Los Angeles 2024 Olympic projected ticket prices, venue map in bid book

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Olympic planners competing for the 2024 Games promised Thursday to help restore credibility and stability to the international sports festival as the world enters an era of uncertainty.

In documents submitted to the International Olympic Committee — known in Olympic parlance as the “Bid Book” — the privately run group known as LA2024 said it had crafted a “no surprises” plan that will closely watch the financial bottom line.

“The world is entering an era of unprecedented change and uncertainty,” the Los Angeles organizers wrote. “The 2024 Games must help restore the credibility of the Games, ensure financial stability for the Olympic movement and create new opportunities to engage with young people around the world.”

The $5.3 billion proposal includes housing most athletes at UCLA and using the planned NFL stadium in Inglewood that is expected to be completed in 2019.

The IOC is set to award the 2024 Olympics in September. Los Angeles is a finalist, along with Paris and Budapest, Hungary.

Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics.

The documents were released as questions linger about President Donald Trump‘s executive order temporarily banning refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The government has told the U.S. Olympic Committee that the ban shouldn’t impact athletes traveling to the U.S. for international events.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said earlier this week that he’s confident the IOC will evaluate the bid on its merits.

The proposal projects that Los Angeles would be able to fill seats at Olympic venues.

The millions of sporting-event tickets that are sold annually in Southern California, and the billions of dollars spent on such tickets nationally, provide “ready-made databases of target audiences,” organizers said.

But it will come at a cost.

Average seat prices vary widely but a spot at the Opening Ceremony would average nearly $1,800, the document said.

But an average ticket price for a less-in-demand event like golfing preliminaries would go for $13.

After anxiety over taxpayer costs helped cripple Boston’s 2024 Olympic bid, organizers in stand-in Los Angeles have made its tight budget a highlight of its proposal. It requires no new construction of permanent venues, instead relying on existing structures and arenas, all serving the IOC mandate for less-expensive Games that require less new construction.

Over the years Olympics have been notorious for cost overruns, and studies have questioned if host cities benefit economically. Russia has struggled with costs from the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which have been called the most expensive Olympics of all time.

In Rio de Janeiro last year, the spreading health crisis of the mosquito-born Zika virus kept some athletes away, promises to clean up Rio’s filthy waters remained unfulfilled and the heavy financial bill made them unpopular with many in Brazil.

Acknowledging the negative stories that surrounded the lead-up to past Olympics, the Los Angeles bid promised “compelling new Olympic narratives around fiscal responsibility, community partnerships, world-leading sustainability, youth engagement across diverse cultures, celebrity endorsement and new technologies.”

A new prong of the Los Angeles plan calls for creating a satellite village at the University of California, Riverside, for athletes who would compete in rowing events at Lake Perris.

And in a city synonymous with clogged freeways, the Los Angeles proposal set a bold, and maybe unrealistic, goal: Bring 100 percent of ticketed spectators to competition sites by public transportation or systems designed for spectators, such as shuttle buses.

Here is the full list of venues:

Downtown
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum — Opening/Closing Ceremonies, Track and Field
Dedeaux Field — Diving, Swimming, Synchronized Swimming
Staples Center — Basketball
Los Angeles Convention Center — Basketball, Boxing, Fencing, Table Tennis, Taekwondo
LA Football Club — Soccer (preliminaries)
USC’s Galen Center — Badminton
Microsoft Theater — Weightlifting
Grand Park/LA City Hall — Race Walk, Marathon, Road Cycling

Inglewood
LA Stadium at Hollywood Park (NFL stadium) — Opening/Closing Ceremonies, Archery
The Forum — Gymnastics

South Bay
StubHub Stadium — Modern Pentathlon, Rugby
StubHub Center Fields — Field Hockey
StubHub Tennis Center — Tennis
VELO Sports Center — Track Cycling
Long Beach-BMX — BMX

Long Beach
Long Beach Waterfront — Open-Water Swimming, Triathlon
Long Beach-Water Polo — Water Polo
Long Beach Arena — Handball
Long Beach Pier — Sailing

Olympic Village
UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion — Judo, Wrestling

Valley
Sepulveda Basin — Canoe Slalom, Equestrian, Shooting

Other Venues
Rose Bowl — Soccer (finals)
Santa Monica Beach — Beach Volleyball
Riviera Country Club — Golf
Honda Center — Volleyball
Bonelli Park — Mountain Bike
Lake Perris — Canoe Sprint, Rowing

MORE: 2024 Olympic bidding news

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IOC looks for ways Russian athletes ‘who do not support war’ could compete as neutrals

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GENEVA (AP) — Russian athletes who do not endorse their country’s war in Ukraine could be accepted back into international sports, competing under a neutral flag, IOC president Thomas Bach said in an interview published Friday.

“It’s about having athletes with a Russian passport who do not support the war back in competition,” Bach told Italian daily Corriere della Sera, adding, “We have to think about the future.”

Most sports followed IOC advice in February and banned Russian teams and athletes from their events within days of the country’s military invasion of Ukraine.

With Russians starting to miss events that feed into qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics, an exile extending into next year could effectively become a wider ban from those Games.

In an interview in Rome, Bach hinted at IOC thinking after recent rounds of calls with Olympic stakeholders asked for views on Russia’s pathway back from pariah status.

