A team of Olympic evaluators wrapped up their visit to Los Angeles on Friday afternoon. After crisscrossing the city to see firsthand where events would be held, they gave the city’s bid high marks, using words like "spectacular" and "mind-blowing" to describe the proposed venues.
"This visit has certainly confirmed our opinion that Los Angeles has developed an excellent proposal," said Patrick Baumann, chairman of the evaluation committee. He spoke to reporters from the floor of Staples Center, one of the proposed venues.
"There is no major risk that we can highlight right now," Baumann added.
The problem for Los Angeles: the evaluation commission is now flying to Paris to evaluate that city’s bid, which is also considered strong.
"We have two of the best cities you can dream of," said Baumann. "It’s a win-win situation."
It's a win-win situation for the International Olympic Committee — but not for whichever city loses out for 2024. However, the strength of the two bids is why the IOC is now considering a joint bid for the first time, awarding 2024 to one city — probably Paris — and 2028 to the other.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was initially cool to that idea, but said Friday he would consider a 2028 proposal.
"I’m a little unorthodox about this," Garcetti said. "I know Paris has at times said it’s ’24 or nothing. I really do believe in this movement, and if you can create winners instead of so many losers, that’s good for the movement."
The IOC will make its final decision Sept. 13 in Lima, Peru.