LA say ‘focused’ on 2024 after reported 2028 deal

LA

LOS ANGELES: Los Angeles Olympic bid officials insisted on Wednesday they remain focused on 2024, despite a Wall Street Journal report of a deal that would see them host the 2028 Games with Paris given 2024.

“While the IOC is reviewing its bid process, we remain focused on the 2024 Games,” LA 2024 said in a statement. “We’re honored that Los Angeles is a 2024 Candidate City at this important time for the Olympic and Paralympic Movements, and we look forward to collaborating with the IOC in the months ahead.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that the International Olympic Committee “is progressing toward an agreement that would give Paris the Summer Olympics in 2024 and Los Angeles the event four years later”.

The newspaper, citing “people familiar with the matter”, said details still had to be worked out but wrote that top officials with each bid “are conceptually lining up behind the plan”.

The IOC executive board is scheduled to meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, in June to discuss whether it would be feasible to award both the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics when it meets in Lima in September.

Paris and Los Angeles have emerged as the finalists in the race to host the 2024 Games, with the venue long scheduled to be decided at the IOC’s Lima meeting in September.

A Summer Olympics in Paris in 2024 would come on the 100th anniversary of the 1924 Paris Games. Los Angeles last hosted the sporting extravaganza in 1984.

According to the Wall Street Journal, IOC president Thomas Bach backs the idea of selecting both hosts simultaneously.

“According to the people involved, the tide toward a 24/28 deal -— as it has become known to Olympic insiders -— gained momentum in recent months after Mr. Bach held separate private conversations with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and USOC chairman Larry Probst, who has become an influential IOC member over the past four years,” the newspaper said.

A deal giving Paris the 2024 Games and Los Angeles the 2028 event would be contingent on “Los Angeles and the US Olympic Committee securing enough incentives that waiting an additional four years for the Games remains financially viable and beneficial to the city,” sources told the newspaper.

During an IOC Evaluation Commission tour of Los Angeles last month, mayor Garcetti played down any suggestion that the city would be willing to step aside in 2024.

“We believe LA offers the greatest benefit to the Olympic movement in 2024 — why wait until 2028 to experience that?” Garcetti told reporters.

“I’d love to go to Paris in 2028 to see my friends there — it will be a great Olympics.”