Los Angeles 2024 chairman claims basketball may be held outside of city
Basketball matches could be held outside of Los Angeles should the American city win the race to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, bid chairman Casey Wasserman has revealed.
Los Angeles 2024’s bid book, published in August, listed the iconic Staples Center, home to NBA teams the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, as the venue for finals while preliminary matches would be staged at the University of California’s Pauley Pavilion.
In a podcast with American sports columnist Bill Simmons, however, Wasserman admitted there are other facilities around California which could play host to basketball competitions at the 2024 Olympics if Los Angeles is awarded the Games ahead of rivals Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome.
He did, though, reiterate that basketball events will “probably” remain at the Staples Center but seemed to suggest other options could be considered.
“We’ve thought about embracing California a little more broadly for some sports, like basketball,” he said during the podcast.
“You could do it in Anaheim.
“You could do it in Oakland, in Golden State [Warriors, the Bay Area NBA team] and if they build a new facility, Sacramento.
“Basketball will probably be at Staples for the finals.”
Los Angeles 2024 have budgeted $5 million (£3 million/€4.5 million) to stage basketball finals at Staples Center, which would also play host to gymnastics at the Olympic Games and wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby during the Paralympic Games.
The American city last hosted the Olympics in 1984, where all basketball events, including qualification matches and finals, took place at The Forum in Inglewood, California, then home to the LA Lakers.
At the most recent Olympics in London, basketball was held in two venues, the O2 Arena and Basketball Arena on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Los Angeles officially launched their bid to bring the Olympics and Paralympics back to the United States for the first time since Atlanta hosted the event in 1996 in September following the United States Olympic Committee’s decision to drop Boston’s much-maligned attempt.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is due tol elect its chosen host city for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics at its Session in the Peruvian capital Lima in 2017.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Inside the Games