Los Angeles City Council Vote Unanimously Approves Olympics In 2028

The Los Angeles City Council Friday voted in favor of approving key documents that now clears a path for LA to host the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Members supported the plans unanimously by a vote of 12-0.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with cauldron lit during IOC Evaluation Commission in May 2017 (GamesBids Photo)

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with cauldron lit during IOC Evaluation Commission in May 2017 (GamesBids Photo)

Los Angeles had been bidding to host the 2024 edition of the Games but instead opted to concede that race to rival bid Paris and seek the 2028 Games along with financial concessions offered by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).  Last month, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the new plans, but said updated agreements and guarantees are required to move forward.

During a meeting and debate earlier Friday with the special Ad Hoc Committee on the 2024 Olympics, members voted to recommend approval of the documents to the full council.

Friday’s vote approved a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that describes a working relationship between the City and a future Olympic organizing committee, including issues on governance and financial guarantees.  Also endorsed was the IOC’s new Host City Contract that is based on the 2024 version but includes an updated financial relationship and other elements relevant to the date change.  Finally, the City Council approved a tripartite agreement among LA 2028, Paris 2024 and the IOC that sets outs the terms necessary to change up the 2024 race into a double-allocation.

The vote further permits the Mayor to sign the Host City Agreement, and allows the bid to enter into the tripartite agreement.

Had City Council voted against the new documents, LA could have continued to pursue the 2024 Games that would have come down to an IOC vote against Paris next month.

Several Olympic athletes including nine-time Olympic track champion Carl Lewis were on hand in City Hall chambers to back the bid’s plans ahead of the vote.


With the further approval of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), IOC members are expected to rubber-stamp LA’s application for the 2028 Games, along with Paris’ bid for the 2024 edition, at an all-members Session on September 13 in Lima, Peru.

The State of California this week agreed to transfer its planned USD $250 million funding of any potential cost overruns, with a possible increase to account for inflation, but a bill solidifying the offer won’t go to a vote until next year due to the summer recess.  The City will be on the hook inf additional money is required.

An independent accountant’s vetting of the revised 2028 budget is not expected to be completed for several months, an issue that has concerned opponents of the bid who were heard shouting objections during the City Hall proceedings.  But that didn’t stop City Council voters who were buoyed by dozens of statements of support in the special meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee.  A poll last month reveled that 83 percent of Angelenos back the 2028 bid.

With City Council approvals in place, it’s all but certain that both Los Angeles and Paris will be hosting their third Olympic Games next decade.

Mayor Garcetti said “We negotiated the deal of a lifetime to bring the Games back to America, create a new Olympic legacy for the next generation, and deliver access to sports and fitness programs to every community in Los Angeles.”

“Today’s vote by the City Council is a resounding show of confidence in our fiscally responsible plan for 2028, and more evidence of Angelenos’ passion to return the Games to LA.”

The milestone approval of the 2028 bid coincided with the release of a teaser video for the bid’s new “Building our Legacy” series that “captures memories from athletes and volunteers from the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games and builds excitement for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” a statement by the bid explained.

The video is narrated by Olympic champion and LA 2028 Athletes’ Advisory Commission member Carl Lewis, and is released 33 years to the day since Lewis matched Jesse Owens’ record at the 1984 Games, winning his fourth gold medal and setting a new world record in the 4×100 meter relay.

About Robert Livingstone

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.