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  • Los Angeles City Council Authorizes Host City Contract


    (ATR) Los Angeles City Council members vote unanimously to approve the signing of the 2028 Host City Contract, amid vocal opposition.

    LA City Council president Herb Wesson (LA CC)
    The vote came after an impassioned speech from council president Herb Wesson, urging fellow councilors to "bring the Olympic gold home”. After Wesson’s speech the council rushed to a vote, foregoing questions in favor of a unanimous decision. The 2028 Host City Contract can be found online here.

    As the votes were counted, citizens who opposed the bid chanted “Let us speak.” Activists there to oppose the bid had been given time for public comment at an Ad Hoc committee meeting earlier in the day, but not before the full council. The recent committee and council meetings were the first time organized opposition appeared before the council.

    Included in the memorandum of understanding from the city council is the acceptance of all cost overruns for the LA 2028 Olympic project. No such clause was included in the 1984 Olympics Host City Contract.

    LA 2028 organizers downplayed potential overruns due to a nearly $500 million contingency in the Games’ budget. City officials said the approved memorandum of understanding means all changes to the LA 2028 budget must be approved by the city council, creating another safeguard. Chief legislative analyst Sharon Tso said of any overruns, “there has been extensive effort to minimize financial liability to the city” throughout the two year process.

    Joining LA 2028 at the council meeting were Olympians Janet Evans, Carl Lewis and John Naber. Evans is a board member for the bid, and has been a key face in the bid’s promotion worldwide. Along with the trio of speakers were 50 Olympians and Paralympians, many of whom spoke in favor of the bid during the earlier committee meeting.

    LA 28 at City Council (LA CC)
    Addressing the concerns of activists, Wesson said the city council would continue to address concerns regarding homelessness and protection of immigrant groups.

    “In 10 years we do not want to be moving the homeless out of sight we will move the homeless into housing,” Wesson said. “That will be our goal!”

    Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement the city “negotiated the deal of a lifetime” for the 2028 Olympic Games. He said that the vote taken was a “resounding show of confidence” for the 2028 bid plan.

    Activists continued the opposition against the council vote after it was complete, reportedly storming a lectern set for a post-vote press conference.

    United States Olympic Committee approval of the LA 2028 project is the next step for the bid as it approaches its finality. Around the Rings understands a USOC board meeting is scheduled for next week. After USOC approval, all that remains is the Sept. 13 vote by the IOC to assign the 2024 Games to Paris and 2028 to Los Angeles. 

    Written by Aaron Bauer

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