Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city leaders are putting on their Sunday best as the International Olympic Committee panel arrives in Los Angeles tomorrow to find out if our fair city will be ready to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
Both LA and Paris are being put through the paces as four IOC vice presidents gauge which city would be best suited to host the summer games 7 years from now. Some of the criteria they look for include public transportation infrastructure, how many hotel rooms a city provides, and the facilities available both now and in the future for Olympians.
"I think today at least you can already say, either way, we will have fantastic Olympic Games," IOC evaluation commission chairman Patrick Baumann told The Associated Press.
IOC inspectors aren't looking to rank the cities they're visiting. Instead, reports will focus on the positives each city would bring to the games. That's good news for folks who want to see the games here in town as Los Angeles has a lot going for it.
For one, the proposed operating budget for the 2024 games is far skinnier than the $20 billion budget Brazil spent for the 2016 Rio games. Second, eighty-five percent of the Olympic venues needed by athletes for training and the games themselves already exist or have been approved.
Third, Agnelenos may love their cars, but they've also voted to improve the infrastructure. Between a $14 billion renovation of LAX and another $120 billion in transit funding approved by voters last year, Los Angeles may avoid the many pitfalls other cities may face when hosting the games.
Finally, famously, the 1984 Olympic Games hosted in Los Angeles generated a $225 million surplus, a figure that many hope can be outdone in 2024.
It's unclear how many voting members will be participating in the ultimate decision which is scheduled after the IOC inspectors submit their reports on July 5th. Eighty-eight of ninety-five current IOC members will choose the 2024 host city in a vote scheduled for Sept. 13 in Lima, Peru. American and French members are barred from voting, while others have recused themselves from the vote while under investigation.
The Agenda 2020 plan IOC reform package pushed by the IOC President Thomas Bach emphasizes a selection process that hopes to make the bidding friendlier for cities after concerns created by the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janiero. Bach says the IOC may award both the 2024 and the 2028 games this year to Los Angeles and Paris, and would later determine which city would host first.
Neither city has volunteered to take the later date.