The International Olympic Committee is due to meet in September to vote on the site of the 2024 Olympics—but if one more city drops out, they won't need to. The Hungarian government confirmed Wednesday that Budapest's bid has been withdrawn, leaving Paris and Los Angeles as the only remaining contenders, the BBC reports. Hamburg and Boston dropped their bids in 2015, and Rome withdrew in September last year. More than 250,000 Hungarians signed a petition calling for Budapest to drop out, saying the money would be better spent on hospitals and schools, reports the New York Times.
The cost of hosting the Olympics has made it an increasingly unattractive proposition in recent years. Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos only started supporting the bid after the IOC introduced its Agenda 2020 reforms two years ago to make hosting the Games more affordable, Reuters reports. On Wednesday, he seemed ready to put the bid to rest. "I never insisted on the Olympics," he told the city council, calling for the issue to be resolved quickly. "There is no point dragging out this process like strudel dough." If LA wins in September, it will become the first US city to host the Summer Olympics since Atlanta in 1996. (Read more 2024 Olympics stories.)