Study into Hamburg 2024 Olympic bid launched as joint bid with Copenhagen also proposed

Friday, 23 May 2014
By Nick Butler 

Hamburg is one of two German cities considering a potential bid for the 2024 Olympics, along with Berlin ©Getty ImagesPopular support behind a Hamburg bid for the 2024 or 2028 Olympic Games is growing after the decision of the City Parliament to request a study considering the benefits and risks of a potential bid. 

The decision follows the results of a survey earlier this month which found 64.7 per cent of the citizens of the northern German city are in favour of launching a bid.

Another survey in January also found 60 per cent support for a bid, with Hamburg one of two German cities, along with capital Berlin, reportedly considering a bid. 

There has also been support from political figures, with Christian Democrat Dietrich Wersich raving about the chance to "put the city on the world map" by hosting the Games, while Michael Neumann of the Social Democrat Party said they "have a big enthusiasm for an Olympic Games".

But he added they will not launch a bid unless the climate is deemed favourable because "we are also good businessmen".

It is thought the survey will consider the nature of current sports facilities, as well as improvements needed in areas of infrastructure, traffic management and accommodation.

A detailed cost estimate will be carried out, along with comparisons of the state of other cities including Barcelona and London, before they hosted the 1992 and 2012 Olympic Games respectively.

However, a fascinating twist to the potential bid has emerged today after Danish Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen, proposed the idea of a join bid between Hamburg and Copenhagen.

Copenhagen has never hosted an Olympic Games but did host the IOC Session in 2009, in which Rio was awarded the 2016 event ©Getty ImagesCopenhagen has never hosted an Olympic Games but did host the IOC Session in 2009, in which Rio was awarded the 2016 event ©Getty Images



Speaking at a Business Forum between the two cities in the Chamber of Commerce in Hamburg, he claimed "collaboration between two cities is the only way for democratic states to fund a mega project like the Olympics".

A potential bid between the two will build upon the Fehmarn Belt crossing, an 18 kilometre-long tunnel due to be completed in 2021.

This will connect the German island of Fehmarn with the Danish island of Lolland, meaning a journey from Hamburg to Copenhagen would take less than three hours.

However, Jensen was not unaware of how unlikely it would be for a joint bid to be successful, admitting the rules of the International Olympic Committee would have to be changed for a bid to take place.

Under the Olympic Charter, a Games encompassing two countries is only permitted "for the Olympic Winter Games, when for geographical or topographical reasons it is impossible to organise certain events or disciplines of a sport in the country of the host city".

This clause is currently being used in Kraków's bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, with Alpine skiing events due to be held in neighbouring Slovakia, although it would not apply to a potential Hamburg/Copenhagen bid.

Much more likely appears a sole bid from Hamburg, ahead of a decision being made as to which German city bids, if any, by the German Olympic Sports Confederation in December. 

If the survey and that decision goes the way of Hamburg, a referendum will then be held to ascertain popular support before it is officially launched.

Among those also considering bids for 2024 are Rome, Paris and up to six cities across the United States.

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