IOC Exec Board Proposes L.A., Paris Host Next Two Games; Concessions On The Table
The IOC Exec Board on Friday endorsed a plan to give both Paris and L.A. the Olympics in the next decade, and IOC President Thomas Bach said he wants the two cities to agree on who goes first before a final IOC vote in September. The first stage of this radical departure from Olympic bidding protocol will come July 11-12, when the full IOC membership meets in Switzerland to ratify the Exec Board’s plan. If they do, it would assure the first U.S. Summer Games since '96. The IOC, LA 2024 and Paris '24 then would enter negotiations over order before the regularly scheduled IOC meeting Sept. 13 in Peru. "In an ideal world, there would be an agreement between the three parties, the two candidate cities and the IOC," Bach said. But he also would not say exactly what the membership would be voting on at the IOC session in September if an agreement is reached, nor would he say how a vote would proceed if there was not an agreement. It is widely believed in Olympic circles that plans are already being made to have Paris go first in ’24, but Bach insisted there are no done deals. "Both cities are open to being approached by the IOC after such a vote to discuss how to achieve a win-win-win situation," he said.
NEED SOMETHING IN RETURN: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has floated the proposal that the IOC should fund youth sports in the L.A. area in exchange for the city’s agreement to wait. Others have suggested L.A. would enjoy leverage to wring further financial concessions from the IOC. But Bach discouraged that notion, suggesting the city that waits has less leverage than some think. "I don’t think you need to reward somebody if you give somebody a present," Bach said (Ben Fischer, Staff Writer). USA TODAY's Rachel Axon noted should the IOC membership "approve the board's recommendation," the way forward is "less clear." With the prospect of being selected to host the '28 Games "being seen as a consolation prize," it is "expected the IOC will have discussions with both cities as to how the host city contract might change" (USATODAY.com, 6/9). In L.A., David Wharton noted accepting the '28 Games might give L.A. "leverage to negotiate a better deal, asking for a bigger slice of IOC revenues and other concessions" (LATIMES.com, 6/9).
GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: The L.A. TIMES editorial board wrote what is "important is that this uncommon arrangement offers L.A. an extraordinary opportunity." Garcetti said that there is a "chance now to push for concessions from the IOC." He should "focus on wrangling better terms in exchange for agreeing to go second." There is concern about the "potential costs to the city of putting on such a massive sporting event." Certainly L.A. is in a "much better position to put on an Olympic Games than other host cities." However, there are "any number of things that could go wrong" between '17-28 -- "earthquakes, riots and recessions, to name just a few of the possible catastrophes." Any of those "could throw a financial wrench in well-laid plans and leave the city with an Olympic-sized bill." Still, if Garcetti "truly believes the city can't lose on this Olympic bet, then he should have no trouble selling the IOC on this concession to the city's financial worrywarts." If the committee "balks, it would be a signal to city leaders that perhaps there is something to worry about after all" (LATIMES.com, 6/9).