February 12, 2015 / 2:45 PM / in 4 years

Paris mulling potential 6.2 billion euro bid for 2024 Games

PARIS (Reuters) - The mayor of Paris said the French capital had the “heart” for a potential 2024 Olympics bid but further reflection was needed as a feasibility study put the potential cost at 6.2 billion euros ($7.05 billion).

Bernard Lapasset (L), International Rugby Board Chairman and president of the French Committee for International Sports, gives to Paris city mayor Anne Hidalgo the feasibility study for a potential bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris during a presentation at the Paris city hall, February 12, 2015. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Paris, still smarting after a loss to London for the 2012 Games, is one of several cities mulling a candidacy for 2024, including Istanbul, Budapest, Berlin and Hamburg. Boston and Rome have already announced their candidacy.

“To be a candidate for the Olympics and Paralympics is too important a subject to be driven by enthusiasm and impatience,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo told reporters and civic leaders gathered for the presentation of the so-called “opportunity study” on Thursday.

“I’ve said it and I will say it again, yes, there is heart, the heart is there, and there is reason, and reason is there.”

Bernard LaPasset, president of the French Committee for International Sport which authored the report, said the decision hinged on whether there was an interest for Paris, whether it had the financing capacity and whether a win were possible.

Construction costs would be limited, he said, because the greater Paris region already has high-quality sporting facilities, such as the Roland Garros tennis center and the Stade de France.

The estimated operations cost of 3.2 billion euros would be 97 percent funded by private funds, with 1.85 billion coming directly from the International Olympic Committee.

The estimated 3.0 billion euro infrastructure cost to build new sporting halls, an Olympic Village and urban renovations around sporting sites, would be funded 50/50 with public and private funds, he said.

The report estimated the cost of a candidacy at 60 million euros.

France last hosted the Winter Olympics in Albertville in 1992 and the Summer Olympics in Paris in 1924.

Hidalgo, who has shown reticence over an Olympic bid in the past due to budgetary constraints and differing priorities, said in November she did “not want the dream to get crushed by reality once again.”

Hidalgo will put the decision to a vote by the Paris city council in April before announcing her decision. September is the deadline for candidate cities to submit their bids, with the International Olympic Committee deciding in 2017.

The 2016 Summer Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo will stage the 2020 Olympics.

Reporting By Alexandria Sage, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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