Photo Photo

The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to form an ad hoc committee to oversee the city’s participation in a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The Ad Hoc Committee on the 2024 Summer Olympics will hold its first meeting Friday morning to discuss a joinder agreement that is needed as the first step for the United States Olympics Committee to submit Los Angeles as its bid city.

The agreement would signal a commitment by city leaders to pursue the games in the event that the USOC chooses Los Angeles as the nation’s bid city.

The USOC must submit its chosen bid city to the International Olympics Committee by Sept. 15.

The newly formed, seven-member panel that will be reviewing the joinder agreement is chaired by council President Herb Wesson, with Councilman Gil Cedillo as vice chair. The other members are Councilmen Bob Blumenfield, Joe Buscaino, Paul Krekorian, Mitch O’Farrell and Curren Price.

“Of course, all of the (council) members here are excited about this possibility. But make this fact clear, we have a fiduciary responsibility and a responsibility to this city,” Wesson said. “And we will do our job — we will vet this until we are satisfied with this. Today is the beginning of that process.”

If backed by the panel, the joinder agreement would go to the City Council for a vote as early as next week. But Wesson said he wants to give his colleagues time to review a 200-page draft bid book released Tuesday by LA24, the nonprofit agency leading the Los Angeles bid.

“We may not be prepared on Friday. We may need another meeting. We will do whatever is necessary to do the best for the city that each and every one of us love,” Wesson said.

Newly elected Councilman David Ryu, who was not included on the committee, raised concerns before today’s vote that his district — which stretches from Los Feliz to Sherman Oaks — would be greatly affected by the plan to host the Olympics.

Ryu said he is already dealing with traffic congestion from tourism in his district, which includes the Hollywood Sign, Museum Row and the Griffith Observatory.

Ryu said that while he and his constituents are excited about the prospect of the Olympics coming to Los Angeles, “there are a lot of projects and a lot of unanswered questions, not just about financing, but about community input … “

Ryu then asked if he could be added to the committee. Wesson responded by saying he had “already indicated the individuals that are going to be on this ad hoc committee” and there was no more room on the panel.

Wesson added that he understands it is Ryu’s “job to protect (his constituents), but every member seated around this horseshoe has a district and each and every one of us have constituents in our district that care about this, as well.”

The bid book includes an August update of the budget submitted to the USOC in December and details how the Olympics might be run in Los Angeles.

The cost of hosting the 2024 Olympics in Los Angeles would be be $4.6 billion, with  projected revenue of $4.8 billion and a profit of $161 million going to the nonprofit, according to LA24 officials.

The budget anticipates that the International Olympics Committee would contribute $1.5 billion or 31 percent of the revenue, with domestic sponsorships and ticket revenue making up the other two-thirds.

The bid packet calls for the Olympics Village to be next to the Los Angeles River in Lincoln Heights — in a Union Pacific rail yard known as the “Piggyback Yard” — and for the Olympics Stadium to be at a newly renovated Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The bid also designates sports venue clusters in downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley, coastal areas like Santa Monica, the area around UCLA and the South Bay.

—City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *