Los Angeles 2024

Los Angeles agrees to host 2028 Olympics after Paris in 2024

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles reached an agreement Monday with international Olympic leaders that will open the way for the city to host the 2028 Summer Games, while ceding the 2024 Games to rival Paris.

The deal would make LA a three-time Olympic city, after hosting the 1932 and 1984 Games.

With the agreement, the city is taking “a major step toward bringing the Games back to our city for the first time in a generation,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement.

He called it a “historic day for Los Angeles, for the United States” and the Olympic movement.

The agreement follows a vote earlier this month by the International Olympic Committee to seek an unusual deal to award the 2024 and 2028 Games simultaneously. Paris is the only city left to host the 2024 Games.

The Los Angeles City Council and U.S. Olympic Committee board of directors will consider the agreement for approval in August. If approved, the IOC, LA and Paris may enter a three-part agreement, clearing the way for the IOC to simultaneously award the 2024 Games to Paris, and the 2028 Games to LA. The IOC vote is scheduled for September, in Lima, Peru.

In a statement, the Paris bid committee welcomed the announcement in Los Angeles but stopped short of confirming the obvious, that Paris is in line for the 2024 Games.

“Paris 2024 is proud to be working together with the IOC and our friends in Los Angeles to reach a positive solution for both cities, the Games and the whole Olympic Movement for 2024 and 2028,” committee co-chair Tony Estanguet said.

MORE: LA’s ties to the Olympics

In embracing what amounted to the second-place prize and an 11-year wait, LA will receive a financial sweetener.

Under the terms of the deal, the IOC will advance funds to the Los Angeles organizing committee to recognize the extended planning period and to increase youth sports programs leading up to the Games. The IOC contribution could exceed $2 billion, according to LA officials. That figure takes into account the estimated value of existing sponsor agreements that would be renewed, as well as potential new marketing deals.

The delay to 2028 opens a host of questions for Los Angeles, which is looking at the prospect of retooling its multibillion-dollar plans for more than a decade into the future. It would face challenges from maintaining public interest to recasting deals for stadiums, arenas and housing that have been in the works for months and even years.

LA and Paris were the last two bids remaining after a tumultuous process that exposed the unwillingness of cities to bear the financial burden of hosting an event that has become synonymous with cost overruns.

LA was not even the first American entrant in the contest. Boston withdrew two years ago as public support for its bid collapsed over concerns about use of taxpayer cash. The U.S. bid switched from the east to the West Coast as LA re-entered the race.

But the same apprehensions that spooked politicians and the local population in Boston soon became evident in Europe where three cities pulled out.

Uncomfortably for IOC President Thomas Bach, whose much-vaunted Agenda 2020 reforms were designed to make hosting more streamlined and less costly after the lavish 2014 Sochi Games, the first withdrawal came from his homeland of Germany.

TIMELINE: L.A.’s path to becoming Olympic host again

The lack of political unity for a bid in Hamburg was mirrored in Rome and Budapest as support for bids waned among local authorities and the population. It was clear they did not want to be saddled with skyrocketing bills for hosting the Olympics without reaping many of the economic benefits anticipated.

Just like in the depleted field for the 2022 Winter Games which saw Beijing defeat Almaty, the IOC was left with only two candidates again.

With two powerful cities left vying for 2024, Bach realized France or the U.S. could be deterred from going through another contest for 2028 if they lost. Bach floated the idea in December of making revisions to the bidding process to prevent it producing “too many losers,” building support that led to LA and Paris being able to figure out themselves how to share the 2024 and 2028 Games.

The dual award of the Games relieves the IOC of having to test the global interest in hosting the Summer Olympics for several years until the 2032 Games are up for grabs.

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson called the agreement a “win-win-win scenario.”

The opportunity to host the Games “is a golden occasion further strengthening Los Angeles — not just through bricks and mortar, but through new opportunities for our communities to watch, play and benefit from sport,” Wesson said.

The U.S. will host its first Olympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996). Paris will host for the first time since 1924.

The U.S. ends its longest drought between hosting an Olympics since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960. It failed in bids for 2012 (New York City) and 2016 (Chicago).

Paris was a finalist for 1992, 2008 and 2012.

The last time two Olympic hosts were determined at once was in 1921, when the 1924 Paris and 1928 Amsterdam Games were awarded, according to Olympstats.com. LA and Paris will join London as the only cities to host the Olympics three times.

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MORE: Rose Bowl, Staples Center among LA Olympic venues

Los Angeles’ ties to the Olympics

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Few cities can match Los Angeles’ rich Olympic history.

Los Angeles will in 2028 become the third city to host three Olympics, following London and Paris.

L.A. hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Games, with its main Olympic Stadium, the LA Memorial Coliseum, expected to return in 2028.

Some of the greatest U.S. Olympians are natives of Southern California, trained there or took part in some of the greatest competitions of their careers in the City of Angels.

