A Los Angeles Olympics bid is pretty much guaranteed. It’s now just a matter of when.
With only two countries still in the running to host the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games, it was not surprising—though unusual—for the International Olympics Committed to announce a dual award on Tuesday. Former bidders, Boston, Budapest, Hamburg and Rome all dropped out.
It will be up to the cities to work out an agreement on which one should host when. But even that decision is pretty much decided already. Paris is the sentimental favorite for 2024 because it will be exactly 100 years since the “City of Love” held its last Olympic Games in 1924.
Los Angeles says it won’t arm-wrestle Paris for the 2024 honor.
Besides being the only bidders left, IOC officials were won by each city’s ability to demonstrate adequate finances, infrastructure and facilities. Each mentioned in their pitch that 90% of the facilities needed are already in place.
Los Angeles is actually better prepared than Paris to host in 2024, with ample venues at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, UCLA, USC and other facilities throughout Southern California. The new Inglewood stadium, currently under construction, is expected to be completed in 2020, way ahead of 2024. L.A. also has a larger capacity to house the athletes, with existing dormitories at UCLA.
L.A. last hosted the Summer Games in 1984 and turned a $250 million profit, which is one of the brightest moments in the history of Olympic host cities.
Rio de Janeiro's 2016 Games ran $1.6 billion over budget. Tokyo 2020 will likely cost a lot more than its $3.5 billion budget, and that doesn't even include the cost of building new stadiums.
Waiting until 2028, however, might work better for the U.S. politically, however, due to President Trump’s unpopularity in most of the world. Hosting the 2028 Games would insure no Olympics would be held in the U.S. during Trump’s presidency.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti told reporters before Tuesday’s decision that the Olympics “cannot afford to lose the United States,” given its television rights fees and corporate sponsorships that buttress the Games.
“Both of us will find it more and more difficult to convince cities – whether it’s Paris, Los Angeles or other American cities – to really go into this process if one of us gets turned down,” Garcetti said.