Budapest has moved a major step closer to bidding for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics after the Hungarian Olympic Committee (MOB) unanimously voted in favour of supporting the campaign at its Annual General Meeting today.
Budapest Mayor István Tarlós told the meeting that the city's Municipal Assembly will formally announce its decision on June 23 and “will, on all probability, give its unanimous support to handing in the declaration of the intent of organisation”, which is also expected to win the support of the Government.
The MOB reached its decision after hearing the results of feasibility study carried out by PwC which claimed the Hungarian capital had a realistic opportunity of winning and was capable of hosting a profitable Games.
The 1,300-page feasibility study estimated the Games could generate HUF 1100 billion (£2.5 billion/$4 billion/€3.5 billion) in surplus revenue for the national economy, well above the HUF 774 billion (£1.8 billion/$2.8 billion/€2.5 billion) in investments necessary for it to be held.
The report concluded “the Budapest Olympics is a feasible and profitable investment and the Hungarian application has a good chance for winning the right to organise the 2024 Olympics”.
The report recommended the event should be located mainly in southern Buda, the western part of the capital on the west bank of the Danube.
Buda comprises about one-third of Budapest's complete territory and is mostly wooded and hilly.
Notable landmarks include the Buda Castle and the Citadella.
The Hungarian President's residence, Sándor Palace, is also in Buda.
The Olympic Vllage would be built on Csepel Island, largest island of the River Danube.
But the feasibility study also recommended that a number of venues are based outside Budapest.
The dates it suggested for the Games to be held was July 19 until August 4.
The catalyst for Budapest's bid followed the adoption by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last December of Agenda 2020, which is designed partly to help cut the costs of hosting the Games, making them more attractive to cities previously unable to consider bidding.
MOB President Zsolt Borkai set-up a commission afterwards to examine the idea of Budapest bidding.
An Extraordinary of the MOB in February had recommended that they should recommend the city pending a feasibility study.
The campaign was given further momentum in April when IOC President Thomas Bach met Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Lausanne.
Hungary made its Olympic debut at the first ever Games at Athens in 1896, when it won two gold medals.
It has competed in every Summer Games since, apart from Antwerp 1920, when it was banned following the end of World War One, and Los Angeles 1984, when they were forced to join the Soviet-led boycott.
Hungarian athletes have won a total of 476 medals at the Summer Games and six at the Winter Games.
Hungary has won more Olympic medals than any other nation that has never hosted the Games.
Boston, Hamburg and Rome have already declared that they will bid for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.
Paris are poised to join them with an official announcement expected later this month.
Any cities interested in bidding for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games must officially declare by September 15, and the IOC are due elect their chosen host at their Session in the Peruvian capital Lima in 2017.
May 2015: Budapest set to officially enter 2024 Olympic race after Mayor gives full backing
May 2015: Budapest officials to meet with IOC to discuss potential 2024 Olympic bid
February 2015: Hungary to carry out feasibility study before launching Budapest 2024 Olympic bid
February 2015: Hungarian Olympic Committee set to decide whether to launch Budapest 2024 bid
December 2014: Agenda 2020 has created "historic opportunity" for Budapest Olympic bid, claims leading official