(ATR) Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti seems amenable to hosting the Olympics in 2028 if the city receives youth sport funding from the International Olympic Committee.
"As we've talked to the Olympics they've asked us to think about – both Paris and us – what would it take for us to consider one of us going first and the other going second," Garcetti said during a press conference in LA.
"My dream is not so much just to bring the Olympics here, but is to bring youth sports for free to every zip code."
According to Southern California Public Radio, Garcetti intimates that he would want the youth funding to be made available "right now", or as soon as the IOC makes a decision regarding the dual award of the 2024 and 2028 Olympics.
Talks between leaders of the LA 2024 and Paris 2024 bids and the IOC to determine the feasibility of a dual 2024/2028 host city award began at the SportAccord Convention in Denmark this April. Two months later the talks seemed to have transformed into a foregone conclusion.
The Wall Street Journal reports that people familiar with the situation say the IOC is leaning towards giving Paris the 2024 edition and LA the 2028 Games.
"While important details still need to be worked out, top officials overseeing the Olympic bids for the two cities are conceptually lining up behind the plan, these people said," Matthew Futterman of the WSJ writes.
The IOC 2024 Evaluation Commission could throw a wrench in these plans if it determines LA would be better suited to host the 2024 Games. The 13-member commission concluded a four-day meeting on June 1 where it reviewed its inspections of each city. The report compiled by the commission will reveal its findings on July 5 before the 2024 Candidate City Briefing in Lausanne July 11-12.
Meanwhile, IOC president Thomas Bach is trying to hold his cards close to the chest, insisting that no deal is currently in place and no decisions will be made until the June 9 IOC EB meeting. Here the IOC EB will hear two reports from the working group of four IOC vice presidents, one regarding the 24/28 award and the other on changing the bidding process for the 2026 Winter Games.
"We will address this issue, first of all, on the IOC Executive Board, and then, if we conclude that a double allocation should be considered, we will discuss with the IOC members," Bach said in Dusseldorf on June 1.
The IOC president insists there will be a vote held for the host city selection at the IOC Session this September in Lima, Peru.
The June EB could lay the groundwork needed to fast track the dual award proposal at the September Session. The IOC is keen not to lose the possibility of hosting the Games in Los Angeles and Paris after consecutive bidding cycles have produced a series of drop-outs.
Although Garcetti’s recent comments hint that LA could be open to hosting in 2028, Paris has remained adamant its project is only for 2024, pointing to the land acquisition deal for its Olympic Village that is only valid for construction by 2024.
While the intrigue of one of the closest Olympic host city races in recent history is diminishing with the writing on the wall for a dual award this September, the decision is not yet final and there is still a chance for fireworks.
The ultimate wild card remaining in the race is U.S. President Donald Trump. Mayor Garcetti told Around the Rings that President Trump is seeking a one-on-one meeting with IOC chief Bach. The U.S. President’s sometimes controversial actions could either sour or cement what seems like a sealed deal.
Garcetti acknowledges the uncertainty that President Trump provides to the race and admits hosting any Olympics would be good for the city.
"Given some of the challenges we face globally right now with leadership, that would be I think quite a coup and something for us all to celebrate," Garcetti said at the press conference.
Written by Kevin Nutley
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