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City Council approves plan to host 2024 Olympics

The City Council voted unanimously Sept. 1 to move forward with a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, and the U.S. Olympic Committee was expected later in the day to formally name Los Angeles as its official bidder for the athletic spectacle.

Following the council’s 15-0 vote, Mayor Eric Garcetti made a victory lap of sorts in the Council Chamber, shaking hands with the council members.

“I think it was a fabulous vote,” Garcetti said. “We all know the next two years are about fleshing out the details, but this is in our DNA. We know how to do Olympics, we know how to do them well, we know how to do them economically.”

Garcetti and City Council President Herb Wesson held a news conference early in the afternoon at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica about the vote. Members of the U.S. Olympic Committee were scheduled to make a formal announcement about an hour later.

“This is a great Olympic city … let Paris and Rome and whoever else who wants to compete know, we’re in this to win it, and I think we will,” City Councilman Paul Krekorian said.

Council members agreed to back the bid after city attorneys assured them the city will not be making any immediate financial commitments.

City Attorney Jim Clark said he has been “in constant contact with the lawyer for the [LA24] bid committee up to 11 o’clock last night.”

“We exchanged lists of things that would have to be covered by negotiations. His first item was the financial commitment, if any, of the city. So he recognizes by this action this council is not committing the city financially at all.”

Chief Administrative Analyst Sharon Tso said the city will still have an opportunity to weigh in on the proposed budget of the Games, and any sports venue plans or use of city facilities.

LA24 officials estimate the cost of hosting the 2024 Olympics in Los Angeles would be $4.1 billion, or $4.6 billion when a roughly $400 million contingency fund and insurance are included.

They project revenue from the Games will bring in $4.8 billion, resulting in a profit of $161 million going to LA24.

The budget anticipates that the International Olympic Committee will contribute $1.5 billion or 31 percent of the revenue, with domestic sponsorships and ticket revenue making up the other two-thirds. The bid packet also included details about how the Olympics might be operated.

The Olympic Village would be next to the Los Angeles River in Lincoln Heights — in a Union Pacific rail yard known as the “Piggyback Yard” — and calls for track and field and the opening and closing ceremonies to be held at a renovated Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The bid also designates sports venue clusters in downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley, coastal areas like Santa Monica, the area around UCLA and the South Bay.

The International Olympic Committee is expected to make a final decision on a host city in September 2017.

LA24 chair Casey Wasserman, a businessman and philanthropist, told a City Council committee last week he was “honored to have been asked by the mayor to help lead this effort.”

“I believe in this opportunity and I believe that this can be and will be the most responsible Games possible,” Wasserman said.

 

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