Officials with the Los Angeles Olympic committee say they are focused on hosting the 2024 Summer Games, despite a new proposal by the International Olympic Committee that could result in the city being awarded the 2028 games instead.
Los Angeles and Paris are the final two candidates for the 2024 games, with the IOC scheduled to meet Sept. 13 in Lima, Peru, to choose the winning bid.
However, IOC President Thomas Bach said Friday a four-person working group is studying a change to IOC procedures that would allow the committee to award both bids in September.
It isn’t clear which city would get the 2024 games and which one would get the 2028 games. The working group is scheduled to report to the IOC at a July 9-13 meeting in Switzerland, where representatives of Los Angeles and Paris will make their formal presentations.
“All the options are on the table, and this includes also the ’24-’28 procedure and vote,” Bach said Friday.
IOC officials say that with so few cities willing or able to mount a successful bid to host the summer games, it makes little sense to reject either of the two qualified cities.
“We are in a comfortable situation now it will be up to the working group how to best explore, how to best exploit, the positive situation,” Bach said. “We should not miss the opportunity to explore this opportunity.”
Gene Sykes, CEO of LA 2024, the committee behind the Los Angeles bid, said Friday that local officials are still focused on securing the 2024 games.
“We’re bidding on ’24 because we’ve always planned for ’24,” Sykes told Fox11 in an interview to air Sunday at 9 a.m. “We know what we can do. We have negotiated with something like 30 different parties to have agreements to use their facilities and their venues for these games. We knew exactly what to do and we are confident we can put on fantastic games in ’24.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti — who also is on the LA 2024 board — put it even more bluntly, telling Fox11 that “even if there were two (bids awarded in September) … L.A. should go first.”
LA 2024 Chief Communications Officer Jeff Millman also stressed the group’s commitment to the 2024 games Friday.
“All of our work for more than two years has been about 2024. So we are only bidding on 2024,” Millman told City News Service. “And while the IOC has established a working group to explore changes, we have not heard anything different from the IOC on the bid process.
We believe the future is now for the Olympics movement,” Millman said. “With 88 percent public support, and even higher support from young Angelenos, LA 2024 offers an innovative, low-risk and truly sustainable solution to help secure the future of the Olympic movement in 2024 and beyond.”
— City News Service