Those who have called the Los Angeles area home include:

Evelyn Ashford (Track and field, 4 gold medals)
Shirley Babashoff
(Swimming, 9 medals)
Matt Biondi
(Swimming, 11 medals)
Gail Devers (Track and field, 3 gold medals)
Janet Evans (Swimming, 4 gold medals)
Allyson Felix (Track and field, 6 gold medals)
Lisa Fernandez (Softball, 3 gold medals)
Florence Griffith-Joyner (Track and field, 3 gold medals)
Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Track and field, 6 medals)
Karch Kiraly (Beach volleyball/Volleyball, 3 gold medals)
Lisa Leslie (Basketball, 4 gold medals)
Carl Lewis (Track and field, 9 gold medals)
Greg Louganis (Diving, 4 gold medals)
Misty May-Treanor (Beach volleyball, 3 gold medals)
Aaron Peirsol (Swimming, 5 gold medals)
Kim Rhode (Shooting, 6 medals)
Jim Thorpe (Track and field, 2 gold medals)
Dara Torres (Swimming, 12 medals)
Kerri Walsh Jennings (Beach volleyball, 3 gold medals)
Johnny Weissmuller (Swimming, 5 gold medals)
Serena Williams (Tennis, 4 gold medals)
Venus Williams (Tennis, 4 gold medals)

Some of the names most associated with Los Angeles professional sports teams are Olympians, from Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant to Wayne Gretzky to Candace Parker to Landon Donovan. Even longtime Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda guided the 2000 U.S. Olympic baseball team to gold.

UCLA’s Rafer Johnson lit the cauldron at the Los Angeles 1984 Opening Ceremony, 24 years after he won Olympic decathlon gold. He would be 92 years old come the 2028 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

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MORE: Rose Bowl, Staples Center among LA Olympic venues

IOC approves awarding 2024, 2028 Olympics to LA, Paris

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The IOC ratified a proposal to award both the 2024 and 2028 Olympics this summer, paving the way for Los Angeles and Paris to both host the Games.

Which city gets 2024 and which gets 2028 is to be decided after further negotiations among both cities and the IOC. LA and Paris both prefer 2024 over 2028.

“One of them would put their hand up for 2028 and that same city would vacate 2024,” IOC vice president John Coates said.

If an agreement can’t be reached, only the normal 2024 Olympic vote will happen in September between LA and Paris, the two remaining 2024 finalists.

The last time two Olympic hosts were determined at once was in 1921, when the 1924 Paris and 1928 Amsterdam Games were awarded, according to Olympstats.com.

The IOC deemed the LA and Paris bids for 2024 so strong that it wanted to grant an Olympics to each city.

“This is a golden opportunity,” IOC president Thomas Bach said of the rare double-awarding proposal by the IOC executive board before it was ratified in Lausanne, Switzerland. “It’s hard to imagine something better.”

VIDEO: Kobe Bryant closes LA 2024 bid presentation

The U.S. would host its first Olympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996). Paris would host for the first time since 1924.

The U.S. would end its longest drought between hosting an Olympics since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960. It failed in bids for 2012 (New York City) and 2016 (Chicago).

Paris, a finalist for 1992, 2008 and 2012, is reported by many as the frontrunner for the 2024 Olympics, which would be on the 100th anniversary of its last time hosting.

A Paris bid leader has gone so far as to issue an ultimatum, repeatedly, earlier this year that it would not accept the 2028 Olympics. LA 2024 leaders have not closed the door on accepting 2028.

“From the beginning, we approached this bid in a manner that is different from our competitors,” LA 2024 bid chairman Casey Wasserman said in a presentation to IOC members before Tuesday’s vote. “We’ve never given you an ultimatum about 2024. We don’t believe in ultimatums.”

Whoever gets the 2024 and 2028 Games, this much is clear: LA and Paris would join London as the only cities to host the Olympics three times.

LA and Paris were the remaining 2024 finalists after Boston, Hamburg, Rome and Budapest dropped out.

MORE: Rose Bowl, Staples Center among LA Olympic venues

Changing political climates in France and the U.S. were also a part of this Olympic bid race.

New French President Emmanuel Macron is in Lausanne for this week’s IOC session. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted his support Tuesday for an LA Olympic bid.

“The Olympic Games, as we all know, are not and have never been immune to geopolitics,” USOC chairman Larry Probst told his fellow IOC members during LA 2024’s presentation Tuesday morning. “As IOC members, we strive to separate politics and sport in our decisions. I know this is difficult, especially today. It is difficult for me as well. It is our duty to do our best.”

The LA 2024 bid presentation team included Olympic champions Janet Evans, Allyson Felix, Michael Johnson and Angela Ruggiero, who is an IOC member.

Kobe Bryant starred in the team’s last prerecorded video shown to IOC members to close its 50-minute presentation.

“To have the Olympics here and to have so many different cultures represented would be a beautiful story to tell,” Bryant said.

The video faded behind the LA 2024 slogan, “Follow the Sun,” amid applause from IOC members. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Wasserman then exchanged fist pounds at the podium.

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