Mayor pre­dicts Paris in 2024, L.A. in ’28

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DES BIELER

Ear­lier this month, the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee took the un­usual step of pick­ing Paris and Los An­ge­les to host the 2024 and ’28 Sum­mer Games, but leav­ing it to the cities to ne­go­ti­ate the or­der.

Ac­cord­ing to Los An­ge­les Mayor Eric Garcetti, his res­i­dents should be pre­pared to wait an ex­tra four years be­fore the Olympics re­turn.

Speak­ing at a Buz­zFeed event Wed­nes­day, Garcetti said his city be­com­ing the 2024 host “is not prob­a­bly most likely to hap­pen.” That date was widely viewed as the more at­trac­tive op­tion, given the greater amount of un­cer­tain­ties in plan­ning for an event 11 years into the fu­ture and those were the Games on which Los An­ge­les had ac­tu­ally been bid­ding.

The IOC was ea­ger to lock in both cities as hosts, how­ever, and Garcetti said the gov­ern­ing body is mak­ing the later date “fi­nan­cially so at­trac­tive, we’d be stupid not to take 2028.”

Al­though a fi­nal IOC vote is set to take place in Septem­ber, the mayor said “the bid is all but done. We have won.”

Paris last served as the site of the Olympics in 1924, so the fact that it could cel­e­brate the 100th an­niver­sary by host­ing again gave it a strong card to play in the bid­ding process. The city had tried on three pre­vi­ous rounds of bid­ding to win the Games, and French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron was in Lausanne, Switzer­land, as was Garcetti, where the IOC made the re­cent an­nounce­ment from its head­quar­ters.

“We lost three times, we don’t want to lose a fourth one,” Macron said at the time (via the AP). “I’m here to con­vey the mes­sage that there’s a strong unity to back this can­di­dacy.”

Mean­while, Los An­ge­les last hosted the Olympics in 1984 (it also hosted in 1932), and those Games were noted for their or­ga­niz­ers’ ad­her­ence to strict cost con­trols. Since then, the Olympics have again be­come as­so­ci­ated with cost over­runs and re­dun­dant fa­cil­i­ties, and Bos­ton, which had been the U.S.’s front-run­ner for 2024, dropped out of the bid­ding fol­low­ing a grass­roots op­po­si­tion cam­paign.

Other cities, such as Ham­burg, Rome and Bu­da­pest, also dropped out be­cause of a com­bi­na­tion of fi­nan­cial and po­lit­i­cal con­cerns, but civic lead­ers in Los An­ge­les were happy to wind up in the fi­nal two. Garcetti, though, will have to present de­tails of a 2028 plan and get the city coun­cil to sign off on it.

“Mayor Garcetti does not be­lieve that wait­ing four more years would in­crease our risk pro­file,” a spokesper­son for the mayor told the Los An­ge­les Times. “Whether we host in 2024 or 2028, our lowrisk plan re­mains the same — us­ing ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture, and con­trol­ling costs.”

Tokyo is set to host the 2020 Sum­mer Games, while the ’18 and ’22 Win­ter Games will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and Bei­jing, re­spec­tively.

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