The Los Angeles City Council last week unanimously authorized the signing of the host city contract with the International Olympic Committee should the city win the bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Signing the contract would obligate the city to cover some of the financial overruns if costs to mount and host the events exceed the proposed $5.3 billion budget. The state has also committed to provide $250 million in contingency funding in the event of overruns.
The city faced a Feb. 3 deadline to make this commitment part of its final bid submission to the International Olympic Committee. That committee will meet Sept. 13 in Lima, Peru, to select the host city for the 2024 Summer Games. Los Angeles is competing against Paris and Budapest, Hungary.
Cost overruns in the billions of dollars have plagued recent Olympics. The 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics exceeded their $10 billion budget by $6.5 billion, or 76 percent, according to the Oxford Olympic Study 2016.
L.A. officials expressed confidence during and after the Jan. 25 council vote that adequate steps have been taken to avoid such massive overruns if the city was selected to host the games.
In a statement issued after the vote, Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “The IOC’s Host City Contract is our promise that Los Angeles is ready to host an outstanding and fiscally responsible Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Garcetti also noted that this was the 14th unanimous vote the council has taken to approve various agreements and contracts related to the city’s Olympics bid.
Speaking on behalf of the council, Herb Wesson, council president, said in a statement, “We are comfortable with the level of protection LA 2024 has built into its plans, and today’s unanimous vote reflects that.”
Reacting to the vote, LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said in a statement, “LA 2024 has worked hand-in-hand with our partners at City Hall and the U.S. Olympic Committee to create a plan that is perfectly tailored to the aspirations of the New LA. LA 2024’s fiscally responsible, ‘no surprises’ Games plan aligns with the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms and has the potential to serve the Olympic movement long after 2024.”
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