LOS ANGELES, California: Los Angeles 2024 made a final pitch to the International Olympic Committee’s Evaluation Commission on Friday and now will wait and see if they hit a home run to win the right to host the Summer Games for a third time.
Paris, the only other city in the running for the 2024 Olympics, will get their chance to showcase their bid next week but LA threw down the gauntlet to the French capital with a plan that commission leader Patrick Baumann said had no major risks and venues that he gushed as “mind-blowing”.
“Los Angeles is already a great Olympic city but after these three days we now realise that was an understatement,” Baumann told reporters.
“This visit has certainly confirmed our opinion that Los Angeles has developed an excellent proposal.
“Their vision and concept have embraced the direction provided by the Olympic Agenda 2020 with the extensive use of existing facilities in particular.
“It goes from spectacular venues, to impressive venues to mind-blowing venues. It was very positive because we were able to see them.”
The Evaluation commission was treated to the full LA experience during a whirlwind visit that included a glitzy, celebrity-packed party at the home of Los Angeles bid chief Casey Wasserman, playing some basketball at the Staples Centre and hitting the Santa Monica beach along with a tour of the Memorial Coliseum that anchored the 1932 and 1984 Summer Games and will be a centrepiece again should LA get the 2024 Olympics.
There was no need for commission members to close their eyes and imagine what a 2024 Los Angeles Olympics might look like with the bid built around already existing world class facilities.
In fact, the LA proposal that is budgeted for a modest $5.3 billion, calls for no new venue construction.
The plan, which the commission termed “well-developed”, ticks many of the boxes on the IOC’s revolutionary Agenda 2020 which was developed to modernise the way the Olympics does business.
The bid, however, was not without a few thorny issues, including concerns over President Donald Trump’s proposed travel restrictions on some nations, which could prevent Olympic athletes from gaining entry and competing in the United States.
“There is still some work to be done, not everything can happen overnight but we think there are excellent bases here,” said Baumann, whose commission will present their report to the public and IOC members in July.
LA2024 and Paris will have two more major opportunities to showcase their bids when they make presentations to the IOC at the Lausanne headquarters in July followed by the all-important final presentation at a Congress in Lima, Peru ahead of the September 13 vote.