International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach announced today that the committee’s executive board will recommend awarding both the 2024 and 2028 games simultaneously—all but assuring that Los Angeles will host the Olympic games within the next 11 years. Bach called the arrangement a “win-win-win.”
Only two cities remain in contention for the games—LA and Paris—after finalists Rome and Budapest dropped out of the running. Awarding the 2028 games early would allow the IOC to guarantee both cities a chance to host.
The executive board’s recommendation will still need to be approved by the full committee next month. Those familiar with the workings of the IOC say that’s likely to happen.
Ed Hula, editor in chief of Around The Rings, has been reporting on the Olympics for more than two decades. He tells Curbed the full committee could make some modifications to the board’s recommendation, but that “it would be unlikely” that the committee would outright reject the idea of awarding both the 2024 and 2028 games this year.
If the full committee accepts the recommendation, it will meet again in September to decide which city will host the 2024 games and which will host in 2028. Previous reports have indicated that IOC members are leaning toward Paris for the earlier games.
2024 will mark the 100th anniversary of the last time the Olympics were held in Paris, and the leaders of the city’s bid have expressed strong resistance to the idea of hosting in 2028.
Conversely, while leaders of LA’s bid maintain they are focused on 2024, they have gone out of their way to express open-mindedness about the idea of hosting in 2028 instead.
In a statement released Wednesday, LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said that LA’s bid “has never been only about LA or 2024.” He noted that the city’s bid committee did not protest or demand the 2024 games when the IOC first broached the idea of a dual award, saying that bid leaders “thought it was presumptuous to tell the IOC what to do and how to think.”
Though Paris is likely the favorite for 2024, Hula says Los Angeles may be best equipped to host the the earlier games, due to a plan that relies entirely on existing infrastructure and low-cost temporary facilities.
Still, he says LA’s plan isn’t entirely risk-free. He calls ticketing and sponsorship estimates submitted by the bid committee “generous” and points out that a lot can happen in 11 years.
“I hate to bring it up,” he says, “but natural disaster is always a possibility.”
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