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Los Angeles Will Do More Than Simmer for Next 11 Years

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Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti speaks as LA2024 bid chairman Casey Wasserman applauds at left during a news conference Monday at StubHub Center. Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As the dust begins to settle on Monday’s historic IOC announcement, which cleared the way for Paris and Los Angeles to be awarded the 2024 and 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games respectively at September’s IOC Session in Lima, there is a growing realization that Los Angeles has gone beyond accepting a mere consolation prize.

Of course the devil is in the details of the 2028 Host City Contact, but it’s clear that with the USA’s tradition of deriving significant profits from hosting the Games, Los Angeles is set to benefit considerably from this deal. While the IOC contribution to LA 2028 will increase to $1.8 billion, new sponsorship and marketing arrangements ensures this could easily go beyond $2 billion. And, in a unique opportunity for Los Angeles, the IOC will forfeit its usual 20 percent cut of operating surpluses.

The IOC will provide the LA 2028 Organizing Committee with an advance of $180 million, paid over five years, to support its operations over the additional four years. The IOC will also allow up to $160 million of this contribution to be invested in youth sports programs in Los Angeles before the Games.

In keeping with Los Angeles’ low-key approach, the bid leaders are playing down their successful negotiations. However, it is clear that the City of Angels is delighted with the news and the most recent polling figures show that 83 percent of Angelenos are happy to host the Games in 2028.

There has been a lot of debate in the past few days as to whether the LA 2028 Organizing Committee can maintain this support and enthusiasm for the next 11 years. However, as Mayor Eric Garcetti rightly pointed out, Los Angeles is the world’s leading storytelling city. With the dynamism of the film and entertainment industries in Hollywood, combined with the city’s expertise in digital technology, experts have no doubt that Los Angeles will do a lot more than just keep the pot simmering for the next 11 years.

It is key that French media now take pride in Paris hosting its richly-deserved centenary Games in 2024 and do not look enviously westwards at a more economically appealing edition. In the longer-term, the issue for the IOC will be whether Paris and Los Angeles, which both already have world-leading venues and infrastructure, can realistically become models for future bidders. The success of this deal may well be judged beyond 2024 and will determined by the quality of bidding cities for the 2032 Games.

This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.

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