LA pro­duces ‘com­pelling’ Olympic trans­port plan

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LOS AN­GE­LES: In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee of­fi­cials said Los An­ge­les had pre­sented a “com­pelling” trans­porta­tion plan for their 2024 Olympic bid on Wed­nes­day as a cru­cial three­day eval­u­a­tion visit got un­der way.

Pa­trick Bau­mann, the chair­man of the IOC’s Eval­u­a­tion Com­mis­sion, ap­peared to have been im­pressed by de­tails of Los An­ge­les 2024’s plans to ferry vis­i­tors around the me­trop­o­lis re­cently ranked as the most grid­locked city in the world.

“The city and the plan­ning author­i­ties for trans­porta­tion have a very com­pelling case for how the trans­porta­tion will be im­ple­mented for the games time pe­riod,” Bau­mann told re­porters af­ter an open­ing day of dis­cus­sions with the LA bid team.

“They’ve stud­ied this ex­tremely care­fully. We all know this is a big city but they have a com­pelling plan that is in line with what is re­quired for the host of an Olympic games.”

Los An­ge­les mayor Eric Garcetti told re­porters of­fi­cials had shared de­tails of what he de­scribed as the city’s “trans­porta­tion rev­o­lu­tion.”

This would in­volve US$88 bil­lion (RM396 bil­lion) im­prove­ments and ex­pan­sion to pub­lic trans­port in­fra­struc­ture that was al­ready un­der way and would be com­pleted ir­re­spec­tive of whether Los An­ge­les wins the race to stage the Games.

“We feel very con­fi­dent in our abil­ity to de­liver,” Garcetti said. “We were able to de­liver smooth rides in 1984 and we think it will be even bet­ter in 2024.”

The IOC del­e­ga­tion visit comes just four months ahead of a Sept 13 vote in Lima that will de­cide the race. The IOC Eval­u­a­tion Com­mis­sion will head to ri­val Paris next week.

The back-to-back vis­its of the only two ci­ties in the run­ning for the 2024 Games usher in what is ex­pected to be a fren­zied fi­nal spurt of cam­paign­ing.

The bid­ding con­test has been over­shad­owed in re­cent weeks by spec­u­la­tion that the IOC is aim­ing to of­fer the 2028 Olympics to whomever loses out on the 2024 Games, anx­ious to lock in two strong bids at a time when the pool of ci­ties will­ing to stage the mam­moth sport­ing spec­tac­u­lar is shrink­ing.

Los An­ge­les 2024 bid chair­man Casey Wasser­man said he sup­ported the IOC’s move to re­ward both bids.

“I ap­plaud the IOC’s think­ing. It’s the right ques­tion at the right time. But this week is about the ques­tion of why LA is the right city for 2024,” Wasser­man said. “We have the strong­est foun­da­tions of any Olympic bid in his­tory. The bid we sub­mit­ted is the bid you will get.”

The Los An­ge­les bid — which en­joys 88 per cent pub­lic sup­port ac­cord­ing to re­cent sur­veys — has em­pha­sised that its vi­sion for the 2024 Games would re­quire no new venue con­struc­tion, with events staged in an ar­ray of sta­dia that ex­ist or are al­ready be­ing built.

Los An­ge­les of­fi­cials also briefed IOC del­e­gates on as­pects of their se­cu­rity plan, stress­ing the city’s ex­pe­ri­ence of reg­u­larly stag­ing en­ter­tain­ment show­pieces such as the Os­cars, Gram­mys and Em­mys.

“This was an op­por­tu­nity to em­pha­sise how safe and se­cure this city is,” Garcetti said. “No city has zero risk, but we do this (se­cu­rity) ev­ery day.”

IOC del­e­gates to be shown yes­ter­day an ar­ray of venues in­clud­ing the Los An­ge­les Memo­rial Coli­seum, the cen­ter­piece of the 1932 and 1984 Olympics held in the city.

The sta­dium will be used once more in the 2024 Olympics for track and field, and will be used as a gi­gan­tic over­flow arena in open­ing cer­e­mony fes­tiv­i­ties that will be shared with the fu­tur­is­tic sta­dium be­ing built to house the Los An­ge­les Rams NFL team.

“We’re go­ing to show the IOC what we can spend the next seven years do­ing in­stead of pour­ing time, money and con­crete into con­tro­ver­sial and costly con­struc­tion,” Wasser­man said.

Garcetti said the phys­i­cal legacy of the Games would not be venues, but rather smaller projects aimed at boost­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion in sport across Los An­ge­les.

“It’s not go­ing to be things like an Olympic vil­lage, it’s go­ing to be a new pool in your neigh­bour­hood, or a ten­nis court in Comp­ton,” he said. AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.