By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia officials have taken the city out of the running to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Shortly before noon today, Mayor Nutter announced to reporters that after a full year of serious consideration, the city is removing itself from the list of US cities that are interested in hosting the Olympic Games in the summer of 2024.
The primary reason for the decision, the mayor said, is cost.
“It is millions and millions of dollars — probably in the hundreds of millions of dollars — to host such an enterprise,” Nutter noted. “You have to build an Olympic village for people to live. You have to build Olympic-scale facilities for swimming or track or whatever you don’t have enough of. So I felt, at this stage, that we should not submit a bid.”
Much of the cost would have been borne by fundraising. But nevertheless, Nutter said, it would be a significant strain on the City of Philadelphia, which already finds itself in financial straits regarding both the city itself and the school district.
Another factor, he said, is the need for city officials to focus on other big events. In the short term, there is next year’s World Meeting of Families, which is expected to include a visit by Pope Francis. And in about 12 years comes the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, putting Philadelphia in the spotlight of American celebrations.
Nutter said the city is also still studying whether Philadelphia should bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
The last time the US hosted a Summer Olympics was 1996, in Atlanta. New York and Chicago lost out on bids for the 2012 and 2016 games.