The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thursday praised bids for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games from both Los Angeles and Paris and lauded their adherence to Agenda 2020 reforms on sustainability and cost-cutting.
As the formal review process begins IOC Evaluation Commission Chair Patrick Baumann, who earlier this month replaced Frank Fredericks when the former Olympian stepped down amid a corruption investigation, said at the conclusion of a two-day review in Lausanne that he likes what he sees.
“The Commission’s work is just beginning, but it is already clear that both candidates have embraced the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020,” the Swiss IOC member said, “both proposals incorporate well-known locations in these two great cities, and would deliver an excellent experience for athletes, spectators and other Games participants.”
It’s possible, however, that both cities will have the opportunity to host the Games next decade as a bid reform panel of IOC Vice Presidents is currently reviewing the prospect of awarding both the 2024 and 2028 Games to Paris and Los Angeles during an all-members IOC Session scheduled September 13, in Lima, Peru. The two candidates are all that remain of five initial applicants after Hamburg and Budapest withdrew due to public opposition and Rome suspended it campaign when the mayor withheld support for the project.
Officials from both cities say they are focused solely on hosting in 2024, and not in 2028 – but that is widely considered posturing in order to stay in the hunt for the earlier prize.
With both bids possible long-term partners of the IOC, the evaluations are more likely to be supportive than objective.
Los Angeles is proposing a concept where no new infrastructure or permanent venues need to be built to host the Games, and with 88 per cent public support the organization will be low-cost and at low-risk. Paris requires construction of an Athletes’ Village but claim hosting the Games will be sustainable and will leave a significant social legacy for Paris, France and the World.
“We are looking forward to taking a closer look at these two strong candidates during our site visits, to see in more detail how these well-developed plans would come to life at Games time and leave sustainable legacies,” Baumann said.
The Evaluation Commission team of 14 delegates including IOC representatives and other experts will visit Los Angeles for a three-day visit starting May 10 followed by a trip to Paris beginning May 14. The full IOC membership will have the opportunity to see presentations from the two bids at a special technical briefing beginning July 11 in Lausanne, where the bid reform panel is expected to report on the possibility of awarding both the 2024 and 2028 Games.
Next week Olympic Federations will get a chance to learn more about the bids during “introductions” from both LA and Paris delegations at the SportAccord Convention in Aarhus, Denmark.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.