By the Staff of NYSportsJournalism
December 21, 2016: Since being selected in 2015 as candidate cites to host the Summer Games in 2024, both Los Angeles and Paris have found that the road can be long, winding, challenging and rewarding.
Along with Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris are following the arduous and costly process, which already has seen Rome and Hamburg, drop out, to the final selection date, scheduled for Sept. 17, 2017, by the International Olympic Committee.
Both bid committees — LA 2024 and Paris 2024 — have shown creativity, dedication, passion and marketing savvy. The process has obviously made an impact with supporters for each across their respective home nations, with both piling on the influencers from a broad spectrum, including politicians, entertainers, financial experts, designers, former Olympians and marketing partners.
When Los Angeles was selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee to represent the U.S. this past September after representatives from Boston, the USOC's initial choice, decided in July not to pursue the bid nomination, Casey Wasserman, chairman for LA 2020, wrote in a letter to the IOC and IOC president Thomas Bach, "LA 2024 is honored to be in the race for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and humbled by the opportunity. Our city has the enthusiasm, the passion and the experience to bring the summer Games back to the United States for the first time in 28 years."
The U.S. last hosted the Summer Games in 1996 (Atlanta) and the Winter Games in 2002 (Salt Lake City).
Los Angeles hosted Summer Games in 1932 and 1984, the latter in what became a watershed moment for the Olympics in the way marketing, sponsorship deals and activation was successfully managed.
In Paris, which has hosted Summer Games in 1900 and 1924, the Bid Committee is operating under a vision as defined by committee co-president Tony Estanguet: "The legacy of Paris 2024 will serve everyone, everywhere, who believes in sports as a force for good in our world."
"The city center will be alive with fans traveling from venue to venue served by a first-class public transport system and Paris’ famous bars and cafes will overflow with locals and visitors creating a unique Olympic and Paralympic atmosphere in the centre of the city," Estanguet said during a media event in Paris in December.
"This is our vision for a Games of passion and purpose in the very heart of a global city that delivers for International Federation athletes and the people of Paris and France."
Among the priorities to both bids: Staying within operating budget and, ultimately, making a profit.
The Paris Bid Committee most recently outlined an operating budget of about $6.6 billion.
According to Paris 2024 Sports Director Jean-Phillipe Gatien, "During a Paris 2024 Games 85% of athletes will be within 30 minutes of their competition venue, 95% of our venues already exist or are temporary structures and all our facilities will offer meaningful legacies for the community. Our message to IFs is we have Games-ready, world-class venues; we will provide excellent accessibility and reduced travel time during the Games; and we will ensure that their sport lives on in our communities after the Games have ended through real legacy programs."
La 2024 in December revised its budget to attract the IOC, estimating a cost of $5.3 billion to stage the Summer Olympics.
"If L.A. is chosen to host the 2024 Games, the IOC does not have to worry about changing or evolving budgets, shifting competition venues or uncertainty about delivering the Games," Wasserman said in a statement.
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