Paris cel­e­brates 2024 win as LA ac­cepts 2028 con­so­la­tion

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Los Angeles an­nounced its in­tent to host the 2028 Olympics on Mon­day, paving the way for Paris to host in 2024 in a deal hailed as a win-win-win for both cities and the Olympic move­ment.

“I am proud to an­nounce the Olympic Games are com­ing back to the United States of America,” Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said at cer­e­mony at the StubHub Cen­ter sta­dium. “In 2028, we are bring­ing the Games back to LA, one of the great cap­i­tals of the Olympic move­ment. A city that has al­ways been a Games changer and will be again in 2028.”

Los Angeles had been in a race with Paris to fol­low Tokyo 2020 as the 2024 host with the win­ner to be named by the IOC on Sep­tem­ber 13 in Lima. But the pos­si­bil­ity that Los Angeles would aban­don a 2024 bid and in­stead ac­cept the 2028 Games has been grow­ing since the IOC de­cided in July that it would at­tempt to award both Games at its Lima meet­ing.

Paris had re­mained in­sis­tent on host­ing in 2024, on the 100th an­niver­sary of the city’s 1924 Olympics. LA of­fi­cials, who had put forward a $5.3 bil­lion bid for 2024, said an agree­ment had been reached with the IOC on fi­nan­cial con­sid­er­a­tions that would make wait­ing an ex­tra four years fea­si­ble.

Bid chief Casey Wasser­man said the IOC had waived var­i­ous fees and pay­ments that could ul­ti­mately save LA or­ga­niz­ers mil­lions. The IOC will also ad­vance $180 mil­lion to LA or­ga­niz­ers to lessen the im­pact of the longer leadup time, money that normally wouldn’t be dis­bursed un­til closer to the Games kick­off.

“The IOC con­tri­bu­tion as stip­u­lated by the HCC is $1.8 bil­lion and has the po­ten­tial to ex­ceed $2 bil­lion ac­cord­ing to the eval­u­a­tion of the LA bid com­mit­tee when tak­ing into ac­count the es­ti­mated value of ex­ist­ing spon­sor agree­ments to be re­newed and po­ten­tial new mar­ket­ing deals,” the bid com­mit­tee said in a state­ment.

Garcetti added: “This deal was too good to pass up.” The deal will bring the Games back to Los Angeles for a third time, after the city hosted in 1932 and 1984. The agree­ment must still be ap­proved by the Los Angeles City Coun­cil and the United States Olympic Com­mit­tee-both of which backed the 2024 bid.

City Coun­cil pres­i­dent Herb Wes­son, an en­thu­si­as­tic sup­porter of the Games, said the coun­cil com­mit­tee on the Games would thor­oughly vet the new pro­pos­als be­fore mak­ing its rec­om­men­da­tion to the full coun­cil for a vote hope­fully within two weeks.

Lo­cal back­ing is cru­cial to the suc­cess of any Games, but fed­eral gov­ern­ment sup­port is also key since the na­tional gov­ern­ment will play a key role in se­cu­rity.

Wasser­man sin­gled out the sup­port of US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump as help­ing to bring the Games back to the United States. The USA last hosted the Summer Olympics in At­lanta in 1996 while the Win­ter Games were held in Salt Lake City in 2002.

Garcetti said that if all goes ac­cord­ing to plan, LA is con­fi­dent it will re­ceive 100 per­cent sup­port by IOC mem­bers in Lima for a bid that re­lies largely on ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture and features iconic venus such as the Me­mo­rial Coli­seum-slated once again to host ath­let­ics.

IOC pres­i­dent Thomas Bach also said he was con­fi­dent any re­main­ing hur­dles could be cleared. “We are very con­fi­dent that we can reach a tri­par­tite agree­ment un­der the lead­er­ship of the IOC with LA and Paris in Au­gust, cre­at­ing a win-win-win sit­u­a­tion for all three part­ners,” he said. “This agree­ment will be put forward to the IOC Ses­sion in Lima in Sep­tem­ber for rat­i­fi­ca­tion.”

‘AT THE FIN­ISH LINE’

The IOC’s ef­forts to stream­line the bid­ding process didn’t help boost the num­ber of can­di­dates for 2024. Bos­ton was first se­lected by the USOC as a prospec­tive host but dropped out amid lo­cal op­po­si­tion and money con­cerns. Ham­burg, Bu­dapest and Rome also pulled out of the race.

“In sports terms, there is no other metaphor it was a marathon,” Garcetti said of the ar­du­ous process. “To­day, we are at the fin­ish line.” Paris, which will also be host­ing the Games for a third time, en­dured the dis­ap­point­ment of failed bids in 1992, 2008 and 2012.

Paris Mayor Anne Hi­dalgo said on Twit­ter: “Happy that my friend @May­o­rofLA has made an im­por­tant new step on an agree­ment that will have three win­ners:

Paris, Los Angeles and the IOC #Paris2024.” Garcetti down­played any risk in­volved in tak­ing on the Olympics so far in ad­vance, say­ing po­lit­i­cal or eco­nomic set­backs in the in­terim, or even a natural dis­as­ter such as an earth­quake, wouldn’t prove fa­tal to the prepa­ra­tions.

“Los angeles is re­silient,” Garcetti said. “I’m not wor­ried about those things. We aren’t go­ing to see sports go away. We’re not go­ing to see sta­di­ums dis­ap­pear. “When you look at those risks, sure in some sce­nario if the en­tire Earth falls apart prob­a­bly the Olympics aren’t hap­pen­ing in Los Angeles. “But short of that,” Garcetti said, “We’re go­ing to have a great Games here in LA.” — AFP

—AFP

CAR­SON: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at the podium as he an­nounces a deal has been reached with the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee to host the 2028 Summer Olympics dur­ing a news con­fer­ence with LA 2024 Bid Chair­man Casey Wasser­man (L) City Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Herb Wes­son and Janet Evans olympian and vice chair of LA2024 (R) look­ing on at StubHub Cen­ter on Mon­day, in Car­son, California.

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