Boston has joined the race to host the 2024 Olympics, instantly claiming the favourites tag as the United States look to land their first summer Games since 1996.

It is not so much what the city is offering that gives it an edge at the start of the two-year race but rather the timing of its candidacy and improved ties between U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) chiefs and the International Olympic Committee.

Germany will bid with either Hamburg or Berlin while Rome has also confirmed it will campaign for the biggest sports event in the world with a decision set for 2017.

But Boston looks to be the city to beat as it seeks to bring the Games back to the United States some 28 years since the Atlanta 96 Games, with IOC President Thomas Bach welcoming what he said was a strong candidacy.

"The Boston bid will be a strong one. Bostonians are well known for their enthusiasm for sport and the city has a great heritage in sport, science and education," Bach said on Friday.

"The bid also has the great potential to build on the strength of the athletes from the US Olympic Team - US athletes have a worldwide reputation and will be a huge asset for the bid."

Boston, the first U.S. city to bid after failed attempts by New York in 2005 for the 2012 Games and Chicago in 2009 for the 2016 Olympics, was unveiled over two-time host Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington on Thursday.

Like most cities bidding for the Olympics Boston will need to gain wide public support for a project seen by critics as too expensive and too big for any city and with far-reaching financial, social and environmental repercussions long after the Games have come and gone.

"With more cities expected to join the fray until the September deadline - including possibly Doha, Dubai, Paris, Istanbul, Budapest as well as an African bid, Boston will face stiff competition but it looks to have at least secured the inside lane at the start.

Source: Reuters