Provisional confirmation of a Paris bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games could come as soon as March, after sports officials today delivered a key feasibility study to political leaders, including Anne Hidalgo, the city's Mayor.
Receiving the report from Bernard Lapasset, President of the French International Sport Committee (CFSI), Hidalgo thanked him, Denis Masseglia, President of the French National Olympic and Sport Federation (CNOSF) and Tony Estanguet, a French International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, for their "professionalism", and said she would "submit the candidature decision to the councils of Paris's 20 arrondissements at the end of March and to the Council of Paris in April".
Observing that the economic model for the Games still needed further precision, Hidalgo announced that she would also call a meeting of "bosses of large companies", also in March.
But the Mayor, who until now has appeared sceptical about the potential benefits of a bid, also commented favourably on IOC President Thomas Bach's Agenda 2020 initiative, saying she was "delighted" that the IOC had in December passed 40 proposals "in favour of sustainable development".
And she said she had "heard the force of the message sent by the people of Paris after [last month's] attacks" and was "touched to see how Paris touches the world".
"I heard the need for engagement in the hope of a more fraternal world," Hidalgo said.
"I hope that young people speak out and get involved."
While the study's contents have yet to be published, it seems unthinkable that it would not have concluded that a bid is technically feasible.
The highbrow newspaper Le Monde, which said it had secured access to the study, reported that the whole text was indeed favourable towards a bid.
Interestingly, in these highly cost-conscious times in Western Europe, the newspaper said that the document puts the budget at an extremely modest €6 billion (£4.5 billion/$7 billion), including organisation and infrastructure costs.
It said the study played up the contributions that would be made by the IOC, as well as private sponsors and ticket sales, using the slogan, "The Games finance the Games".
Boston and Rome are already on the starting-line for the race, and may be joined next month by Hamburg or Berlin and possibly others.
The IOC are due to choose the host city at its 2017 Session in the Peruvian capital of Lima.
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February 2015: Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic bid edges a step closer
January 2015: David Owen: The faults of the vanquished - Paris and the coming race for 2024
December 2014: IPC leader Sir Philip and French President Hollande meet in Paris to discuss Paralympics
November 2014: David Owen: Paris bid team need to conjure up that 1998 feeling