A Deal For The L.A. Olympics Is Starting To Take Shape, But It May Be For 2028
It's looking likely for Los Angeles to host the Olympics—just not as soon as expected. In a press conference on Wednesday, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti confirmed that the International Olympic Committee is favoring Paris for the 2024 games, and may award the 2028 games to our fair city of angels.
As we noted earlier this year, the IOC has said that both L.A. and Paris are strong candidates for host city and is interested and awarding the games to both.
"Waiting until 2028 will provide a series of major public infrastructure projects in southern California with more time," the Wall Street Journal reports. "Those include the renovation of Los Angeles International Airport and construction of new rail lines. One other advantage of waiting until 2028 for the Games to come to the U.S.: It virtually guarantees that Donald Trump, who has been supportive of the bid but is unpopular overseas within the IOC membership, will no longer be president."
Garcetti elaborated in the press conference, explaining how the Olympics have "asked us to think about - both Paris and us - what would it take for us to consider one of us going first and the other going second," Garcetti stated at the press conference. According to him, L.A. could wait to host the Olympics until 2028 in exchange for more money for youth sports programs. "My dream is not so much just to bring the Olympics here," he said, "but to bring youth sports for free to every zip code."
As KPCC notes, Los Angeles' previous turn hosting the Summer Games in 1984 generated a $250 million surplus (a first for any city hosting the games), which was then placed into the LA84 Foundation and has funded youth sports programs throughout Southern California ever since.
"All options are on the table, and this includes also the `24-'28 procedure and vote," Thomas Bach, the IOC president, said in March, notes the BBC. "We have two excellent candidates from two major Olympic countries. This is a position you like to be in...It will be up to the working group how to best explore, how to best exploit, the positive situation. We should not miss the opportunity to explore this opportunity."
The official L.A. bid committee, LA2024, still maintains its goal of securing the games for that year.
“While the IOC is reviewing its bid process, we remain focused on the 2024 Games," a spokesman for LA2024 told the Wall Street Journal. "We’re honored that Los Angeles is a 2024 Candidate City at this important time for the Olympic and Paralympic Movements, and we look forward to collaborating with the IOC in the months ahead.”
And the U.S. Olympic Committee agrees.
“The U.S. Olympic Committee is totally focused on bringing the Olympic Games back to the United States in 2024,” Patrick Sandusky of the USOC said.
The IOC will meet next in July, when both L.A and Paris present their formal bids for the games. In September, the 2024 host city will be announced.