Newly Released LA 2028 Olympic Budget Remains “In Line” With Bid Estimates

While still nine years from the Opening Ceremony, organizers of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games claim budget estimates made during a bid for the 2024 Games are still on target for 2028.

LA 2028 Bid Chair Casey Wasserman answers questions on red carpet (GamesBids Photo)

LA 2028 Bid Chair Casey Wasserman answers questions at event in Lima, Peru (GamesBids Photo)

LA was awarded the 2028 Games instead of the 2024 Games as part of a double allocation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that ceded Paris the 2024 Games with financial consolations given to the U.S. city for accepting the later event.

The USD $6.9 billion inflation-adjusted budget announced Tuesday exceeds a 2016 estimate of $6.2 billion adjusted to 2024 inflation.  However officials say the new “real dollar” estimate accounts for inflation over time as funds are received and spent during the 11-year project, and remains in line with original estimates.

Organizers further claim three percent has been added to the original 2024 budget to account for a $160 million investment in local youth sport and four additional years of operation due to the shift to 2028.

The privately funded and balanced budget has been independently evaluated by KPMG, and includes a 10 percent contingency of $615.9 million.

“Our budget is privately funded, realistic and fiscally conservative,” LA 2028 Chair Casey Wasserman said on the budget release.

“We are redefining what it means to host a successful Games and look forward to planning and hosting an amazing experience that will make our community proud.”

At bid time, the LA Olympic bid committee claimed the proposal was low-risk due the the use of only existing, planned and temporary facilities where no new construction is required for venues or transportation infrastructure.  This new reality, it was claimed, was made possible by Olympic Agenda 2020 – an IOC reform package that allows for greater efficiency and sustainability while hosting the Games.

LA 2028 budget released April 30, 2019 Source: LA 2028)

LA 2028 budget released April 30, 2019 (Source: LA 2028)

Los Angeles will use its existing university infrastructure to house athletes and media personnel, eliminating one of the most costly construction projects associated with the Games.

A statement by the organizing committee Tuesday further claimed “revenue for the Games includes a significant contribution from the International Olympic Committee, domestic sponsors, ticket sales, hospitality, licensing and merchandising.”

Earlier this month opposition group NOlympics LA launched a campaign to raise money to protest the Olympics in Tokyo at an event planned for this July, one year ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games.  The opponents of the Los Angeles Games claim Angelenos will be displaced from their homes near the Memorial Coliseum due to the construction of a hotel planned for the Olympics.

A 2017 survey by the IOC revealed that 78 percent who were asked in Los Angeles said they support the Games.

After a run of costly and over-budget summer Games in Beijing, London, Rio and next year in Tokyo, the IOC is desperate to deliver an economically feasible event in order to attract more cities to bid for and host Games in the future.  Cities have been dropping out of Summer and Winter Games bids after government and citizens have balked at the risks involved.

The IOC are relying on both Paris and Los Angeles to embrace the Agenda 2020 reforms and deliver Games that can be a model for the future.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil