Residents of Hamburg, Germany, voted against holding the 2024 Olympic Games in their home city in a referendum held last Sunday, the AP reports. The results of the citywide poll reflected 48.4 percent in favor of hosting the Olympics and 51.6 percent against the bid. Four potential host cities now remain: Los Angeles, California; Rome, Italy; Paris, France; and Budapest, Hungary.
“That’s why referendums are held—to find out what the population wants, and obviously Hamburgers don’t want the Olympics,” Christiane Wirtz, a spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, told the AP.
Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz said he was unhappy with the results of the vote, which some critics attributed to an $11.9 billion budget. “That’s a decision that we didn’t want,” Scholz told the BBC, “but it’s clear.”
As Outside reported last July, budgetary concerns played a similar role in selecting Los Angeles, which became a candidate city shortly after Boston withdrew from the running. At the time, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he decided against the plan because he was under too much pressure to sign an agreement with the International Olympic Committee before being sure that the city would not be responsible for cost overruns.