“To be clear, it is not about necessarily having Russia back,” he said. “On the other hand — and here comes our dilemma — this war has not been started by the Russian athletes.”

Bach did not suggest how athletes could express opposition to the war when dissent and criticism of the Russian military risks jail sentences of several years.

Some Russian athletes publicly supported the war in March and are serving bans imposed by their sport’s governing body.

Olympic gold medalist swimmer Yevgeny Rylov appeared at a pro-war rally attended by Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Gymnast Ivan Kuliak displayed a pro-military “Z” symbol on his uniform at an international event.

Russian former international athletes are being called up for military service in the current mobilization, according to media reports. They include former heavyweight boxing champion Nikolai Valuev and soccer player Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.

Russians have continued to compete during the war as individuals in tennis and cycling, without national symbols such as flags and anthems, even when teams have been banned.

Bach told Corriere della Sera it was the IOC’s mission to be politically neutral and “to have the Olympic Games, and to have sport in general, as something that still unifies people and humanity.”

“For all these reasons, we are in a real dilemma at this moment with regard to the Russian invasion in Ukraine,” he suggested. “We also have to see, and to study, to monitor, how and when we can come back to accomplish our mission to have everybody back again, under which format whatsoever.”

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How did U.S. women’s basketball replace its legends? It starts with Alyssa Thomas.

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If this FIBA World Cup marks the beginning of a new era of U.S. women’s basketball, it is notable, if not remarkable, that no player has been more visible than Alyssa Thomas.

Thomas is making her global championship debut in Sydney. She is the only woman on the team in her 30s. Rarely, if ever, has a player who waited this long to put on a U.S. uniform made such an impact out of the gate. Certainly not since the last major tournament in Australia, when 30-year-old Yolanda Griffith starred at the 2000 Olympics.

Over the last week, Thomas leads the U.S. in minutes played and is one of two players to start all seven games along with Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP. She ranks fourth on the team in scoring (10.6 points per game), is tied for second in rebounding (6.7), second in assists (4.6) and first in steals (2.7).

The Americans, with their new breakthrough power forward, face China in Saturday’s final, seeking a fourth consecutive world title and 60th consecutive victory between Olympic and world championship play dating to 2006.

“She takes a lot of pressure off of us,” two-time WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson said after Thomas had 13 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in a quarterfinal win over Serbia. “I think she’s the glue of this team, the X-factor of this team, because that’s her game and that’s her style.”

Thomas earned the nickname “Baby Bron Bron” at the University of Maryland for her LeBron James-like play. USA Basketball took notice in 2013, when she was one of six collegians named to a 33-player national team training camp.

But that participation was the last of Thomas’ bullet points on her USA Basketball bio for another nine years, until she was named to the FIBA World Cup qualifying team last February.

Thomas had to wait her turn.

The U.S. was loaded in the frontcourt in the 2010s with more established players — Candace ParkerTina CharlesSylvia FowlesBrittney GrinerElena Delle Donne — and then Stewart and Wilson came along, becoming arguably the two most valuable Americans in the last Olympic cycle.

Thomas produced, to that point, the best WNBA season of her career in 2020, but tore an Achilles playing overseas in January 2021, ruling out any chance of making the Tokyo Olympic team. (Thomas was not in the 36-player national team pool at the time of her injury.)

The combination of players’ absences this year — Charles, after three Olympic golds, ceded to younger players, Fowles retired and Griner is being detained in Russia — and Cheryl Reeve becoming head coach created an opportunity.

Thomas seized it, leading the Connecticut Sun to the WNBA Finals, where she recorded triple-doubles in the last two games of a series loss to the Las Vegas Aces. Then she boarded a plane to Sydney for her first major international experience and has similarly flourished.

Jennifer Rizzotti, part of the USA Basketball selection committee, said the 6-foot-2 Thomas combines the movement of Lindsay Whalen, the passing of Parker and the physicality of Rebekkah Brunson. She plays with labrum tears in each shoulder. There’s no single player like her.

“There’s definitely some post players that have that point forward mentality, but not quite with the guard skills that Alyssa has,” Rizzotti said. “I don’t see anybody, including guards, that can do what she does in the open court. Then you talk about how disruptive she is defensively and her ability to guard one through five. A’ja can guard one through five, Stewie can guard one through five, but nobody’s as disruptive as Alyssa is. On the perimeter and off the ball.”

Thomas also fit what Reeve, who succeeded Dawn Staley as head coach, was looking for in retooling the roster following the retirement of Sue Bird and possible end of Diana Taurasi‘s national team career at age 40.

“[Reeve] made it clear that she was hoping with the guard turnover that we would be able to play faster, more athletically, more possessions in the game,” Rizzotti said. “And therefore, she wanted to have post players that could push tempo, that could facilitate and kind of fit in with a ball-handling, passing mentality from the trail spot.”

Still, Thomas did not expect to be putting on a USA jersey this year. “Shocked” is the word USA Basketball chose to describe her reaction to making this team.

“It was kind of a surprise,” she said, according to USA Basketball. “I had just really taken my name out of it.”

Rizzotti said Thomas is an example — a very successful one, it turns out — of an asset in the eyes of the selection committee: patience.

“I think a lot of players feel like if they don’t make the USA national team right away, it’s never going to happen,” she said. “You get the comments like, oh, it’s political, or they keep inviting the same guys back. And it’s not true.”

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