ATR) The US Olympic Committee hopes to strike a deal with Los Angeles to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.
USOC chair and IOC member Larry Probst says the board of directors engaged in a “thorough and thoughtful” discussion of its options for 2024 during a meeting held at the Denver International Airport Wednesday.
Probst says USOC CEO Scott Blackmun has been designated to work with the city of Los Angeles in the coming weeks to work out details for a 2024 bid.
“We hope to finalize terms that benefit both the city of Los Angeles and the Olympic movement in the United States so that we can submit a world-class been to the IOC by their September 15 deadline,” said Probst in a teleconference with reporters.
The discussions by the USOC follow the demise of the Boston bid for 2024. Despite being named as the US candidate in January, the bid never took hold among the public and fell apart last month.
When Boston withdrew, Los Angeles became the odds-on favorite to take over as the US nominee. The two time host of the Olympics was passed over along with San Francisco and Washington DC when the USOC selected Boston. While contact was made with Washington and San Francisco after the Boston collapse, only Los Angeles expressed an interest in pursuing a bid.
Los Angeles appears to offer the public support lacking from Boston. Blackmun says recent polling by the USOC shows support for a 2024 bid is hitting 81 percent. In Boston just 40 percent supported the 2024 bid. In addition to positive polling, the bid has the backing of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as well as members of other local governments and the Southern California congressional delegation.
“We have a lot of work to do,” said Blackmun.
“There are complicated issues and discussions, but we are very confident we’re going to get to a place that’s good for both of us,” he said. Both Blackmun and Probst refused to specify what issues needed to be resolved before Los Angeles could be declared the US nominee.
While the USOC did not formally endorse Los Angeles today, the announcement that the city is the favored choice if a deal can be worked out eliminates any uncertainty about U.S. intentions for 2024.
IOC president Thomas Bach has said repeatedly that the US has made a commitment to deliver a candidate for 2024. The race already includes some high profile cities, Paris and Rome at the top of the list followed by Hamburg, Budapest and possibly Toronto and Baku. The contest runs until September 2017.
Sports and entertainment executive Casey Wasserman will lead a bid which calls for extensive use of facilities closer to the center of Los Angeles then in 1984. More than $4 billion would be spent on renovations to existing facilities and new construction.
Written by Ed Hula
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