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LA Olympics: What the city has to do to cement the return of the games

A vote from the International Olympic Committee yesterday to award the 2024 and 2028 games simultaneously effectively assured that both Paris and Los Angeles will host the games.

But officials still have to figure out when exactly each city will host.

How will that play out?

Moving forward, IOC executives will negotiate with bid leaders from both Paris and Los Angeles. A deal must be reached by September, when the IOC meets in Lima, Peru to officially award the games.

If a deal is not reached by then, the committee will vote on the 2024 games only, so one city needs to agree to wait an additional four years—or risk losing out on a chance to host.

Leaders from both bids have expressed willingness to host in 2028, but Los Angeles has been a bit more open to the idea.

At a press conference Tuesday in Switzerland, Mayor Eric Garcetti said LA bid leaders would need to “look at our options” before committing to one year or the other. But he did note that sponsorship deals for the games tend to rise faster than inflation, potentially making the 2028 games more lucrative.

If LA’s bid leaders do agree to pursue the 2028 games, they’ll still need to sell that plan to the people of Los Angeles—elected officials in particular.

Within hours of the IOC vote Tuesday, Garcetti said that he had already spoken to City Council President Herb Wesson and that Wesson was “excited” about the committee’s decision.

Polls commissioned by LA 2024, LA’s bid committee, and by the IOC suggest that support for the games is strong in Los Angeles, but a growing coalition of activist groups argues the games could hurt the city and displace longtime residents.

A representative of the group, called NOlympics LA, tells Curbed that its members are considering a referendum on the games that would allow LA residents to weigh in on the issue.

Whether in 2024 or 2028, Los Angeles would also need to ensure it has the infrastructure in place for a successful games. The city’s bid primarily relies on facilities that already exist or are under construction, but a total of 12 temporary venues would need to be constructed and local leaders will need to ensure key infrastructure projects proceed according to schedule.

Any potential delays in the arrival of a new pickup/dropoff system at LAX, for instance, could be catastrophic for the city’s ability to ferry athletes, dignitaries, and tourists in and out of the city in an efficient manner.

Still, Garcetti expressed confidence that the city’s ability to deliver a successful games is not time sensitive. “We could do it almost tomorrow,” he said. “We could do it … 50 years from now.”

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