By David Owen

Roma 2020_logoMarch 12 - Rome's abandoned bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics would have cost just over $50 million (£32 million/€38 million) if the Italian capital had made it through to next year's final vote in Argentina.

The bid – tag-lined "a time for history" – was budgeted to spend just $11 million (£7 million/€8 million) in the first phase of the contest and a further $42 million (£27 million/€32 million) had Rome achieved Candidate City status and progressed to the second and decisive stage.

This would have seen the Eternal City outspent by at least three of its rivals: Baku, which is budgeting $44 million (£28 million/€34 million) if accepted as a Candidate City; Doha ($51.1 million (£32.6 million/€38.9 million), after spending a further $21.9 million (£13.9 million/€16.7 million) on the first stage); and Tokyo (a massive $77.8 million (£49.6 million/€59.3 million) after earmarking just $5.5 million (£3.5 million/€4.2 million) for the first phase).

Rome withdrew from the high-stakes contest – which also features Istanbul and Madrid – last month after the Government of Prime Minister Mario Monti, whose prospects of making a success of his new job hinge crucially on his reputation for fiscal prudence, decided not to give the necessary guarantees.

Mario Monti_12-03-12
"We arrived at the unanimous conclusion that in Italy's current condition the Government does not feel able to take on the commitment to offer the [financial] guarantee [needed to host the Olympics]," Monti told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.

Figures contained in the Rome Application File show that it was forecasting to generate $837 million (£534 million/€638 million) in revenue from domestic sponsorship and $709 million (£452 million/€541 million) from ticket sales.

Both of these should have been eminently achievable, based on London 2012's experience, even given the tough economic circumstances that currently prevail in Europe.

Tickets for the Olympic Ceremonies at a Rome Games would have been a particularly expensive treat, however, with $878 (£560/€670) given as the average price.

Other points of interest about the abandoned bid include the proposed beach volleyball venue, in the footprint of the Circo Massimo, once renowned for chariot racing, as depicted in the film Ben-Hur.

Colosseum 12-03-12
The equestrian three-day event would have been in the grounds of the Villa Borghese, while the marathon – as in 1960 when the race brought the barefoot Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila to world attention – would have started in front of the Colosseum (pictured).

Only four new permanent venues – for gymnastics, cycling, rowing/canoeing and tennis – would have been built.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will decide in May which of the five remaining runners in the 2020 race will enter the second phase of the contest as Candidate Cities.

Madrid and Tokyo finished second and third in the race for the 2016 Summer Games won by Rio de Janeiro.

Click here to read the full Rome Application File. 

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