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LA 2024 Committee Releases New $5.3 Billion Budget For Olympic Games

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(Courtesy of LA 2024)
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A recently released budget from the LA 2024 committee now puts the estimated costs of running the 2024 Summer Games in Los Angeles at $5.3 billion. While the figure does seem high, it is relatively paltry compared to previous Olympic Games, and the forthcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.In fact, the new budget also estimates that projected revenue from tickets, broadcasting and sponsorships should match these costs, according to the L.A. Times. One of the main selling points for the Los Angeles bid has been the use of existing infrastructure and stadiums, theoretically keeping costs down.

"The people of Los Angeles and the Olympic family can be assured that the budget we release today reflects accurately the cost of delivering LA 2024’s Plan for a fiscally responsible Games that provides only upsides—economic, social and sporting—for our city and for the Olympic Movement," Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement to LAist. "Instead of mortgaging our futures on unknowable construction costs, our Games will capitalize responsibly on our investments that are transforming our city for the future."

"The easiest way to express our budgetary objective is two words: 'no surprises,'" said LA 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman. "If L.A. is chosen to host the 2024 Games, the [International Olympic Committee] does not have to worry about changing or evolving budgets, shifting competition venues or uncertainty about the delivery of the Games."

By comparison, Paris, who is also in the running for the 2024 games, has estimated their costs at over $9 billion, according to ABC News.

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In the wake of Olympic Games that have crippled host nations and cities (notably Athens and Rio de Janeiro), the IOC has made a move towards slimmer, low-risk budgets. Tokyo's games have seen their budget balloon to $20 billion, including a $150 million new stadium. The IOC has said they would not sign off on the Tokyo budget, saying it would set a bad example.

There was also anxiety after the presidential election that the ascent of Donald Trump would hamper Los Angeles' efforts to get the games. Turning lemons into lemonade, the LA 2024 committee said that Trump's election meant L.A. needs the games now "more than ever." On Wednesday, in between calls with post-Soviet despots, President-elect Trump told IOC President Thomas Bach that he supported L.A.'s bid.

Los Angeles last hosted the Olympics in 1984 and made over $200 million in surplus revenue, making them the most financially successful games in history.