The 2024 or ’28 Olympics in LA? These readers don’t share Mayor Garcetti’s excitement. – Los Angeles Times
By most accounts, the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles were a smashing success: The air was clean, the freeways clear, the Soviets absent and the American athletes dominant.
There’s also the little fact that the city actually made money hosting the Games.
You wouldn’t know this reading letters submitted to The Times. Reacting to the International Olympic Committee’s unprecedented decision this week to award the 2024 and 2028 Games simultaneously to Los Angeles and Paris (which city would get which year is to be determined), readers did not echo the triumphal notes sounded by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was in Switzerland when the IOC made its announcement. Here are their letters.
Mary Leah Plante of Los Angeles wants City Hall to fix the chronic homelessness problem first:
May the photograph accompanying the print article regarding awarding the Olympics to Paris or Los Angeles in 2024 be an indicator of what happens. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, is slightly in front of Garcetti. I hope this in some way predicts what will happen when it comes time to award the Games.
We need a mayor and a City Council willing to work more frequently with experts to reduce homelessness and to support low-income communities. That’s the real “Olympian” task, not hosting an expensive sports exhibition in just seven years.
Studio City’s Richard Whorton believes the mayor needs to reevaluate:
It’s time for Garcetti to prioritize. What’s it going to be, focusing on Los Angeles’ all-important pension vote (a Times article quotes the mayor through a spokesman) or the Olympic Games, which seems to be his biggest priority?
Garcetti’s involvement in trying to bring the Olympics to Los Angeles will not make or break the final decision on whether we get the Games in 2024 or 2028. But his involvement on highly important local issues matters a great deal to residents.
Don A. Norman of Los Angeles doesn’t want the 2028 consolation prize:
L.A. and Paris are tied in the race to host the 2024 Summer Games. It would be a travesty for our city to let up before the finish line.
If we “play nice” and postpone our hosting until 2028, the costs would be devastating. Our primary venue, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, will be more than 100 years old, and Staples Center along with other existing sites will be long in the tooth too. While the venues our city offered in 1984 were up to the job, they would have to be rebuilt or refurbished, pushing costs higher than the flame burning above the Coliseum peristyle. Add to this the round-the-clock construction that shows no sign of letting up and the traffic that will choke Los Angeles.
Our city should get its second wind, try harder, and sprint to the 2024 finish line. That year has a better chance of ensuring the Summer Games are successful. Silver is nice, but we should go for the gold.