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Olympics in Los Angeles: 1932, 1984, 2024?

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In 1932, the Olympic Games in Los Angeles brought the first Olympic village for athletes, a victory podium for medal-winners and the debut of the first photo-finish camera in races. In 1984, the Los Angeles Games turned a profit of more than $200 million, the most financially successful Olympics in history. What would another Los Angeles Olympics bring to the city?

Investment in infrastructure and green-lit transit projects around the city to prepare for an influx of visitors? Or heavy debt and venues that will sit empty soon after? Bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympics will begin in 2015, with the selected city to be announced in 2017, and Los Angeles could be a candidate.

London’s Olympic price tag was expected to be $3.8 billion, but is expected to now cost roughly $15 billion. Security alone accounts for $1.6 billion of that figure, with new venues, like the $850 million Olympic Stadium, $426 million Aquatics Center, and $166 million Velodrome, and support for transit systems supporting bigger budgets adding to the cost.


Would you like to see the Olympics back in LA?


Andrew Zimbalist, Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics at Smith College, author of “International Handbook on the Economics of Mega Sporting Events”