Some Los Angeles officials have set their sights on bidding to host a third Olympic games. But first, they say they are warming up with a campaign for the 2016 marathon trials. This 26.2-mile race would include hundreds of runners from across the country. The top three men and women finishers would be selected to represent the U.S. in the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.
But first, L.A. has to beat out two other cities in the quest to host the trials. Tracey Russell, chief executive of L.A. Marathon LLC, said bringing the race to Los Angeles could be huge in promoting the city's running community. The weekend event may also pay off for hotels, restaurants and retail stores.
"Based on what we heard from the 2012 host city in Houston, they have reported a $20 million economic impact from the weekend," Russell said.
USA Track and Field officials touched down in Los Angeles this past weekend and city officials, business owners and stakeholders have a few days to woo them. While the track and field officials are here, they'll be reviewing possible marathon routes and looking at the overall feasibility of hosting the trials in L.A.
“Our city has a rich and vibrant Olympic history, having hosted the games in 1932 and 1984,” said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti in a statement. “The legacy of the 1984 games lives on today, and our great city is ready to show the nation that our Olympic spirit continues to thrive.”
The push to host the Olympic Trials is being led by officials with the ASICS LA Marathon. If the city is selected, ASICS would organize the trials in March 2016, and hold the marathon trial the day before the L.A. Marathon, which they also oversee.
The host city is scheduled to be announced in early December. Russell said although nothing official has been announced, L.A. joins Cincinnati and Houston in this final race to host the trials.
If Los Angeles wins the bid for the trials, it will be funded by private donors, not taxpayer money, according to L.A. Marathon officials. It would be the first time Los Angeles hosts the marathon trials.
And hosting the event may also serve as a trial run for a future Olympic games. Some Los Angeles officials are pushing to bring the 2024 Summer Games back to the City of Angels. But a decision is still several years away.