Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A Los Angeles City Council committee could decide as early as Friday whether the city will bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

The Ad Hoc Committee on the 2024 Summer Olympics will discuss a joinder agreement that city officials say is needed for the United States Olympics Committee to submit Los Angeles to the International Olympics Committee as its bid city.

The agreement would serve as a commitment by city leaders that they will pursue the games in the event that the USOC chooses Los Angeles as the nation’s bid city, according to city officials.

The joinder agreement will also involve the city in another, more complicated contract that was drawn up between the USOC and LA24, the nonprofit organization leading the Los Angeles bid.

This 70-page contract, along with a 200-page draft bid book were released only this week to the public, but city leaders have little time to evaluate them Sept. 15 deadline for the USOC to submit its chosen bid city to the International Olympic Committee.

In an analysis of the material presented to the city, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana recommended today that the city stick to a set of principles if it chooses to move forward with the bid effort.

Santana wrote that the city should ensure that “all agreements entered into and obligations made should fully protect the city’s existing and future general fund base,” and that the city should “maintain control over the decision making processes on all issues that impact the operation of the city, its facilities and the quality of life for its residents.”

Santana also recommended that “at no time will public funds be committed without the express authorization of the City Council and mayor,” and the city should “make every effort to make the process and all related actions as transparent as possible.”

Santana recommended the City Council sign an amended joinder agreement that would “ensure that Council approval will be required prior to executing any future agreements with the International Olympic Committee or the United States Olympic Committee.”

Santana also said that based on the information given to the city, “it is difficult to determine the fiscal impact and risk to the city of hosting the 2024 Games at this time.”

At issue could be a request by the USOC and the IOC that the city agree to pay for any cost overruns. Other cities that have hosted the Olympic Games have signed onto this promise.

Boston, the USOC’s original pick to make a bid to the IOC, withdrew after city leaders there refused to join the bid, citing the potential cost of the Games to taxpayers.

Supporters of the bid have said they are not concerned by potential cost overruns, saying unlike other cities, Los Angeles already has much of the needed sporting venues in place.

LA24 officials this week revealed that they are estimating the cost of hosting the 2024 Olympics in Los Angeles would be $4.1 billion, or $4.6 billion after a $400 million contingency fund and insurance are included.

They are projecting that revenue from the Games will bring in $4.8 billion, resulting in a profit of $161 million going to LA24.

The budget anticipates that the International Olympic Committee will 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 also included details about how the Olympics might be operated.

The Olympic Village would be next to the Los Angeles River in Lincoln Heights — in a Union Pacific rail yard known as the “Piggyback Yard” — and calls for track and field and the opening and closing ceremonies to be held 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.

The contracts and other bid materials will first be reviewed by the seven-member ad hoc committee, which 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.

Wesson said earlier this week that while City Council members are excited about the prospect of the Olympics being held in Los Angeles for the third time, the city has a “fiduciary responsibility and a responsibility to this city,” and may need more time to look through the bid materials, saying “we will vet this until we are satisfied with this.”

If backed by the panel Friday, the joinder agreement could go to the City Council for a vote hours later at its regularly scheduled meeting.

— City News Service

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