LOS ANGELES—Budapest officially dropped its bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics on Wednesday, February 22, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris to compete for the games.
Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs confirmed the withdrawal to Associated Press. Before the decision was made, Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos suggested that the city might quit the race after a group of young professionals and students collected more than 266,000 signatures in 30 days to press for a referendum on the Olympic bid. The referendum drive also drew support of other opposition parties.
“This ship has sailed it seems,” said bid committee leader Balazs Kurjes. “Unity has gone up in the air and lacking that, we stand no chance against Paris or Los Angeles.”
The International Olympic Committee will select either Los Angeles or Paris as the host city by September 2017.
Both cities will have representatives travel the world to convince International Olympic Committee members on why they should host the 2024 Summer Olympics. If Los Angeles does get chosen, planners are hoping to use both the Memorial Coliseum and the Inglewood Stadium.