Los Angeles 2024
LA 2024

LA 2024 Olympic bid budget one-quarter the size of Tokyo 2020

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The Los Angeles bid committee for the 2024 Olympics released details of a nearly unheard-of budget plan Friday, insisting $5.3 billion will be enough to cover both operational and infrastructure costs for an Olympics that won’t need any new, permanent stadiums.

The cost would be less than half that of the recently completed Rio Games and about a quarter of Tokyo’s ballooning budget for the 2020 Olympics.

It also defies convention in the Olympic bidding business, in which cities traditionally deal with two figures — one for operational costs and one for “non-Olympics” costs that cover capital and infrastructure.

Bid officials say they can do this because more than 30 venues already exist in the L.A. area and those that don’t will be built as temporary structures. The bid folded in $1.2 billion for infrastructure, which would primarily be used for temporary venues and to bring existing ones up to Olympic standards.

“If LA is chosen to host the 2024 Games, the IOC does not have to worry about changing or evolving budgets, shifting competition venues or uncertainty about the delivery of the Games,” bid chairman Casey Wasserman said.

Los Angeles is going against Paris and Budapest, Hungary. Preliminary figures for Paris called for an infrastructure budget of $4.5 billion and operational costs of $4.8 billion, with 95 percent of the city’s proposed venues either temporary or already in existence. The next deadline for cities to submit candidate files, which will include updated budget figures, is Feb. 3. The Games will be awarded next September.

Gone from Los Angeles’ budget was a one-time projected surplus of $161 million. In its place is a $491 million contingency fund that would cover cost overruns.

Wasserman said all the figures are conservative and the numbers come in low because no major construction projects are needed. Los Angeles has already committed to more than $200 billion in transit and airport projects, regardless of whether it wins the Olympic bid. Often, projects such as those get approved in conjunction with an Olympic bid.

In providing a $5.3 billion budget, Los Angeles is playing to the International Olympic Committee’s attempt to keep costs — and building — in check; decades of runaway spending have greatly reduced interest in hosting.

Rio de Janeiro is expected to come in with a bill of between $10 billion and $12 billion for its recently completed Olympics.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles released its figures only hours after an IOC vice president called Tokyo’s $20 billion budget unacceptable. A government panel in Japan has said costs could reach $30 billion, more than four times the initial estimate.

Wasserman said the IOC will not be surprised when it sees all items wrapped into a single L.A. budget.

“The process has been very open and transparent,” he said.

The budget was also being independently reviewed by the accounting firm KPMG, which was expected to release its findings later Friday.

The bid’s top revenue sources are domestic sponsorship ($1.93 billion), ticketing ($1.47 billion) and IOC contributions from broadcasting ($855 million) and sponsorship ($453 million).

VIDEO: Los Angeles Olympic bid venues

Alina Zagitova eyes more gold at worlds; women’s preview

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Alina Zagitova hasn’t lost internationally in 18 months, and that doesn’t figure to change this week at the world championships in Milan.

The 15-year-old Russian is favored to become the youngest world gold medalist since Tara Lipinski (duplicating her feat from the Olympics) and make it five straight Olympic or world titles for Russian women, the longest streak for one country since American Carol Heiss won six straight Olympic/world titles from 1956 through 1960.

Zagitova would also become the first Olympic women’s champion to win worlds the following month since Kristi Yamaguchi in 1992. That’s largely because Olympic champions usually skip worlds in Olympic years. Since Yamaguchi, the only one to compete was Yuna Kim, who grabbed silver in 2010.

Zagitova may be young, but she may not have the longevity of Kim to make it to a second Olympics. Russia turns over a new class of elite women’s skaters every year.

Two weeks ago, 13-year-old Alexandra Trusova won the world junior title as the first woman to land two different quadruple jumps in one program. Trusova isn’t old enough to compete at the senior worlds until 2020.

Zagitova’s current rival and training partner, Olympic silver medalist and 2016 and 2017 World champion Yevgenia Medvedeva, withdrew from worlds due to injury.

WORLDS: TV Schedule | Pairs Preview | Nagasu’s Outlook

Which leaves the last two Olympic bronze medalists, Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada and Carolina Kostner of Italy, plus PyeongChang fourth-place finisher Satoko Miyahara of Japan as the top challengers this week.

None finished within seven points of Zagitova at any competition this season, the Russian’s first on the senior international level.

Zagitova set herself apart at the Olympics by putting all of her jumps in the second half of her programs for 10 percent bonuses and landing them all with positive grades of execution.

The U.S. contingent includes national champion Bradie Tennell, two-time Olympian Mirai Nagasu and Mariah Bell (replacement for 2017 U.S. champion Karen Chen).

It is the end of a challenging season for U.S. women. In the autumn, none qualified for the Grand Prix Final for a second straight year (after at least one had done so each of the previous seven seasons).

In PyeongChang, no U.S. woman finished in the top six for the first time in Winter Games history. Tennell, who emerged this season after placing ninth at 2017 Nationals, was the top U.S. Olympic finisher in ninth.

Tennell goes into worlds as the top seeded American — seventh — by best international scores this season.

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Olympic golf qualifying, format largely unchanged for 2020

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The Tokyo 2020 Olympic golf tournaments qualifying and format will remain largely the same as they were for the sport’s return to the Games in 2016, according to Golf Channel, citing a memo sent to PGA Tour players.

The format will again be four rounds of stroke play with 60 men and 60 women taken from the world rankings, according to the report.

The qualifying window to determine the rankings will be July 1, 2018 to June 22, 2020 for men and July 8, 2018 to June 29, 2020 for women. That’s a slight change, as for 2016 the dates were the same for men and women.

The 2016 process saw a maximum of two men and two women per country, or up to four if they were ranked in the top 15.

Then-PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said one month after the Rio Games that he hoped the Olympic golf format would be changed to have more medals awarded.

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