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Budapest Council conditionally backs 2023 Athletics Champs

The Budapest Municipal Council voted unanimously to back hosting the 2023 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championship in the capital, if certain conditions proposed by the opposition are met, state news wire MTI reports.

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony (Image: Facebook)

City leaders voted to lend their support to the construction of a stadium in a brownfield area in the south of District IX, bordering on District XXI, if the venue can be used by the general public and for cultural events, and if green space at the site is maximized.

Support for hosting the 2023 worlds was furthermore tied to at least HUF 50 billion in additional central budget funding for general and specialized healthcare in the capital, the construction of student dormitories and a government promise to stand by its earlier commitments regarding public transport in the capital.

The local council said in the resolution approved at the meeting this week that the conditions should be published in a government resolution before year-end. They also mandated mayor Gergely Karácsony to continue talks on the investments related to the 2023 worlds with the government in the framework of the Budapest Budapest Public Development Council.

Karácsony acknowledged a government resolution published on Wednesday declaring backing for proposals related to the 2023 worlds by the local councils of District IX and District XXI as a "good first step, but only the first step".

The central government earlier planned to fund the construction of the stadium to host the 2023 worlds. However, after opposition politicians took control of a number of district councils as well as the Budapest Municipal Council in local elections in October, the government said it would not move forward with the investment without the unequivocal support of city leaders.