Should Los Angeles host the Olympics again? Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa thinks so, sending a letter Thursday to the U.S. Olympic Committee officially declaring L.A.’s interest in being our nation’s host for the 2024 Olympics.
“We are proud of our city’s sports heritage,” Villaraigosa wrote in the letter. “We stand ready to work with you to bring the Olympics Games back to the United States.”
L.A.’s hosted the Olympics twice before: In 1984 and in 1932. Can we get another Olympics in less than 52 years this time? We’ll need to pull a Tonya Harding and take out rivals Boston and Dallas to even be considered, according to NBC L.A., and then the International Olympic Committee will have to decide whether they want to send the Olympics back Stateside. Still, it could certainly happen.
How long until we find out? Cities aren’t chosen by the International Olympic Committee until nine years before the games, so that sets this decision in 2015. It would also make L.A. a record holder, as no other U.S. city has hosted the games three times, and the only international city to do so is London.
Chicago and New York City failed in recent bids to host the games; the U.S. hasn’t hosted a summer games since 1996 in Atlanta, with the last U.S. winter games in 2002 in Salt Lake City (as Mitt Romney was sure to help us remember during his presidential bid). The U.S. also didn’t even bother submitting a city to be considered for 2020, even though several cities — including L.A. — were interested.
The process can also be costly, plunging some cities into huge debt, though the U.S. Olympic Committee is working on reducing those costs. Still, hosting the Olympics could cost more than $3 billion, according to USOC CEO Scott Blackmun Requirements for the host city include 200,000 workers, an Olympic Village that can host 16,500 and a dining hall that can feed 5,000, room for 15,000 members of the media, 45,000 hotel rooms and more. We might want to hurry up on improving our public transportation, too, as public transport to the venues is another requirement.
Villaraigosa brought some star power to the bid — other signers included Tom Hanks and Magic Johnson, as well as companies like Disney, Mattel and AEG.
Here’s a look back at some of the highlights of the 1984 Olympics:
Gymnast Mary Lou Retton in the 1984 Olympics:
Carl Lewis winning his fourth gold medal:
The 1984 men’s 4x200m freestyle relay final:
Watch the 1932 opening ceremonies: