Paris has been installed as firm favourite in the race to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Within hours of the French capital’s declaration on Tuesday that it intends to make its fourth Summer Games bid of recent times, bookmaker William Hill had made the city 5/4 favourite to host the event, ahead of the current United States candidate, Boston, at 9/4.
In acknowledgement of doubts over the New England city’s ability to last the course, however, the bookmaker is also offering prices on three other US cities, with Los Angeles fifth-favourite at 8/1, Washington D.C at 16/1 and San Francisco the outsider at 20/1.
The two other entrants in what is at present a four-horse race – Hamburg and Rome – are both quoted at 5/1, while the Hungarian capital Budapest, which is also expected to take its place in the field before the September 15 deadline, is currently a 10/1 shot.
Hill also offers the Qatari capital Doha, unsuccessful in both the 2016 and 2020 Olympic races, at 16/1.
While Paris’s favourite’s status comes as little surprise given the Boston bid’s problems, its backers will be mindful that the city spent most of the 2012 contest as perceived frontrunner only to lose out to London.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s flagship event has not returned to the US since the Atlanta 1996 Summer Games, and there is a sense that a cohesive, respectful US bid, should it emerge, would be a potent force in the race, not least because of the country’s commercial power inside and outside the Movement.
The winner is set to be chosen by IOC members in 2017, at the body’s 130th Session in the Peruvian capital of Lima.
June 2015: Budapest 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic bid approved by Municipal Government
June 2015: Referendum unlikely as Paris officially joins race for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics
June 2015: Paris turn to key London 2012 figure to help launch Olympic bid for 2024
June 2015: New low for Boston 2024 as poll reveals another decline in support
May 2015: "No guarantees" that Boston will be USOC bid city for 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Ruggiero claims