The U.S. Olympic Committee is confident that Los Angeles will be its bid for the 2024 Olympics, USOC leaders said Wednesday.
The USOC and L.A. 2024 bid leaders hope to finalize terms before the International Olympic Committee’s Sept. 15 deadline to submit a bid.
The previous 2024 bid from Boston was dropped July 27, and the USOC said that day it still intended to bid for the 2024 Olympics with a different city.
“We’re very, very optimistic,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said of a potential Los Angeles bid Wednesday. “We’d love to have this wrapped up, decision made by the end of August.”
The USOC board of directors also discussed Wednesday replacing Boston with San Francisco or Washington, D.C., which along with Los Angeles were the other finalists to be the 2024 U.S. Olympic bid city. Boston beat them in a Jan. 8 announcement. At least two other cities that weren’t finalists also reached out to the USOC after Boston pulled out.
“Los Angeles gave us our best chance to win,” Blackmun said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to get this to the finish line.”
The USOC said it had 81 percent public support in Los Angeles from a poll commissioned in early August. Blackmun also said that a potential IOC host-city contract will be “a non-issue” with Los Angeles.
That contract was an issue with the Boston 2024 bid as Boston mayor Marty Walsh said he would not sign a document that could put taxpayers at risk if there were cost overruns.
Los Angeles hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1984. One city has hosted the Olympics three times — London in 1908, 1948 and 2012.
“You can’t overestimate the importance of the experience,” Blackmun said. “They’ve got strong venues. They have incredibly strong public support. They have incredibly strong political support [in the form of signed letters from politicians]. It’s a combination of things, all of which go to suggest it’s going to be a really positive experience for the people that come to the Games if L.A. is fortunate enough to win.”
Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome are confirmed bidders for the 2024 Olympics. The IOC will select the 2024 host city in 2017.
“L.A. has been there and understands the tremendous upside,” Blackmun said. “They’re also very aware that with any big project, there’s risk.”