(ATR) If there were a Super Bowl for Olympic bid books, Los Angeles and Paris would be contenders.
Both submitted the last installment of their bids for the 2024 Games to the IOC Feb. 3.
Well-researched and well-written, the third of three filings from the 2024 bids lays out each city’s concept for the Olympics and covers every major category that needs to be considered in a host city.
Los Angeles bid book here.
Paris bid book here.
Budapest, the third of the three cities in the race for 2024, also submitted its final file by the IOC deadline. But the Hungarian capital city is delaying public release until settling the question of whether a referendum will be held. Signatures are being collected on a petition for vote. The deadline is set this month to gather 40,000+ names needed to force a ballot in the city.
Budapest notwithstanding, the submissions from Paris and Los Angeles make for interesting reading. Both present compelling plans to host the Games. While there are marked differences between the two bids that reflect geography, culture and style, an initial review of their documents indicate no significant technical flaws in either city.
The bid books are meant to function as a punch list of sorts for the IOC Evaluation Commission, led by IOC member Frank Fredericks of Namibia. The commission will visit the cities in April and May, starting in Budapest, ending in Paris.
Divided into 12 sections of lengths ranging from two pages to 22, the Paris book runs 76 pages, Los Angeles 127. The sections include:
Games Concept; Games and Athlete Experience; Sport; Venues; Paralympic Games; Sustainability; Games
Safety and Security; Accommodation; Transport; Finance; Marketing; Transition Plan.
“Follow the sun to a new Games for a new era” beckons Los Angeles in the opening of its book, using the bid motto.
“In many ways, the future is now for the Olympic Movement. The world is entering an era of unprecedented change and uncertainty, and that is why we believe that the 2024 Games must serve the Olympic Movement far beyond 2024. The 2024 Games must help restore the credibility of the Games, ensure financial stability for the Olympic Movement and create new opportunities to engage with young people around the world,” it continues.
For Paris, the opening stanza goes like this:
“Olympism and its values of universality, diversity and friendship have never held more meaning than they do today.
“It’s precisely this openness to the world; this unique ability to bring people together; and to strengthen links between communities that we want to share with the world in Paris 2024.”
The quote includes the first of 117 times the word “share” or a variation appears in the Paris book.
“Made for sharing”, the new slogan for the French bid, was announced last week with the bid book.
Comparisons in numbers are generally easy to make, because the cities follow the same format to create tables. For Los Angeles, the Games budget is $5.2 billion. Paris plans for $4 billion.
Domestic sponsorships are the top revenue item in the Los Angeles budget at 36 percent, with tickets second at 29 percent. In Paris, tickets are top revenue category at 29 percent, with domestic sponsorship set at 28 percent of revenues.
The Paris ceremony budget is $134 million for spectacles planned in Stade de France. Los Angeles has budgeted $70 million more, or about $200 million, that includes an opening ceremony split between the Coliseum and a new American football stadium to be built in a suburb.
Both Olympic Villages are idyllic. Paris will build new apartments along the Seine River five minutes from Stade de France. Los Angeles offers ready-to-go campus housing at UCLA featuring modern rooms in
a leafy environ replete with services. Both village proposals are covered in deep detail.
Hidden within the verbiage of the Los Angeles chapter on Games and Athlete Experience is a possibly enticing offer to athletes of university age: help finding a school in the U.S. to attend.
“For the athlete who is interested in learning about the importance of education and possibly attending an American university, we will have an LA 2024 University Symposium adjacent to the Olympic Village. California is blessed with an array of world-class universities, as well as arts and vocational schools, and all of these institutions will be invited to participate and speak directly with the athletes about admission to their schools,” says the LA bid document. Paris does not appear to offer anything similar.
On matters of culture, Paris and Los Angeles are titans who promise arts festivals on a scale seldom seen at the Games. LA says it plans to exploit the city’s movie and TV industry to help spread the gospel of the Olympics. Paris says it will produce a four-year “Olympic Festival Factory”.
Transport is a key challenge for both bids. Paris devotes 16 pages to its plans; 22 pages in the Los Angeles book makes it the biggest section of the U.S. bid.
Cheapest hotel rooms? Paris. Which city has more? Los Angeles. It's all in the bid books.
The improved format of the bid books is a direct result of changes to the Olympic bid process brought on by Olympic Agenda 2020. Making things simpler and less costly is the object of the changes.
The Feb. 3 IOC deadline for the volume 3 submission also coincided with the launch of the international campaign for the 2024 cities. This phase of the race allows cities to promote their candidacy through advertising and appearances outside their home country. Lasting just over six months, the international campaign is shorter than in the past, another result of Olympic Agenda 2020 meant to lower the cost of bidding for the Games. Budapest has delayed the start of its international promotion until the referendum question is resolved.
Written by Ed Hula.
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