Politics

Update: Los Angeles will be US bid city for 2024 Olympics; Garcetti updates KPCC on cost protection

File: A picture taken on February 13, 2014 shows the Olympic Rings and the Olympic flame during the Sochi Winter Olympics in Sochi. When the leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee meet Thursday, they'll be deciding on more than a city to put in the running to host the 2024 Summer Games.
File: A picture taken on February 13, 2014 shows the Olympic Rings and the Olympic flame during the Sochi Winter Olympics in Sochi. When the leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee meet Thursday, they'll be deciding on more than a city to put in the running to host the 2024 Summer Games.
Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

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The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to green light L.A.'s bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games. The motion, which passed unanimously, gives the city an up or down vote on any future deals the local organizing committee might strike with the national and international Olympic committees. Shortly after, the U.S. Olympic Committee officially announced L.A. would be the nation's bid city for the games.

Poll: Olympics in LA? | Read LA's Proposal

Updates:

Update: Wednesday 8:57 a.m.: Olympic flame burns in Los Angeles 

After the announcement that Los Angeles is the official U.S. bid city for the 2024 Olympic Games, officials lit the Olympic flame at Los Angeles Coliseum Tuesday night, NBC-LA video shows.

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti is scheduled to be in Switzerland Wednesday to present Los Angeles as a contender to the International Olympic Committee, according to NBC-LA.

The host of the 2024 games will be decided in 2017.

Update 5:15 p.m.: Mayor Garcetti tells KPCC he's optimistic about state protecting LA from Olympics cost overruns

After the U.S. Olympic Committee’s announcement Tuesday, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti told KPCC he was optimistic about support from the Sacramento. He’d visited Gov. Brown in the state capitol on Monday. 

“The governor played a great role in getting the 1984 Olympics,” Garcetti said. As for the Legislature, the mayor said: “Both houses have said ‘let us know what you need.’” 

Eight years ago, when L.A. was bidding for the 2016 Games, the Legislature agreed to cover up to $250 million in cost overruns, and Garcetti said some lawmakers had "expressed interest in repeating” that for L.A.’s current bid. 

"When we get to that phase, we’ll certainly look at the state,” Garcetti said. "They would be well protected, and I think it would mirror what they did before."

Update 2:23 p.m.: Experts weigh in on LA bid for 2024 Olympic Games

Olympics experts weighed in on KPCC's Airtalk following the announcement that the city would be the U.S.'s official bid city for the 2024 Olympics.

“The people of the city want the Olympic games here, they don’t want to have to pay for them,” said former L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who is now affiliated with the UCLA’s history department, and the Luskin School of Public Affairs.

While Yaroslavsky told KPCC he's comfortable with what the L.A. City Council signed Tuesday since it doesn’t commit to anything and gives the city about a year to crunch numbers, he said the one-page budget needs to be fleshed out.

“There’s so much unknown,” said Yaroslavsky. There is “not a penny for security, not a penny for transportation. Security in London cost $1.2 billion so to have that not appear in the budget is a red flag.”

Andrew Zimbalist, author of the new book, “Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup,” is also concerned about vague bid details, including the proposed Olympic Village location.

“They talk about one site, as if it were already determined,” said Zimbalist, Professor of Economics at Smith College. “There are all sorts of issues with the Olympic village location, including that Union Pacific doesn’t have intentions of leaving.”

Ed Hula, Editor in Chief of Olympics-related publication Around the Rings, noted that the field of contenders to host the 2024 games is strong, including Paris and Rome, but none of those cities have the experience or weather that L.A. offers.

“It is a massive undertaking,” Hula told KPCC’s AirTalk. “On the other hand the city council members seem fully committed to this. That simply was not the case in Boston.

“There is a real appetite in the IOC to see the Olympic Games come back to the U.S.”

David Wallechinsky, president of the International Society of Olympic Historians, echoed that Los Angeles is a strong contender.

“I think the IOC has a very warm feeling in terms of Los Angeles,” said Wallechinsky. “They’d like to have the U.S. host the games. There’s an institutional memory of the previous games.”

But he also said there’s a “strong feeling in favor of Paris” since the city already has many venues. 

Update 12:53 p.m.: LA gets nod from Olympic Committee as official bid city

The U.S. Olympics Committee announced Tuesday that Los Angeles will officially be the nation's pick  for its 2024 Olympic bid. 

At a press conference in Santa Monica that followed the City Council's vote approving L.A.'s bid, U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun delivered the news. 

"It is my distinct honor today to formally name the city of Los Angeles as the U.S. bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games," he said. 

Mayor Garcetti followed, speaking about L.A.'s diverse makeup and its history successfully hosting the '32 and '84 Olympics. 

"Los Angeles is Olympics ready," Garcetti said. "The Olympics is in our DNA. The Olympics loves L.A. and L.A. loves the Olympics. We hope to return those games back home."

L.A. now goes on to compete internationally with cities including Rome, Paris, Budapest and Hamburg, Germany for the honor. The winner will be decided in 2017.

The U.S. hasn't hosted a Summer Olympics since 1996 in Atlanta.

The Los Angeles 2024 Exploratory Committee — known as LA24 — estimates the games would cost $4.5 billion to put on and generate a profit of $166 million.

However, because the International Olympic Committee requires host cities to guarantee they will cover the cost of the games, the potential that the city could end up millions or billions of dollars in the red has raised concern.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana published a cautionary report last week raising a few red flags. One was the unknown source of nearly $1 billion to build an Olympic Village to house athletes on downtown land now occupied by a major railroad yard.

Update 12:21 p.m.: LA Council approves bid for 2024 Olympic Games

The Council approved language that gives it thumbs-up or thumbs-down power over deals LA24 would strike. It calls for LA24 to enter an agreement with the city clarifying their respective roles during the two-year bidding period preceding the selection of the host city in September 2017. The Council also authorized the city administrative officer to hire independent analysts to keep watch over the financial and other dealings.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Council President Herb Wesson were scheduled to speak about the Olympic bid after the vote at a news conference outside Los Angeles. They chose the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica.

LA24's proposal calls for the games to be held at five geographical clusters around the region. Santa Monica and West L.A. would be home of one of the clusters. The others are Downtown, Hollywood, San Fernando Valley and South Bay. A few other events would be at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and the Forum in Inglewood.

Los Angeles had been one of four cities seeking to become the U.S. Olympic Committee's choice to compete for the 2024 games, but the committee chose Boston. When Boston dropped out amid cost and other objections from the public and city officials, Garcetti and Los Angeles Olympics boosters jumped into the breach. The city could be named the USOC's official bid city soon after the Council vote.

An early controversy arising with L.A.'s bid is what public entities, if any, would cover losses from the games. LA24's bid book indicated Gov. Jerry Brown had assured some state financial guarantee, however Brown's office said no such assurance had been made — any  financial backstopping would have to be approved by the Legislature.

Document: LA's proposal for 2024 Olympics

You can see LA's proposal here:

Poll: Should the Olympics come to L.A.?

KPCC's online polls are not scientific surveys of local or national opinion. Rather, they are designed as a way for our audience members to engage with each other and share their views.