During an important presentation Tuesday Los Angeles’ bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games promised close collaboration with International Sport Federations (IFs) during the seven-year run-up and during the Games should they be awarded to the American city.
LA’s bid also directly addressed the most controversial twist in the campaign, the possible 2024 and 2028 joint awarding of the Games.
Bid Chair Casey Wasserman pulled the topic out quickly, he said “first, let’s talk about the elephant-in-the-room – the 24/28 Games.”
“Our goal at LA 2024 is to play our part, along with the rest of you, in serving the Movement going forward.
“LA 2024 wants to bring new ideas and creativity to the Games – not more of the same.”
Wasserman stopped short of any additional emphasis on the need to host in 2024 as opposed to 2028.
But LA Mayor Eric Garcetti did make a point directed at rival Paris’ bid, he said “we’re not focused on the last 100 years, we are focused on the next 100,” a reference to the 2024 Games being on the centenary year of Paris 1924 – something many believe will give the city a sentimental boost.
He also said to differentiate from Paris and propose a possible urgency for 2024, “it’s important we draw a distinction in our vision here today, because although many believe the two bids in this race are quite similar … they are, in fact, very different.”
“LA 2024 was crafted precisely to address this important time for the Olympic Movement.”
LA 2024 has been stressing that this is the time to demonstrate a risk-averse Games to the world and future potential host cities, where instead of spending time and money preparing venues – the focus can be directed at the athlete experience and making the Games successful. Three cities – Hamburg, Rome and Budapest – have dropped out of the 2024 race due to low public support and the perceived risks of hosting the Games.
The Mayor went on to describe the low cost and low risk elements of the bid where no new permanent venues need to be built; and the strong public support amid overwhelming public opposition against such projects throughout Europe.
During the planned ten-minute presentation (that ran for 15 minutes) to the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) at the SportAccord Convention in Aarhus, Denmark, bid leaders including LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Chair Casey Wasserman, IOC Member Angela Ruggiero and CEO Gene Sykes told IFs that they will be assisted by the organizing committee to leverage the (USD) $250 billion U.S. sports market – the largest in the world according to the bid committee.
Ruggiero outlined two new initiatives to help the IFs make the most of an LA 2024 Games including a Sports Ambassador Program that will give Federations access to expert consultants who will help connect the sport to the 100 million young Americans using technology and new media.
In addition, LA 2024 is proposing annual IF Development Forum that will help both Summer and Winter Federations collaborate and share opportunities for the Games.
Initiative Benefits for IF’s (from LA 2024):
– Integrate every IF in a seven-year collaborative effort to create Venue Operating Plans, select the Event Director and support teams, and develop an optimized Test Event program.
– Establish partnerships with America’s most creative sports minds to assist every sport’s presentation and promotion.
– Deliver authentic, inclusive multi-sport experiences through the four LA 2024 Sports Parks, each designed to enhance ticketing, marketing and the festival atmosphere within a single secure perimeter.
– Accommodate International Technical Officials and National Technical Officials within a ten-minute shuttle ride of their venue, if not within walking distance.
– Provide training onsite at the Village for 51% of Olympians and 62% of Paralympians, with the remainder at their competition venues.
– An Organizing Committee budget for regular IF visits and freight grants for specific sports.
– Give every single Olympian and Paralympian two free tickets for each of their competitions, for the first time ever.
“We will create a close relationship between our OCOG, your Federation’s leadership, and our venue operators – this has never been implemented on a consistent, Games-wide scale,” Ruggiero said.
“LA 2024 fully recognizes the importance of the IFs in delivering a successful, sustainable and impactful Games,” Sykes said.
“In many ways, our plan is their plan because their advice and feedback have played such a central role in developing our Games Concept.”
“The LA 2024 IF Commitment Plan reflects the needs and the priorities of the IFs, and we believe it will give them a great platform to grow their sports in the US and around the world.”
LA’s rival Paris also presented Tuesday in Aarhus and the two will provide more detailed technical presentations of their projects to the full International Olympic Committee (IOC) membership at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland beginning July 11.
Both bids are under the microscope at SportAccord as the IOC and a four panel working group consider changes to the bidding process including the possibility of awarding both the 2024 and 2028 Games at one time – each to either LA or Paris. Both bid have maintained the position that they are only considering a 2024 Games, yet that is largely believed to be political posturing with neither city wanting to concede the 2024 opportunity.
On Monday at SportAccord the IOC working group briefly discussed the dual award possibility with each bid, and IOC President Bach met with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
The IOC is scheduled to elect the 2024 host city September 13 in Lima, Peru.
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.