Los An­ge­les reaches deal to host 2028 Sum­mer Games

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS - BY MICHAEL R. BLOOD

LOS AN­GE­LES | Los An­ge­les reached an agree­ment Mon­day with in­ter­na­tional Olympic lead­ers that will open the way for the city to host the 2028 Sum­mer Games, while ced­ing the 2024 Games to ri­val Paris, of­fi­cials an­nounced Mon­day.

The deal would make LA a three-time Olympic city, af­ter host­ing the 1932 and 1984 Games.

With the agree­ment, the city is tak­ing “a ma­jor step to­ward bring­ing the Games back to our city for the first time in a gen­er­a­tion,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a state­ment.

He called it a “his­toric day for Los An­ge­les, for the United States” and the Olympic move­ment.

The agree­ment fol­lows a vote ear­lier this month by the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee to seek an un­usual deal to award the 2024 and 2028 Games si­mul­ta­ne­ously. Paris is the only city left to host the 2024 Games.

The Los An­ge­les City Coun­cil and U.S. Olympic Com­mit­tee board of di­rec­tors will con­sider the agree­ment for ap­proval in Au­gust. If ap­proved, the IOC, LA and Paris may en­ter a three-part agree­ment, clear­ing the way for the IOC to si­mul­ta­ne­ously award the 2024 Games to Paris, and the 2028 Games to LA. The IOC vote is sched­uled for Septem­ber, in Lima, Peru.

In a state­ment, the Paris bid com­mit­tee wel­comed the an­nounce­ment in Los

An­ge­les but stopped short of con­firm­ing the ob­vi­ous, that Paris is in line for the 2024 Games.

“Paris 2024 is proud to be work­ing to­gether with the IOC and our friends in Los An­ge­les to reach a pos­i­tive so­lu­tion for both cities, the Games and the whole Olympic Move­ment for 2024 and 2028,” com­mit­tee co-chair Tony Es­tanguet said.

In em­brac­ing what amounted to the sec­ond-place prize and an 11-year wait, LA will re­ceive a fi­nan­cial sweet­ener.

Un­der the terms of the deal, the IOC will ad­vance funds to the Los An­ge­les or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee to rec­og­nize the ex­tended plan­ning pe­riod and to in­crease youth sports pro­grams lead­ing up to the Games. The IOC con­tri­bu­tion could ex­ceed $2 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to LA of­fi­cials. That fig­ure takes into ac­count the es­ti­mated value of ex­ist­ing spon­sor agree­ments that would be re­newed, as well as po­ten­tial new mar­ket­ing deals.

The de­lay to 2028 opens a host of ques­tions for Los An­ge­les, which is look­ing at the prospect of re­tool­ing its multi­bil­lion-dol­lar plans for more than a decade into the fu­ture. It would face chal­lenges from main­tain­ing pub­lic in­ter­est to re­cast­ing deals for sta­di­ums, are­nas and hous­ing that have been in the works for months and even years.

LA and Paris were the last two bids re­main­ing af­ter a tu­mul­tuous process that ex­posed the un­will­ing­ness of cities to bear the fi­nan­cial bur­den of host­ing an event that has be­come syn­ony­mous with cost over­runs.

LA was not even the first Amer­i­can en­trant in the con­test. Boston with­drew two years ago as pub­lic sup­port for its bid col­lapsed over con­cerns about use of tax­payer cash. The U.S. bid switched from the east to the West Coast as LA en­tered the race.

But the same ap­pre­hen­sions that spooked politi­cians and the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion in Boston soon be­came ev­i­dent in Europe where three cities pulled out.

Un­com­fort­ably for IOC Pres­i­dent Thomas Bach, whose much-vaunted Agenda 2020 re­forms were de­signed to make host­ing more stream­lined and less costly af­ter the lav­ish 2014 Sochi Games, the first with­drawal came from his home­land of Ger­many.

The lack of po­lit­i­cal unity for a bid in Ham­burg was mir­rored in Rome and Budapest as sup­port for bids waned among lo­cal author­i­ties and the pop­u­la­tion. It was clear they did not want to be sad­dled with sky­rock­et­ing bills for host­ing the Olympics with­out reap­ing many of the eco­nomic ben­e­fits an­tic­i­pated.

Just like in the de­pleted field for the 2022 Win­ter Games which saw Bei­jing de­feat Al­maty, the IOC was left with only two can­di­dates again.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Los An­ge­les reached a deal on Mon­day with in­ter­na­tional Olympic lead­ers to host the 2028 Sum­mer Games.

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