LA City Council set to vote on 2028 Olympics plan before key financial reports are completed – Los Angeles Times
City Council President Herb Wesson said at a council hearing Friday that he wants a vote possibly as soon as next week on the host city contract. That agreement reflects the city’s commitment to host the Games in 11 years and puts Los Angeles taxpayers on the hook for cost overruns if unforeseen expenses arise.
Amid the fast pace of events — bid committee leaders just announced a deal this week with the International Olympic Committee to host the 2028 Games after the city originally sought the 2024 Games — many details remain unknown.
For example, Los Angeles advisors say they won’t have time to review a third-party analysis of the 2028 budget, as they did for the 2024 Games budget.
An analysis will be done, but that outside report isn’t likely to be finished for months, a September meeting in Peru to officially award Los Angeles the 2028 Games.
Asked to provide a rough estimate of the new 2028 budget, the bid committee’s chief executive, Gene Sykes, told reporters that inflation models could be applied to the 2024 budget of $5.3 billion — which was calculated in 2016 dollars — to arrive at the new spending plan.
However, Sykes didn’t cite a figure for the 2028 budget.
Securing the 2028 Games requires the council’s approval of both the host city contract and a memorandum of understanding with LA 2028, as the bid committee is now known, and the yet-to-be-formed organizing committee that will run the Games.
Mayor Eric Garcetti and the bid committee announced the agreement this week to bring the Olympics for a third time to Southern California. The proposed deal with the IOC includes retention of a potential surplus and funding for youth sports programs throughout the city.
Los Angeles boosters originally sought the 2024 Olympics, but agreed to go four years later to allow Paris to host in 2024.
A second Olympic committee meeting, followed by a full city council vote on the agreements, is planned. The process is more accelerated than the one for the 2024 bid, which has drawn criticism from NOlympics, a group opposed to L.A. hosting the Games.
A city report released Thursday by the Office of the City Administrative Officer and Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst outlined the risks in hosting in 2028.
“The additional four years add uncertainty concerning future economic and political conditions. Although such uncertainty exists with the 2024 Olympic Games which will occur in seven years, the four-year extension increases those uncertainties,” the report stated.
The report also discusses state legislation that provides for $250 million in state taxpayer support to cover cost overruns. However, that legislation was for the 2024 Games, according to the report.
Given the state Legislature’s schedule and ability to introduce a new bill or change the existing one, “the question of state support may not be resolved until 2018,” the report says.
The report also notes that “the bid committee is preparing a revised budget for the 2028 Games. As a result, the city has not had an opportunity to conduct a budget validation of the 2028 Games budget.”