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Los Angeles Bid Committee Forgot Subway Cost

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A flag is flutters in the wind prior to a news conference to annouce the city's final approval to bid for the 2024 Olympic Games, in Los Angeles, California, January 25, 2017. Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

You can put this in the “politicians and the local Olympic Bid Committee sometimes don’t reveal all the information needed for public consumption” file.

The Los Angeles Olympic Bid Committee, which wants the 2024 Summer Olympics, claimed it didn’t need any public money to stage the event. That is false. The city of Los Angeles is committing $250 million in the event of cost overruns and California will throw in a quarter of a billion dollars as well for cost overruns.

Then there is the matter of security. The LA Olympic Committee is not paying for that either. American taxpayers would be on the hook for security and no one knows what that entails. But here is a clue. There were more troops on the ground in Utah in 2002 for the Salt Lake City games than in Afghanistan where an international force was trying to disrupt terrorists training facilities in a war which is still going on.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti went to Washington to ask Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to fast-track $1.3 billion for a subway project. Garcetti thinks that the Purple Line, with a stop at UCLA for the Athletes’ Village along with the judo and wrestling sites, is not going be ready in time for 2024 Olympics.

Garcetti and the LA Bid Committee knew that the subway is going to require public money and was going to be built anyway. Now there will be an extra burden on taxpayers to get the project done as quickly as possible. Los Angeles voters approved the Purple Line construction last November.

Olympic bidding is filled with the underestimation of actual costs, poor projections and in some cases flat out lies. That’s another reason so few cities want the Olympics event. It costs far too much money.

By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

1 COMMENT

  1. This is an irresponsible article. Any city in the US that taxes itself 120 billion for public infrastructure would leverage local funds to compete for federal funds. With or without the Olympics LA’s long term strategy is to build out a modern public transport system. The Olympics are just something else LA is leveraging to get those funds. But unlike competing and past bids this line is not for the Olympics (Rio 2016 and low ridership) and while one could say the line is government and taxpayer funded, it’s done so in a very democratic was where 2/3rd of cast votes supported the self tax. In effect Angelinos said they want public transit, now, for themselves. The Olympics just happen to benefit.

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