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City Council To Vote On 2028 Olympics Before Budget Is Finalized

Photo by Jason via LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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L.A. City Council is set to vote on a new bid for hosting the 2028 Olympics before the budget has been finalized or independently reviewed. City Council is expected to vote Friday, according to the L.A. Times, citing IOC's timeline requiring a vote by mid-August in order to award the bid in September. The budget for the 2024 Olympics bid went through an extensive review process to analyze the financial burden it would place on the city. LA 2028 Chief Executive Gene Sykes said the budget for 2028 likely won't be finalized for several more months, and the independent review by accounting firm KPMG wouldn't happen for another 18 months, according to the L.A. Daily News.

City Councilmembers are eager to pass the bid, but claim they will thoroughly analyze all reports surrounding the games before placing a new vote. Councilman Mitch O'Farrell told the L.A. Times "I’m going to take a very critical eye at these reports," and Councilmember Herb Wesson said "We will vet the proposal; we’ll scrub it, scrub it and rescrub it.”

Sykes claims the 2028 Olympics bid will look almost identical to the 2024 bid, saying "the 2028 Olympics plan is the same as the one for 2024." He adds that inflation will be taken into account with the new budget, which would need to be released before March 2019 (the deadline for agreements with venue operators). Not all councilmembers are convinced, though; Councilman Paul Krekorian pointed out that the city needs reassurance the state will guarantee the same $250 million in state taxpayer support for budget overruns that the 2024 budget included.

Local anti-Olympics organizing group NOlympics L.A. has cried foul at the Council's claims that 2028 will parallel 2024; organizing partner Steve Ducey told LAist "[y]ou can't just take a bid book for 2024 and line-item veto 2024 and turn it into 2028 and assume all the planning will transfer over." He specifically mentions how the IOC gets to determine what the Olympics events are, and a new one could theoretically be introduced before 2028. "They could add one that we don't have a venue for, and then will have to have new construction," he points out, which contradicts LA 2028's claim that hosting the Olympics in L.A. will not require building new sports arenas.

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Fellow organizer Anne Orchier told LAist how "[i]t's basically a brand new bid process: no longer 2024, it's 2028." City Council is approaching the vote as if it includes the exact same parameters as 2024. "For them to rush this way in such a callously undemocratic manner basically proves our point that this process has not been properly vetted," adds Ducey. "LA 2028 says it held X number of meetings, but really it's the bid formerly known as LA 2024 held public meetings. The new entity of LA 2028 has not held any meetings. We can't just update the URL and say that's it," explained Orchier.