Paris moved a step closer to bidding for the 2024 Olympics on Monday when the city council approved a resolution in favour of hosting the games.
The bid, which is likely to receive the final go-ahead from the national government by the end of June, is supported by French President Francois Hollande, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and the Paris region.
“This is an historical vote which marks an important moment of our collective life,” said Hidalgo, who was first skeptical but embraced the project after a feasibility study on bringing back the games in the French capital after a 100-year absence was released in February.
“We are now committed to the Olympic adventure,” she said.
The resolution approved Monday stipulates that the city will join the national Olympic committee, the state and the region in an association aimed at finalizing the bid project. It says the bid should be led by athletes and would benefit the country’s struggling economy.
Paris last hosted the Olympics in 1924 and mounted unsuccessful bids for the 1992, 2008 and 2012 Games. The city has until Sept. 15 to submit its candidacy to the International Olympic Committee.
Boston, Rome and Hamburg, Germany, are the declared 2024 candidates so far.
Other potential contenders include Budapest, Hungary; Baku, Azerbaijan; Istanbul, Turkey; and Doha, Qatar. The IOC will choose the host city in 2017.
Hildalgo said hosting the games in Paris would help make the northern suburbs of the Seine Saint-Denis region more accessible.
IOC member Tony Estanguet and Bernard Lapasset, who heads the French Committee for International Sport, would lead the bid if Paris ultimately decides to proceed.
Hollande has already given his support to the bid, whose infrastructure budget has been estimated at 3 billion euros ($4.5 billion), with operational costs of 3.2 billion euros ($4.8 billion).
Hidalgo’s deputy for sport, Jean-Francois Martins, said the cost of bidding would reach 60 million euros, with part of the budget likely to be obtained through crowd funding.
“Sport has given Paris its shape, and it should keep doing so,” Martins said.
Estanguet, who attended Monday’s vote, earlier said existing infrastructure would be at the heart of the project. The Stade de France, a new cycling track on the outskirts of Paris, the Roland Garros tennis stadium and many Parisian landmarks including the Grand Palais and Champ de Mars are likely to be used.
The main construction requirements for the bid include an aquatics centre, Olympic village and media centre.
France decided not to bid for the 2020 Olympics after Annecy was humiliated in the race for the 2018 Winter Games, receiving only seven votes in an election won by Pyeongchang, South Korea.