SBD/March 3, 2014/Olympics

L.A. Increases Efforts For '24 Summer Games Bid, With Local Political Powers Onboard

L.A. Memorial Coliseum could potentially be a focal point for the '24 Games
L.A. officials are "stepping up their efforts" to host the '24 Olympics and "overcome perceived obstacles" that could keep the IOC from looking elsewhere, according to Rick Orlov of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. The city "plans to submit its bid" to the USOC for the '24 Games in September. The USOC "will then select a city and likely deliver its recommendation to the IOC by the end of the year." Univ. of Michigan sports management professor Stefan Szymanski said, "L.A. is in a good position with its facilities, it has most of what is needed." He added that "one of the questions that will need to be answered is if the IOC wants to push for new construction." Szymanski: "It is always possible there will be a backlash against gigantism and a more modest Games will become a popular option. I just don’t see that yet." Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games Chair Barry Sanders said, "We should want the Games because of the joy it brings. We are redoubling our effort to bring this event back to Los Angeles." Sanders "touted all of the new and refurbished sports facilities in and around the city that didn’t exist" for the '84 Games, such as Staples Center, StubHub Center in Carson, USC's Galen Center, a remodeled Rose Bowl and renovated Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus. Sanders said that, "unlike the bid" for the '84 Games, support for the '24 Summer Games has come from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, the City Council, county Board of Supervisors as well as neighboring cities, such as Pasadena, "where the Rose Bowl would likely be a featured site" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 3/3).

'TIS THE SEASON: A BOSTON GLOBE editorial asked if the city should “be considering” a bid for the ‘26 Winter Games, rather than the '24 Games. A bid for the '26 Games is “worth exploring" as long as organizers establish -- for either a Summer or Winter Games bid -- that the IOC “would entertain a pragmatic bid that avoids glitzy projects that would only get two weeks of use.” The Winter Games “are more manageable than their summer counterpart.” Boston already has many viable venues for a Winter Games, and the savings “from avoiding unnecessary construction could be spent instead” on Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority upgrades and “other long-lasting improvements.” The IOC “should reward, not punish, would-be host cities that show a concern for frugality” (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/2).

HANG TEN: In Sydney, Amanda Lulham wrote surfing is "increasingly being perceived as an attractive addition to the Olympic program in the wake of snowboarding's incredible popularity at the Winter Olympics." Surfer Kelly Slater "thinks surfing as an Olympic sport is a swell idea." Slater said that the surfing community is "divided about the sport entering the Olympic arena but he welcomes the move and believes wave pools are surfing’s way onto the Games program" (Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/1).
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