Let the games to bring the Games to the United States begin again!
Following the City Council’s 15-0 vote this morning to support Los Angeles’ bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun joined LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and members of the media at the beach for a press conference making USOC’s selection of L.A. official.
With Santa Monica’s shore behind him, Blackmun spoke about what being a host city for the Olympics will mean in 2024—at least in part, no doubt, to address concerns about costs to taxpayers raised by Boston’s recent failed bid for the same Games.
“The [International Olympic Committee] wants to partner with a city capable of hosting the Games without burdening the citizens with debt, instead using the Games as a catalyst to further the vision of the city’s future and build a legacy that benefits all citizens,” said Blackmun. “When we look at L.A. and the plans that the mayor and Casey and their team have built, we see a framework for an ideal matchup.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the bid’s leaders must now “convince the City Council that hosting the Games at a potential overall cost of $6 billion would make financial sense—especially because Garcetti has vowed to sign an IOC host contract that would make the city liable if costs exceed revenues.” Garcetti has said the games would generate enough money through sponsorships, broadcast deals, and ticket sales to cover any debt not paid for by private-sector investors. The exact financial structuring of the as-yet-unfinished plan is sure to be a topic of public discussion
The mayor stuck around after the event to answer questions from the audience about what will happen next (he says LA 2024, the private organization managing the city’s bid, has six to 12 months to develop a “pretty-cooked” plan) and how the drought might factor into L.A.’s readiness (he says it won’t: “We have plenty of water not only to sustain life but to host a great games.”).
How far Los Angeles’ bid will go in the final selection process remains to be seen—Paris, Rome, Hamburg, and Budapest are among the international cities vying to play host—but Garcetti’s desire to see the Olympic torch burn in L.A. for a third time is clear. “Breathe this moment in,” he told the crowd in Santa Monica, “There are few moments like this in our lifetime.”
— LA Mayor’s Office (@LAMayorsOffice) September 1, 2015