Business & Economy

Mayor Garcetti confirms LA in talks to host 2028 Olympics

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, center, speaks during a Jan. 2017 news conference.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, center, speaks during a Jan. 2017 news conference.
Jae C. Hong/AP

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti confirmed Wednesday that he is in talks with the International Olympic Committee to let Paris host the 2024 Olympics and have L.A. wait until 2028 in exchange for the IOC funding youth sports programs in L.A.

“As we’ve talked to the Olympics they’ve asked us to think about – both Paris and us – what would it take for us to consider one of us going first and the other going second," Garcetti said at a press conference. "My dream is not so much just to bring the Olympics here, but is to bring youth sports for free to every zip code."

Garcetti added that he wanted the funds to be distributed "right now."

LA2024 declined to comment on Garcetti's remarks. Garcetti's spokesman, Alex Comisar, said he had no details to add beyond what the mayor said. 

Next week, the International Olympic Committee's executive board will consider a proposal for a rare two-city bid, something the full IOC would vote on in July.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the IOC is leaning towards awarding Paris the 2024 games and L.A. 2028, and that in addition to youth sports the IOC would also kick in funding for L.A.'s Olympic organizing committee to keep operating an additional four years.

Previously, Garcetti seemed cool to the idea of waiting until 2028.

"We’re eager, ready and excited to host 2024 and that is all we are focused on," Garcetti said in January. 

But his stance has softened in recent weeks as it appears more likely the IOC will award a dual bid. On Wednesday, seeming to refer to President Donald Trump's unpopularity around the world, he suggested L.A. should be happy to get an Olympics at all.

"Given some of the challenges we face globally right now with leadership, that would be I think quite a coup and something for us all to celebrate," Garcetti said.

The 1984 L.A. Olympics generated a $250 million surplus, and that money has been used ever since to fund sports in Southern California through the LA84 foundation.