With Hamburg, Rome, and Budapest dropping out of the 2024 Olympics due to financial concerns, it became a two-candidate fight between Paris and Los Angeles for the coveted prize of hosting the 2024 event. It must be mentioned that L.A. was a late inclusion after the original U.S. city, Boston, withdrew its candidature in 2015.
However, down to just two candidates bidding for the 2024 Games, the IOC took a decision to declare the hosts for two successive games– the 2024 and 2028 Olympics & Paralympics – in a single sitting asking the two candidate cities to work out an arrangement to decide which city would host first. This is the second time after 1921 that the International Olympic Committee has decided to award two Games in the same year.
After considerable deliberation, Los Angeles decided to forego the 2024 Games for the 2028 Olympics earning themselves £1.8 billion contract with the IOC for its gesture of pulling back behind Paris. The allocated funds are supposed to support youth sports programs in L.A. for an extended period of 11 years before the city gets to host the 2028 Games.
IOC president Thomas Bach welcomed L.A.’s decision to make way for Paris to host the earlier version of the Games saying that he expected Paris to be confirmed as the 2024 host soon.
“The IOC welcomes this decision of the Los Angeles Olympic & Paralympic Candidature Committee, and we are pleased to release the Host City contract 2028 in a transparent and timely manner,” said Bach.
“We are very happy that, as part of this Host City Contract, we are able to increase the access of the city’s youth to sport, and encourage the healthy lifestyle of Angelenos for the next 11 years,” he said.
“We are very confident that we can reach a tripartite agreement under the leadership of the IOC with LA and Paris in August, creating a win-win-win situation for all three partners,” he continued. “This agreement will be put forward to the IOC Session in Lima in September for ratification,” he added.
Though not yet officially confirmed, it’s a foregone conclusion that Paris will get the International Olympics Committee’s nod for 2024, now that L.A. is out of the picture.
“This agreement will allow us to seed a legacy of hope and opportunity that will lift up every community in Los Angeles,” said LA mayor Eric Garcetti supporting the decision.
“I now know that I’m sitting up here with the two mayors or two cities that will host after Tokyo the next two Olympics,” Garcetti said.
“Los Angeles is living legacy of this Olympic movement,” Garcetti continued. “In 1932 we were a Games changer. In 1984 we were a Games changer. During the Great Depression, during the Cold War, we’ve always answered the Olympic movement’s call and this is a similarly intense and important moment for the Olympic movement.”
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said:
“Paris and Los Angeles are two amazing global cities that are united in their support of the Olympic cause and we stand together now to help the Games thrive in 2024 and 2028.
“As this announcement shows, dialogue between the IOC and the two cities is progressing well.
“We are confident that a ‘win-win-win’ agreement can be finalized ahead of the IOC session in Lima,” he added.
If all goes as foreseen, Paris will be hosting a centenary Olympics in 2024 after having played host in 1924 and before that in 1900.
After the 2028 Games, Los Angeles will also have earned the distinction of holding three Games, the previous two occasions being 1932 and 1984.
IOC’s marketing director and senior adviser to the L.A bid team, Michael Payne, credited Bach for the win-win decision for all parties involved.
“Clearly there were serious concerns with the hosting process after Rio, but Bach’s strategy of locking down Paris and LA has ensured that the IOC got two great hosts with the majority of their infrastructure in place,” he commented.