The bid to bring the 2024 Olympics to Los Angeles passed one of its final local hurdles Friday when a City Council committee gave the go-ahead to the proposed contract it would sign if Los Angeles lands the games.
City and local Olympics committee officials are nearing the Feb. 3 deadline when all final papers and arguments in favor of the city are due to be handed over to the international body that will decide a winner. Organizers will be in for some tense time after that waiting for the decision.
The council committee vote approved a staff report that recommended the council provide a written guarantee it would sign the contract, although it would not actually have to do so unless the city is chosen to host the Olympics.
“We have all worked hard to deliver a plan that is perfectly tailored to the aspirations of our city and elevates the Olympic Movement for generations to come,” LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman told the committee.
The guarantee from the council is one of the final official moves needed before Feb. 3, when the private, nonprofit LA 2024 Olympic Bid Committee must turn over its final set of documents to the International Olympic Committee.
After Feb. 3, LA 2024 will make a series of presentations to the IOC before the host city is chosen in September. The full council also will need to approve LA 2024’s final proposal for venue locations before Feb. 3.
LA 2024 has proposed a privately financed, balanced budget of $5.3 billion for the Games, although Los Angeles must cover any budget shortfalls, according to the contract.
But City Council Paul Krekorian, who is on the Olympic committee and also chairs the Budget and Finance Committee, expressed confidence the Games would end with a budget surplus.
Any surplus will go toward funding youth sports programs, as the surplus from the 1984 Games did.
As Budget and Finance Committee chair, Krekorian often had to ask the hard questions about finances, and said, “As much as I’ve been seen as kind of a fly in the ointment, I have to tell you I am so excited about spending the surplus that I am certain we are going to make from these Games.”
LA 2024 is competing with bid committees in Paris and Budapest, Hungary.
—City News Service
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