Amsterdam turns its back on 2028 Olympic bid

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A majority of Amsterdammers are against the Olympic Games coming to their city in 2028, according to a new poll.

Pollsters Maurice de Hond found 45% of people in the city opposed plans to bring the games back to the Netherlands exactly 100 years since they were last held in the city, while 40% were in favour.

Opposition is even stronger in the rest of the country, where 53% of those questioned were against the idea, while just 28% supported it.

The findings are a setback for the cabinet, whose own poll carried out earlier this year found 68% of Amsterdam residents in support of hosting the Games.

The Dutch government must decide before 2016 whether to put itself forward as a candidate for 2028.

Public support of around 70% for a bid is one of the key requirements of the International Olympic Committee.

The opinion poll was organised in conjunction with local party Red Amsterdam, which together with the local D66 branch has called for more transparency over the cost of bidding for the event.

Red Amsterdam has also demanded that an official bid should only go ahead if it is endorsed in a referendum.

The 1928 Games, which were the first modern version to feature the Olympic flame, were not without controversy.

Queen Wilhemina left the task of opening the Games to her consort, Prince Hendrik, after falling out with the organisers over the opening date, which clashed with her holiday in Norway.

Source: Het Parool: Spelen splijten de stad
Photo by Nairn McWilliams

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