LA projects US$161 mil. sur­plus if it gets 2024 Olympics

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY MICHAEL R. BLOOD

Af­ter anx­i­ety over tax­payer costs helped crip­ple Bos­ton’s 2024 Olympic bid, or­ga­niz­ers in po­ten­tial stand-in Los An­ge­les dis­closed a bud­get Tues­day that shows the city hold­ing a US$161 mil­lion sur­plus af­ter stag­ing events from Santa Mon­ica beaches to the Hol­ly­wood Hills.

Los An­ge­les, which hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics, is viewed as the likely re­place­ment for Bos­ton’s failed bid be­cause the city’s many ex­ist­ing venues could help keep costs low.

The Los An­ge­les plan projects spend­ing US$4.1 bil­lion; Bos­ton’s op­er­at­ing bud­get was about US$4.6 bil­lion, but bil­lions more could have been needed for con­struc­tion, se­cu­rity and other costs.

The Los An­ge­les fig­ures pro­vided the most de­tailed look to date on es­ti­mated ex­penses to run the 2024 Games in Cal­i­for­nia. Ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ments, the bulk of the fund­ing would come from broad­cast rev­enue, spon­sor­ships and ticket sales.

“In Los An­ge­les, the spotlight is al­ways on. We have the re­sources, ex­pe­ri­ence and se­cure en­vi­ron­ment to share the big­gest events with the world,” the pro­posal states.

The Los An­ge­les City Coun­cil is ex­pected to vote Fri­day on a pro­posal giv­ing Mayor Eric Garcetti au­thor­ity to ex­e­cute agree­ments linked to the city’s bid.

Un­der the plan, the Los An­ge­les Me­mo­rial Coli­seum would get an US$800 mil­lion makeover fo­cused on seat­ing up­grades and pre­mium ameni­ties. The Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, which plays its football games at the Coli­seum, would in­vest US$500 mil­lion for the ren­o­va­tion, the plan states.

Nearly US$1 bil­lion more would be needed for other com­pe­ti­tion venues, ac­cord­ing to the plan.

The re­lease of the cost es­ti­mate came about a month af­ter the U.S. Olympic Com­mit­tee cut talks with Bos­ton, which was ini­tially se­lected as the U.S. con­tender for the games. A stick­ing point in Bos­ton was pos­si­ble cost over­runs that would have to be cov­ered by taxpayers.

The USOC faces a Sept. 15 dead­line to en­ter a bid with the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee.

The Los An­ge­les pro­posal en­vi­sions events tak­ing place at lo­ca­tions show­cas­ing the best of the area.

Gym­nas­tics and bas­ket­ball would be held at the down­town Sta­ples Cen­ter, home to the NBA’s Los An­ge­les Lak­ers and Clip­pers. Vol­ley­ball would be staged on Santa Mon­ica Beach.

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