Los Angeles has come to an agreement with the International Olympic Committee to bring the 2028 Summer Games back to Southern California.
USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles will host the 2028 Olympics after the city reached a deal with the International Olympic Committee.
The deal will allow Paris to host the 2024 Games, which had been expected. In waiting four years to host the Games, the Los Angeles Organizing Committee will receive funds from the IOC “in view of the longer planning period” and to support youth sports programs in the city, according to a news release.
The IOC will contribute $1.8 billion for planning and organizing the Games with the potential to exceed $2 billion because of existing sponsor agreements and potential new marketing deals.
In August the Los Angeles city council and U.S. Olympic Committee board of directors will meet to consider approving the agreement. If it’s approved, LA and Paris will enter a tripartite agreement that clears the way for IOC members to confirm both Olympic host cities at meetings in Lima, Peru, on Sept. 13.
“This is an historic day for Los Angeles, for the United States and for the Olympic and Paralympic Movements around the world,” Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “Today, we take a major step toward bringing the Games back to our city for the first time in a generation and begin a new chapter in Los Angeles’ timeless Olympic story.”
A news conference with Garcetti and city council president Herb Wesson was scheduled for 5 p.m. Pacific on Monday.
The IOC paved the way for the historic dual award with a unanimous vote earlier this month to try to reach a deal with the two cities. Garcetti and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo celebrated by bursting onto the stage after the vote and thanking IOC President Thomas Bach, giving an immediate indicator that the parties were interested in working something out.
Bach called the IOC’s decision “a golden opportunity” then, and the agreement allows the IOC to secure the future of the Summer Olympics for more than a decade while giving each of the cities an event they have coveted.
“The IOC welcomes this decision of the Los Angeles Olympic and Paralympic bid committee,” Bach said in a statement Monday. “They presented a strong and enthusiastic candidature that embraces the Olympic Agenda 2020 sustainability priorities by incorporating existing facilities and encouraging the engagement of more youth in the Olympic Movement. … We are able to expand the impact of city youth sports programming and encourage the healthy lifestyle of Angelenos for the next 11 years. We are very confident that we can reach a tripartite agreement under the leadership of the IOC with LA and Paris in August, creating a win-win-win situation for all three partners.”
The USOC has been trying to bring the Summer Games back to the United States for more than a decade, with failed bids for 2012 with New York and 2016 with Chicago. Los Angeles will host the first Summer Olympics in the country since Atlanta in 1996.
Paris, meanwhile, saw three failed bids before securing the 2024 Games, an event that will mark the centennial of the city’s last Olympics.
Since Bach opined a process that “produces too many losers” last winter, the IOC has been building toward a dual award. It was one made easier by Budapest’s withdrawal from the bidding process in February.
Paris has long been seen as the favorite to secure the 2024 Games after taking a much harder line stance on the idea of a dual award. For months, Los Angeles praised the notion while saying it was committed to winning the Games for 2024.
Both cities impressed the IOC evaluation commission, which called them “outstanding” in its report. Each relies heavily on existing venues, and leaders from both cities entered negotiation looking for ways to collaborate in their unique situation of planning the Games simultaneously.
An opposition group to the Los Angeles bid, NOLympics LA, was critical of the process in which the city reached an agreement with Olympic officials. In a statement, the group urged city officials “to do the right thing and take the appropriate steps in the process without cutting corners, which is evidently what they are doing.”
Though unusual, the dual award set in the agreement is not unprecedented. According to Olympic historian Bill Mallon, the IOC in 1921 awarded the 1924 Games to Paris because Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, was retiring and wanted to have the Games in his home country. At the same time, the IOC awarded the 1928 Olympics to Amsterdam.
Los Angeles protested, and was later selected as host of the 1932 Games.
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