Los Angeles’ effort to host the 2024 Olympic Games gained momentum this week with news that Budapest will be withdrawing from thecompetition, making Paris the only other bidder for the event.
Hungarian government officials told the Associated Press the Hungarian Olympic Committee made the decision to withdraw in conjunction with Budapest’s mayor and Prime Minister Viktor Orban, although a formal vote by city leaders is still pending.
Ladjos Kosa, the parliamentary leader of Hungary’s ruling party, said the city was dropping the bid to avoid a “loss of international prestige,” because the bid had a very small chance of success, according to the Associated Press. The bid was also likely to face a city-wide referendum promoted by a new political party, the Momentum Movement, which gathered more than 266,000 signatures in favor of holding the vote.
The LA 2024 Olympic Bid Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The International Olympic Committee is scheduled to decide in September who will host the 2024 summer Games.
The Los Angeles City Council last month approved the contract it would sign if the city is awarded the games, along with a final list of venues for events—including a plan to use both the Memorial Coliseum and the under-construction NFL stadium in Inglewood for the opening and closing ceremonies.
LA 2024 has proposed a privately financed, balanced budget of $5.3 billion for the Games, although Los Angeles must cover any budget shortfalls, according to the contract.
A core part of the balanced budget plan is to only use existing venues like the Coliseum and Staples Center and not build any new permanent buildings just for the Games, and to capitalize on the billions of transportation improvements the city already has planned.