City Council unanimous in final approval for LA to host 2024 Olympics – Los Angeles Times
In a move expected for several weeks, the Los Angeles City Council has given unanimous final approval to a privately run bid that could bring the Olympics back to Southern California.
The council’s vote on Wednesday means that if L.A. is selected as host of the 2024 Summer Games, the city will sign a contract agreeing to cover any financial shortfalls.
Bid leaders have estimated the mega-sporting event would cost $5.3 billion to put on, an amount they say could be covered with revenues from sources such as broadcast rights, corporate sponsorships and ticket sales.
The LA 2024 committee has also agreed to terms with council members on a number of financing safeguards, pledging to take out insurance policies and set aside a $491.9-million contingency fund for cost overruns.
Last week, an ad hoc committee of the council expressed satisfaction with the bid, recommending approval.
“I’ve been seen as kind of a fly in the ointment,” Councilman Paul Krekorian said at the time. “I really am at a point now where I have zero concern about impacts on the taxpayers of Los Angeles.”
L.A., which previously hosted financially successful Games in 1932 and 1984, is competing against Paris and Budapest, Hungary, this time around, with the International Olympic Committee scheduled to select a host in September.
The IOC requires winning candidates to sign a host city contract that includes government financial backing.
Under the current proposed arrangement, if an L.A. Olympics were to run over budget, the city would be responsible for the first $250 million, after which the state of California has said it would pay an additional $250 million. Any remaining debt would revert back to the city.
Cities across the world have grown increasingly jittery about hosting the Olympics after Montreal and Athens were left with large deficits from their Games.
So far, the LA 2024 plan has earned high marks for cutting billions in potential construction costs by making use of existing venues such as the Coliseum, Staples Center and Pauley Pavilion.
Follow @LAtimesWharton on Twitter