BUDAPEST - Budapest is ramping up its bid for the 2024 Olympics.
The Hungarian capital presented a bid logo Thursday featuring the Danube River and the Olympic rings. The emblem was designed by Budapest's Graphasel Design Studio and chosen from nearly 200 entries.
The presentation ceremony was held high above the city on Gellert Hill and included Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos, Hungarian Olympic Committee chairman Zsolt Borkai and Balazs Furjes, the government official in charge of the bid.
Furjes said hosting the Olympics for the first time would put Hungary on an "accelerator track'' enabling job creation and economic development.
At the same time, he said Budapest would be the ideal host to meet the objectives of the International Olympic Committee's ``Agenda 2020'' _ the cost-cutting initiative which emphasizes the use of existing facilities and their re-use after the games.
"The Agenda 2020 reform program makes Budapest's bid realistic,'' Furjes said.
Budapest has been widely considered the outsider in a four-city race that also includes former Olympic hosts Los Angeles, Paris and Rome. The IOC will select the host city in September 2017.
A series of sporting and cultural events were also being held across Budapest on Thursday to familiarize citizens with the bid and some of the Olympic sports, including basketball, fencing, beach volleyball, weightlifting and table tennis.
The creators of the logo, whose main object is a triumphant figure surrounded by colored confetti and which is also based on the Statue of Liberty on Gellert Hill, said they had presented five different designs for the contest.
"Our aim was to make a fresh, youthful and lively logo,'' said Laszlo Ordogh, the design studio's art director. "We were thinking about concepts, not just a design.''
A feasibility study published last year estimated development costs for the Olympics at 1.074 trillion forints ($3.9 billion), with net costs after the sale of venues and other revenues calculated at 774 billion forints ($2.8 billion).
The project includes the construction of a 60,000-capacity stadium for track and field, a velodrome, a tennis complex with a 10,000-seat main court, as well as temporary facilities downtown for events such as beach volleyball and archery.