The city of Los Angeles — which knows something about “three-peats” — has notified Olympic officials that it wants to host yet another Summer Games.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sent a letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee confirming that civic, business and community leaders have lined up to express their “enthusiastic interest” in bidding for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.
That would bring the sporting world’s grandest event back to the site where it took place in 1932 and 1984.
“We are proud of our city’s sports heritage and tradition,” Villaraigosa wrote to the USOC. “And we stand ready to work with you to bring the Olympic Games back to the United States.”
The Summer Olympics have not been held in the U.S. since 1996 in Atlanta.
Relations between the U.S. and the International Olympic Committee had cooled over a disagreement about sharing sponsorship revenue that flows largely from American corporations.
After Chicago was ousted early in voting for 2016 — Rio de Janeiro eventually won — the USOC skipped the 2020 bidding process.
Now, with a new revenue-sharing plan in place, Los Angeles officials believe they have a shot.
The Coliseum could once again house the opening ceremony and track and field, with other events taking place at newer sites such as Staples Center, the Home Depot Center and Honda Center.
“We have a population base that is very international,” said David Simon, president of the L.A. Sports Council. “We’re the entertainment capital of the world and we have a great climate.”
The USOC has not yet confirmed that it will put forth an American city for 2024, but several weeks ago it sent feelers to the country’s largest 25 markets, as well as 10 additional cities that have shown interest.
Officials emphasized how large a task it would be, saying that an eventual winner should expect to incur more than $3 billion in operating costs.
Minimum requirements include 45,000 available hotel rooms, an athletes’ village that houses 16,500, an international airport and a workforce of up to 200,000.
USOC officials said they hope to streamline the domestic bidding process. New York and Chicago had previously spent more than $10 million just to be selected as America’s applicant.
None of this discouraged the Los Angeles City Council from passing a resolution in support of a bid last year.
The Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games has since gathered signatures from top executives at Walt Disney, AEG and Mattel, as well as from actor Tom Hanks and past Olympians Janet Evans and Magic Johnson.
Los Angeles has lost in several previous bid attempts. This time, there could be significant domestic competition from Dallas, San Francisco and Boston. Chicago has already announced that it will not participate.
If the USOC were to proceed, it would have to select a city and submit its application in 2015. The IOC is expected to choose the 2024 host in late 2017.
–Los Angeles Times