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

IOC group proposes Olympic ‘host’ can be multiple countries

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International Olympic Committee members will decide next month whether to tweak the definition of an Olympic host to make it clear that it does not necessarily refer to a single city but can also mean multiple cities, regions and even countries, IOC President Thomas Bach said Wednesday.

“It’s not an encouragement to spread the Games out as much as possible,” Bach said in announcing the IOC’s executive board approved the measure. “It may be preferable to have a region as a signatory or an additional signatory of the host city contract rather than just a city, and therefore, we wanted to enjoy this flexibility. This, on the other hand, does not change our vision, our request and our focus on having not only an Olympic Village, but to have an Olympic center.”

It’s one of six proposed changes by a working group chaired by Australian IOC member John Coates to examine the bid process. Another is to make the timing of Olympic host city elections more flexible. Typically, hosts are elected seven years before the Games, though two years ago an exception was made in the double awarding of the 2024 and 2028 Games to Paris and Los Angeles.

Bach repeated that the proposals are “to avoid producing too many losers as we had it in the past candidature procedures.”

The IOC previously said in 2014, in announcing Agenda 2020, that it “will allow events held outside the host city or, in exceptional cases, outside the host country, notably for reasons of geography and sustainability.”

This shift manifests in Stockholm’s 2026 Winter Olympic bid plan to have sliding sports in Sigulda, Latvia, home of the nearest existing track for bobsled, luge and skeleton, rather than building a costly new track in Sweden.

IOC members will vote to choose the 2026 Winter Games host next month. The finalists are Stockholm and a joint Italian bid of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, after five other potential candidates were dropped for various reasons.

There is precedent for events held far from the Olympic host city. In 1956, Melbourne held the Summer Games and had equestrian events in Stockholm due to quarantine laws in Australia. Similarly, equestrian at the 2008 Beijing Games was held in Hong Kong.

Soccer matches are often held in cities across the host country. Recent Winter Olympics have had mountain events in a different city or area than arena events.

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IOC board recommends AIBA suspension, boxing stays in Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee executive board recommended that AIBA has its recognition as boxing’s international federation suspended but that the sport remains on the Olympic program at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

An IOC decision on the recommendation will be made next month. The IOC created a group to organize 2020 Olympic boxing qualifying and competition if AIBA will not be allowed to run it.

“We want to ensure that the athletes can live their dream and participate in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 while drawing the necessary consequences for AIBA,” IOC president Thomas Bach said in a press release. “At the same time, we offer a pathway back to lifting the suspension, but there needs to be further fundamental change.”

The IOC said in October that boxing’s place in the Olympics was “under threat” after being introduced at the 1904 St. Louis Games and held at every Games since except Stockholm 1912.

In November, the IOC ordered an inquiry into AIBA, which has been in financial turmoil, faced claims of fixed bouts at the Rio Games and elected a president linked to organized crime.

That president, Uzbek Gafur Rakhimov, stepped aside in March to let an interim leader take charge but said he was not resigning. Rakhimov is on a U.S. Treasury Department sanctions list for suspected links to an organized crime group in former Soviet Union republics involved in heroin trafficking. He denies any wrongdoing.

“Serious governance issues remain, including breaches of the Olympic Charter and the IOC Code of Ethics regarding good governance and ethics, leading to serious reputational, legal and financial risks for the IOC, the Olympic Movement and its stakeholders,” the inquiry committee concluded. “AIBA has been unable to demonstrate a sustainable and fair management of refereeing and judging processes and decisions, increasing the lack of confidence that athletes can have in fair competitions.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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