Call it a warning shot, call it an ultimatum, call it a bargaining chip or maybe just call it a reaction to the stress of putting together an Olympic bid. Los Angeles and the USOC have publicly stated they have no interest in bidding for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games if they are not awarded the 2024 edition.
The news was carried in an article published in Inside The Games.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been actively investigating the possibility of awarding Paris the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics and Los Angeles 2028.
IOC President Thomas Bach admitted after an Executive Board meeting in Lausanne last month that "informal discussions" are underway about changing a bidding process in which there are "too many losers.”
But newly-published minutes from the USOC Board meeting on December 13 show it was agreed that they "do not foresee pursuing any bid" other than for 2024.
It followed an update given by Los Angeles 2024 chief executive Gene Sykes.
“Board discussion followed as to public reports that the IOC may consider naming hosts for both the 2024 and 2028 Games during 2017,” the minutes said. “After a full and frank exchange of ideas, issues and possibilities, there was general agreement that the LA 2024 bid is specifically configured and calculated for 2024 rather than 2028 activation. Neither LA 2024 nor the USOC have focused at all on the possibility of any bid other than for the 2024 Games; and the USOC Board does not foresee pursuing any bid other than for the 2024 Games.”
Of course, Paris Olympic Committee officials have been similarly adamant that they are only interested in the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.
“We are bidding only for 2024,” a spokesperson for Paris 2024 told Inside The Games.
Budapest is the other city bidding.
However, pundits have noted, this could leave the door open for L.A. or Paris being awarded the 2028 edition without having to campaign. Bach, for his part, is being evasive. When asked again if both Games could be awarded at the IOC Session in Lima on September 13, he answered: “Let us study this question, which is not an easy one.”
Already, other cities are expressing interest in the 2028 Games, including Brisbane, Australia.
The Olympics represent an opportunity that would be hard to turn away from. A new study has claimed that Los Angeles could help increase economic output across the United States by $18.3 billion if the city hosts the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.