Los Angeles is close to being named the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) nominee to bid for the 2024 Olympic Games, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
Two weeks after a Boston bid and the USOC mutually parted ways after that city’s mayor Marty Walsh refused to commit tax dollars to guarantee the Games – Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has agreed for his city to back the bid against cost over runs, but expects that it won’t be necessary.
“I think it is right for this city. I think it’s who we are,” Garcetti said.
“I think we benefit from it economically, socially.”
The USD $4.5 billion plan includes a $400 million contingency fund, but Garcetti plans save money by using updated venues from the 1984 Olympics and to profit on the operations budget with high revenues that can be derived from sponsorships and ticket sales.
Planners expect a $150 million surplus after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) kicks in an estimated $1.5 billion that it receives from international broadcast rights and sponsorships.
Should the USOC select Los Angeles to bid for 2024 Olympic Games?
- Yes (68%)
- No (25%)
- Not Sure (6%)
Iconic venues are likely to include the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the centrepiece for both the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, and the Rose Bowl.
“There’s zero percent capital improvement on things like roads,” Mayor Garcetti said.
“One of the reasons L.A. is seen so strongly by so many IOC members is we’re not building a transit system because of the Olympics.”
While Boston struggled with public support that failed to rise above the 40 per cent level, the bid is reportedly more popular across Southern California – though no formal polling has been disclosed.
LA and the USOC are still working out the details but according to the Mayor it seems that the opportunity to bid is there if his city wants it. Washington and San Francisco, the other two cities involved in the domestic vetting last year, have also been contacted by the USOC to gauge their interest.
The USOC has until September 15 to submit a nomination to the IOC in writing but USOC officials have said that they will make a decision by the end of August. Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome are also in the running while Baku in Azerbaijan and Toronto are interested in the opportunity – but yet to commit.
An entry in the race from Los Angeles would immediately place it as one of the favourites to win the bid when a host city is elected in September 2017 since a summer Games hasn’t taken place in the United States since 1996. Yet with a trio of Games taking place in Asia from 2018 to 2022, the hunger of the Eurocentric IOC to bring the Games back to Europe for the first time since 2012 may take precedent.