City referendum on Budapest 2024 Olympic bid abandoned

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) Petitioners say they have abandoned an attempt to hold a citywide referendum on Budapest's bid to host the 2024 Olympics.

Investigative journalist Katalin Erdelyi says late notice from authorities left little time to gather the 140,000 signatures needed to force a vote.

She adds, however, that a court decision on their appeal seeking approval for a nationwide vote on the issue is expected by mid-January.

Critics say the Olympics are too expensive, with a large risk of corruption. A feasibility study estimated costs at 1.074 trillion forints ($3.6 billion), with net costs after the sale of venues and other revenues calculated at 774 billion forints ($2.6 billion).

Los Angeles and Paris are the other bidders. The International Olympic Committee will select the host city in September 2017.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.