By Barry Janoff
September 1, 2015: Over the next two years, Los Angeles will seek to do what Boston did not want to do and what hasn't been done in the U.S. since 1996.
Following a unanimous vote by the Los Angeles City Council, the city and surrounding regions accepted the nomination of the U.S. Olympic Committee to become the U.S. representative to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The move comes two weeks before the deadline of the Sept. 15 deadline for cities to be officially submitted to the International Olympic Committee. The decision follows Boston's move earlier this summer to decline the USOC's bid nomination, which Boston earned in January by being selected over Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC following a month's-long process.
Among the cities that have committed or said they plan to submit bids are Paris, Budapest, Rome, Hamburg, Toronto and Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
The IOC said it plans to name a host city for the 2024 Summer Olympics in September 2017.
The last Summer Olympics held in the U.S. was the 1996 event in Atlanta, the last Winter Games were 2002 in Salt Lake City. New York and Chicago lost their bids to host the 2012 and 2016 Summer Games, respectively, during the official IOC voting process. The 2012 Games were in London, the 2016 Games will be played in Rio de Janeiro and the 2020 Summer Games will be in Tokyo.
The last Olympics in North American were the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.
L.A.'s decision to accept the bid — which if successful would be the third Olympic Games held there joining 1932 and 1984 — was unveiled during a media conference on Tuesday (Sept. 1) attended by USOC officials, members of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games and LA 2024, politicians, current and former Olympic athletes and the requisite celebrities.
Among those in attendance were Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. USOC Chairman Larry Probst, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun, L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson and LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman; swimmer Janet Evans, diver Greg Louganis, decathlete Bryan Clay, gymnast Peter Vidmar, boxer Oscar De La Hoya, sprinter Carmelita Jeter and 2000 Olympic U.S. baseball gold medal winning manager Tommy Lasorda.
Sportscaster Al Michaels served as the master of ceremonies.
"I am proud to officially launch our bid with the USOC as we aim to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games back to the U.S. for the first time in 28 years."
“Today, I am proud to officially launch our bid in partnership with the USOC as we aim to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games back to the U.S. for the first time in 28 years,” Mayor Garcetti said during the media conference, held at he Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica. “It is an honor for any city to host the Olympic Games, and Los Angeles is uniquely prepared for this task. With the unanimous support of our City Council, we are ready to serve and strengthen the Olympic Movement and build a new Olympic legacy.”
Los Angeles' ability and willingness to host a massive event such as the Olympics was shown this summer when it hosted the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, which included some 6,500 athletes and 2,000 coaches representing 165 nations, with an estimated fan turnout of 500,000 at venues throughout the area.
Los Angeles will be part of the 2016 Summer Olympics process this February when it hosts the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Men’s and Women’s Marathon, which will take place a day before the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon.
According to the "LA 2024 Bid Book,' hosting the Summer Games that year would cost upward of $6 billion, including in excess of $900,000 to build an Olympic Village to house coaches and athletes..
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Los Angeles as our U.S. bid city for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Blackmun during the media conference. “L.A. has the proven experience in hosting the Games, and knows how to deliver world-class events for athletes and an extraordinary experience for fans. Coupled with the city’s culture of creativity and innovation, we are confident L.A. can deliver an outstanding Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024.”
Marketing partners will continue to monitor the situation. The IOC's global partners include Atos, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Dow, General Electric, McDonald's, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Toyota and Visa.
Top USOC partners include 24 Hour Fitness, Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), AT&T, BMW, BP, Chobani, Citi, Dick's, The Hartford, Hilton, Kellogg's, Liberty Mutual, Nike, TD Ameritrade and United Airlines.
NBC currently has exclusive broadcast rights in the U.S. through 2032.
The Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid plan includes soccer at the Rose Bowl, baseball and softball at Dodger Stadium; basketball, trampoline and gymnastics in Staples Center; and Opening and Closing Ceremonies in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which also was used for the 1984 Olympics.
Among the other venues: StubHub Center Soccer Stadium (rugby), Nokia Theatre (fencing), Los Angeles Convention Center (badminton, handball, judo, rhythmic gymnastics, table tennis, taekwondo, wrestling) and the famed Hollywood Boulevard (marathon start and finish, race walking, road cycling).
“L.A. is a truly Olympic city,” said Wasserman. “Olympism is deeply rooted in the culture here and it is part of our DNA. We live and breathe sport and this is reflected in the vast amount of sports infrastructure we already have. We are very fortunate to be in the position to have so many world-class venues available to us as it has allowed us to develop a sustainable plan that aligns with the city’s long term vision and the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020.”
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