Los Angeles' bid to host the Olympics for a third time could take a big step forward Friday. The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee is meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland to vote on a proposal to award the 2024 and 2028 Olympics at the same time.
Paris and Los Angeles are the sole remaining bidders left for 2024, and the IOC doesn’t want to give up two strong bids now and risk having none for 2028, according to Ann Pegoraro, director of the Institute for Sport Marketing at Laurentian University.
"I think for them they’re looking at a bird in a hand," said Pegoraro. "We have two cities that are super keen to host these games and we need to make sure we lock them both up."
A recommendation to make a double offer would have to be approved by the full IOC membership, which meets next month and then again for what is scheduled to be a final vote in September. Observers expect Paris, L.A. and the executive board to reach an agreement that puts Paris first. In return for waiting, L.A. has asked for funding from the IOC for youth sports.
"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," Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a press conference last week. "My dream is not so much just to bring the Olympics here, but is to bring youth sports for free to every zip code."
Casey Wasserman, chairman of LA 2024, released a statement Wednesday that lent credibility to the speculation that the IOC would give Paris the 2024 Games and L.A. 2028. He also seemed to be taking a bit of a shot at Paris for insisting that it get 2024.
"Even when the issue of a dual award for the 2024 and 2028 Games was initially raised, we didn’t say it’s 'L.A. first' or it’s 'now or never' for L.A.: that sounds like an ultimatum," said Wasserman. "We could have used that strategy, but we didn't because we thought it was presumptuous to tell the IOC what to do and how to think. We’re better partners than that."