Hamburg’s Citizens Vote Out Olympics

More than 50 percent voted “no” to Hamburg taking part in the application to host the Olympic Games in 2024. While the city’s representatives are disappointed, they can only speculate about the reasons behind the public’s decision.

Photo: AP Photo

The dubious practices of large trade bodies in sports, the high costs of such projects, even the events in Paris have been cited by German media as possible factors. Alexander Schulz, general director of Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival, told Pollstar that current events like the refugee situation, the FIFA and DFB scandals, as well as the terror in Paris could indeed be reasons.

Intransparency regarding the funding of such an elaborate endeavor was a decisive factor too, Schulz continues. He says the “no” vote is “good first and foremost, because it represents the majority of votes and probably the predominant mood of the entire city.

“On the other hand the start of the application phase in 2016 would have offered opportunities to budget countrywide infrastructure projects, amongst them music industry related ones. Without application to host the games there won’t be a budget, at least as it stands.”