L.A.'s Olympic Bid Committee Still Must Receive City Approval On IOC Agreement
Now that L.A.’s Olympic bid committee has negotiated terms with the IOC to host the '28 Games, officials "must repeat the process" completed for the '24 bid and approve a "financial guarantee" with the city to seal the bid, according to a front-page piece by Dakota Smith of the L.A. TIMES. L.A. city officials "backed an agreement in January putting taxpayers on the hook for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns" from the '24 Games, if L.A. were selected as host and "unforeseen expenses arose." City leaders said that they "expect to vote on the host city contract by late next week -- a more accelerated process" than the one for the '24 bid. The first step in the review is scheduled Friday, when the City Council’s Olympic committee will be "briefed on the agreement." L.A. Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who serves on the committee, said that he had "not yet seen" the '28 agreement or "received any analysis of it." He indicated that "neither he nor his colleagues would want to be rushed." The 46-page host city contract for '28 was made public Monday by the IOC. Some details about the '28 Games budget and plans are "still unclear." The IOC "hasn’t posted its operational requirements agreement" for the '28 Games, which is "part of the host city contract" (L.A. TIMES, 8/2).
NEW MODEL: LA ’28 Chair Casey Wasserman and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti appeared together on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” yesterday afternoon, with Garcetti noting for the ’28 Games “we want to show the Olympic movement and our city a new model for profitability, for sustainability and bringing a legacy back to the people of the city. Not buildings, but actually getting young people involved in sports and their own health. We had a deal that was so good in 2028 we just couldn't say no.” Wasserman said to pay for the Games begins with $2.1B which leaves $3B “to generate locally which allows us from ticket sales and sponsorships, in very conservative estimates, less ticket revenue than Rio, less sponsorship revenue than London, to deliver a Games that is financially profitable for city of L.A.” Garcetti: “There’s no L.A. taxpayer money going into this" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 8/1).
SUPPORT SYSTEM: According to a Loyola Marymount poll commissioned by LA '28 officials, local support for the '28 Games in L.A. is "nearly as strong" as it was for Southern California hosting the '24 Games. In California, Scott Reid notes LMU found 54% of L.A. residents responding they "strongly supported" the '28 Games and 29% "somewhat" supported those Games. The 83% total for support is "down slightly" from the 88% support for the '24 Games in an earlier poll by LMU (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 8/2). On Long Island, Neil Best writes, "The rest of America is on board, because we are happy to have the Games back in the USA and even happier that the rest of us aren’t the ones hosting them." Best: "This L.A. news is excellent all around" (NEWSDAY, 8/2).
OLD WOUNDS: A BOSTON GLOBE editorial states that the fanfare this week around the selection of L.A. as host of the '28 Games "provides a taste of what Boston lost when it abandoned its bid for the Games" in '15. The opportunity to "move Boston beyond gangster films and Freedom Trail platitudes, and reintroduce the nation’s oldest big city as the educational and research powerhouse it has become, was a key part of the appeal of the failed" '24 Games bid. The proposal for a "walkable Olympics would have left an enduring imprint on the city’s physical form, and held out the promise of bringing together disparate and sometimes fractious communities and neighborhoods through the transformative power of sports." The challenge now for Boston is to "rekindle and redirect the civic energy that the Olympics bid unleashed" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/2).