SBD/August 3, 2017/Olympics

Wasserman, Garcetti Talk Use Of L.A. Coliseum, Public Transportation For '28 Games

LA '28 Chair Casey Wasserman and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday appeared on "The Bill Simmons Podcast" to discuss the '28 Games. Wasserman said USC is "going to modernize" L.A. Memorial Coliseum, but the temporary track being built inside the venue will cost over $100M. Wasserman: "That is actually the most expensive thing we build for the Olympic Games is that temporary track." Garcetti said some of the concerns about the Games are traffic and transportation, but during the actual Games "people leave" the area and "also we dedicate lanes not just for the athletes and the Olympic folks but any of the fans who are going on the shuttles. We will guarantee you the quickest rides you've ever seen in L.A. On top of that, public transportation will be built out by then. We'll have LAX connected to public transportation." Host Bill Simmons asked, "LAX is going to be connected to public transportation? That's actually happening?" Garcetti responded, "It’s actually happening." Wasserman said at this point it was about "figuring out" what to do." Wasserman: "We just have to go execute now." He noted LA '28 has to "go generate" $3-3.5B in revenue, which is less than the '12 London Games generated, "so I think we’re pretty conservative." Wasserman: "The plan is in place, the opportunity is there, now we just have to go make it happen." Garcetti said he is "not really stressed about anything except momentum because I want people to feel excitement, but when I look at it what could go wrong? The Staples Center isn't going to disappear, UCLA isn't going to pack up and not be a place." Garcetti said the Olympics are "coming and that’s great, but we still need to address the rest of the problems the city faces," because city officials are "actually improving the city at the same time we’re preparing for the Olympics" ("The Bill Simmons Podcast," THERINGER.com, 8/1).
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