LA mayor opens door slightly to 2028 Games if 2024 is no go
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has opened the door slightly to considering hosting the 2028 Olympics if the city isn’t awarded its first choice of 2024.
The International Olympic Committee’s evaluation commission concluded its four-day visit to Los Angeles on Friday and now heads to Paris, the only other bidder for the 2024 Games.
There was nothing in a statement from LA2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman earlier this month that suggested the city would consider anything other than 2024.
On Friday, Garcetti said the city would “listen if the rules change.”
The IOC has four vice presidents looking into the prospect of awarding the 2024 and 2028 Games at the same time in September, when the winning bidder for 2024 is to be announced.
“If you can create winners instead of so many losers, it’s good for the (Olympic) movement,” Garcetti said, standing at the free-throw line on the basketball court at Staples Center.
Patrick Baumann, chairman of the IOC evaluation committee, said that whatever the four vice presidents decide “we will not have a problem.”
However, Baumann said, “I’m concentrating on 2024. We have already enough to do with that.”
A day earlier, Garcetti said, “I’d love to go to Paris in 2028 and see my friends there.”
French President-elect Emmanuel Macron has thrown his weight behind Paris’ bid, while President Donald Trump and his controversial immigration stance were not discussed in Los Angeles, according to Baumann.
He said the IOC is not seeking a meeting with either leader, adding that “we’re certainly honored to meet with whoever the bid committee proposes.”
Garcetti said Trump made it clear to him that he supports the Los Angeles bid and a meeting at the White House could occur in the coming months.
“There are things that bring us together and this is one of them,” the mayor said.
Baumann said the IOC has received assurances from the Trump administration that entry visas for participating athletes and spectators would be forthcoming.
“We don’t think that is going to be an issue,” he said.
IOC members and LA2024 executives met one last time Friday to tie up loose ends after two days of touring the city and the proposed venues and sites for the city’s bid to land the Olympics for a third time.
“In Los Angeles there is no major risk we can highlight,” Baumann said. “We’ve been very impressed by their expertise. We’ve seen excellent venues, including legacy venues from the 1932 and 1984 games. The Olympic spirit is incredibly strong in this city. The legacy of 1984 lives on, not only in the venues, but more important in the people who were inspired by those games.”
Baumann said the commission members “were almost ecstatic” at seeing the number of existing venues and meeting the people who run those arenas and stadiums.
“That’s been extremely valuable,” he said.
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