking Budapest in second place in the Future Sports Cities Index 2017-2023 and seventh place in the current top sport cities of the world. The Olympic Games will transform brownfield areas of Budapest, creating new community services, facilities and opportunities for young people, in line with the Olympic Movement’s focus on youth. As just one example, the Olympic Village and Media Villages will be converted into
housing after the Games, with a strong focus on student accommodation and social housing.
Financial, Political, and Social Stability In his address to the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), Budapest 2024 Bid leader Balázs Fürjes pledged that an Olympic Games in Budapest, Hungary, in Central Europe, would be “open, safe and strong”.
Budapest is at the heart of a dynamic region that has been consistently outstripping Eurozone growth since 2004. On top of this, the unemployment rate is well below the European Union average, meaning that Budapest is performing exceptionally well in these tough global times. Thanks to Hungary’s recent investment in infrastructure and sport facilities, less than 0.5% of the national budget will be required annually for Olympic investment between 2017-2024.
“Today, our region offers financial resilience and stability, containing the most reliable economies in the European Union – among them Hungary. Budapest is on the rise and ready to deliver – we are the right city at the right time,” Fürjes said.
Credible & Deliverable Master plan: only 3 additional Games venues needed Budapest 2024 is part of the bigger blueprint of development for the city that has been underway over the last 15 years, with just 3 additional venues needed to meet Olympic requirements. Budapest is a proven and capable delivery partner on major sporting and infrastructure projects, delivering complex projects on time and on budget, including the new Budapest Aquatics Centre (BAC), which is being completed in a record-breaking two-year schedule of construction for the FINA World Aquatics Championships next summer. The BAC would also serve as the main Aquatics venue at the Budapest Olympic Games.
Budapest 2024 will offer exceptionally fast travel times for athletes and spectators and make the 2024 Olympic Games accessible for everyone The Budapest 2024 delegation highlighted the advantages of quick and reliable travel times to Games venues in a compactly
configured and connected mid-sized city. All of Budapest’s 7 venue clusters are within a 7-kilometre radius of the city centre. On average, athletes will be able to access their event in 12 minutes, a truly remarkable opportunity that can only be achieved in a compact bid such as Budapest’s. It will be refreshingly easy in Budapest for the Olympic family, spectators and the media to attend multiple events in a day.
“The experience will be truly new and unique. The whole city as one single connected Olympic Park. A genuine compact games experience built into the fabric of the city and accessible to all. A city wide celebration of sport like.” Said Attila Mizsér, Director of Sports and Venues.
Hungarians - in particular the youth of Hungary - want the Games and the city has inimitable vitality and spirit The Budapest 2024 Olympic Games has the backing of a nation and, in particular, the youth of Hungary. Deputy Mayor of Budapest, Alexandra Szalay-Bobrovniczky, described her city as an expression of “their confidence, their identity and their vitality”.
In recent polls, two thirds of Hungary’s population would be “proud” or “very proud” if Budapest were to host the Olympics in 2024. This rises to an impressive 74% when polling adults aged 18 to 33. Bid Ambassadors such as Fruzsina Szép, the Festival Director of Lollapalooza in Berlin, demonstrate the strong sense of ownership that young people have already begun to feel for the Budapest Olympic Games.
Budapest has breath-taking scenery in a World Heritage city. There’s good reason for Budapest’s flourishing film and cinema
industry: the UNESCO World Heritage city centre site and the banks of the Danube create a broadcaster’s dream scenario. Many of the locations in Budapest 2024’s master plan take advantage of this fact, such as the archery finals that will be held outside the much-photographed Neo-Gothic Parliament building, or the beach volleyball that will take place against the backdrop of the fairytale Vajdahunyad Castle.
Olympic history is in Hungary’s heart as a founding nation of the Olympic Movement that offered to host the first Olympiad in 1896.
The Budapest 2024 Games would take the Olympic Movement back to its roots, and the traditional values of sport and ideals upon which the Olympic Games were founded, and which are greatly needed in today’s uncertain times.
Hungary is one of the founding members of the modern Olympic Movement. It proudly sits in eighth place in the all-time medals list at the Games and comes in at a remarkable second in the all-time per capita Summer Olympic medal table. Despite all of this, and past bids, the country has never hosted the Olympic Games.
There are many examples of smaller, mid-sized global cities delivering spectacular and successful games-changing sporting events, including Barcelona, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Helsinki, and Stockholm. ”We are in good company,“ said Fürjes.
Conclusion Budapest 2024 provides the IOC with the opportunity to look beyond large capital/mega cities. After 2020, four of the world’s
major cities will have hosted the Olympic Games in a row:
Beijing, London, Rio and Tokyo. The Budapest 2024 bid delegation in Doha revealed that there is now a genuine, credible real alternative. That alternative is Budapest.
Speakers (in presentation order)
Zsófia Arlóy, table tennis Paralympian
Áron Szilágyi, sabre fencer and two-time Olympic Champion
Zsolt Borkai, Chairman of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, Olympic gymnastics champion
Balázs Fürjes, Chairman, Budapest 2024
Deputy Mayor of Budapest, Alexandra Szalay-Bobrovniczky
Attila Mizsér, Director of Sports and Venues, Budapest 2024, Olympic modern pentathlon champion
Non-speakers in the delegation:
Dr. Gusztáv Bienerth, Vice-Chairman, Budapest 2024
László Vajda, Vice-Chairman, Budapest 2024
György Habsburg, Budapest 2024 Bid Ambassador
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