USA TODAY International Edition
L. A. leaders see positives in dual award
Savings possible with ’ 24/’ 28 accord
LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND For Los Angeles and Paris, the question has moved from if they can reach an agreement with the International Olympic Committee on the 2024 and 2028 Games to how.
A day after the IOC’s unanimous vote to try to reach such a deal, leaders from both bids were focused on the process to decide on both Games by Sept. 13 when the IOC meets in Lima, Peru.
Despite their public commitments to reaching an agreement, Los Angeles and Paris bid leaders were mostly mum on what that would take.
“I think the ultimate result is you’re going to have Los Angeles and Paris hosting an Olympic Games, and that’s something everyone should be excited about,” LA 2024 bid chairman Casey Wasserman said. “It’s a situation where the details matter, so we’re going to have to spend a lot of time on the details as it relates to both ’ 24 and ’ 28, not just independently, but how the opportunity to plan two Games at once can create real meaningful opportunities.”
Los Angeles and Paris wrapped up two days of meetings with the IOC at SwissTech Convention Center on Wednesday. After their official presentations Tuesday, each bid had presentation rooms that included models of their cities, along with Olympic memorabilia and virtual reality and interactive displays.
Traditionally, those presentations would help IOC members learn more information about the bids they’re voting on and allow the bids to address further questions.
But they likely just affirmed the IOC’s decision Tuesday to reach a tripartite agreement with Los Angeles and Paris.
“We felt the same way we felt after the evaluation commission came to visit us — that we had accomplished what we had set to accomplish,” LA 2024 CEO Gene Sykes said of Tuesday’s presentation, “and then to have the IOC session vote to award both ’ 24 and ’ 28 at the same time, essentially saying … both cities are qualified to host the Olympic Games, that’s a very exciting outcome, and we’re pleased.”
The bids and the IOC must reach an agreement that determines which city gets 2024 and which gets 2028. The IOC would ratify any such deal in Lima.
IOC President Thomas Bach said the discussions would start Thursday or Friday.
“We do not want to have to arrive in Lima and still negotiate and still have uncertainty,” Bach said. “After the reaction I had from the two mayors, I am pretty optimistic.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who are good friends and celebrated on stage after the IOC’s vote, both said Tuesday that they would try to reach an agreement.
Leaders for both bids wouldn’t discuss what they expect out of the talks or what it would take to accept a 2028 Olympics. In statements over the last several months, Paris bid leaders have been more steadfast in their assertion that they could host the Games only in 2024 — a year that marks the centennial of the city’s last Olympics. Los Angeles, meanwhile, has applauded the IOC for considering the dual award option but focused solely on 2024 before the vote.
That has fueled the belief that Paris would go first with the 2024 Games, followed by Los Angeles in 2028.
Regardless of the order, the three parties agree the deal would provide an opportunity to collaborate and reduce costs for each Olympics.
“Working hand in hand on a couple of editions can actually bring a lot of opportunities, and that’s the whole point of what the IOC is doing,” Paris 2024 CEO Etienne Thobois said.
“It brings also a certain soul and color because Games will be different from one to another but there’s still common grounds to make it cheaper.”