Rome’s new mayor to pull debt-ridden city out of bidding for 2024 Olympics

Rome is poised to withdraw from a bid to hold the Olympic Games in 2024. The city’s mayor Virginia Raggi is expected to officially announce the withdrawal of the bid on Wednesday. The leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which took control of Rome in June, has made no secret of her opposition to staging the sporting spectacular. She is expected to say the heavily indebted city cannot afford the investment such an event needs to make it a success.

It is a great opportunity for an upgrade of the city,

Bid president Luca Di Montezemolo, earlier this month

The city had also bid to host the 2020 Games but former prime minister Mario Monti pulled out because of Italy’s financial concerns. The present bid was backed by current prime minister Matteo Renzi who, during the mayoral election campaign, had hoped Ms Raggi could be persuaded to change her mind. During her campaign, she had not definitely ruled it out but said the city had other priorities. She also suggested she might hold a referendum on whether to continue with a bid. When Rome withdraws, only Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest, Hungary, would remain in the running for the 2024 games.