The Olympics are coming to Nice’s Allianz Riviera. Surely not?
Well read on, because this September the International Olympic Committee will choose who hosts the 2024 summer games. The out and out favourite to win? That’s right, France at 2/5. Los Angeles are in a distant second at 2/1 with Budapest rank outsiders at 8/1.
That’s because France has Olympic calibre. The story started when Paris hosted the 1900 Summer Olympiad which included a breath-takingly bizarre roster of events. Think hot air ballooning, motorbike racing and a swimming obstacle race. Live pigeons were used as targets in the shooting event. We rarely curse on this sanguine property blog but really, WTF?
The French capital hosted another successful games in 1924. Some 17 events were held across town including at the Stade de Paris (football), the Piscine Tourelles (diving) and Issy-les-Moulineaux (shooting). Clay pigeons were used this time, thank goodness. The pistol-toting USA won gold.
Given that France’s tourism, transport and hospitality sectors performed so admirably during the EURO2016 football tournament, the country is extremely likely to be given the nod for 2024.
So what does all this mean for property in Nice?
Quite a lot as it happens. For two big reasons.
Firstly, EURO2016 ushered in a tourism boom across France. Visitors popping into Paris to watch a semi-final extended their stay to see the Normandy beaches or the South of France. Each football-mad foreigner spent an average of €154 per day. Yes, some of it on booze.
Despite earlier terror attacks in Paris, the nation received an economic net benefit of €1.22bn on a tournament it spent only €200m to host, according to official figures. (Around 10% of the EURO2016 hosting costs were spent on security.)
As the summer Olympics are a far greater competition than the UEFA football championship, even more visitors are expected. In terms of numbers 680,000 foreigners flew in for the London2012 games, most of whom booked hotel or rental accommodation nationwide.
Secondly, London2012 didn’t take place solely in London, nor is Paris2024 only about the French capital. Aside from surfing on the River Seine and tennis at Roland Garros, sailing will be held in Marseille and golf in Versailles.
Nine nationwide venues have been earmarked for the EURO2024 men’s and women’s football tournament, many of them purpose built for EURO2016. These include Bordeaux’s Nouveau Stade and Nice’s Allianz Riviera. You never know, Theo Walcott may even be fit by then.