The Los Angeles City Council gave the green light on Tuesday to a proposal that will allow L.A. to join Rome, Paris, Hamburg, Germany, and Budapest, Hungary as a contender for the 2024 Olympics.
Mayor Eric Garcetti’s bid outlines over $6 billion in a spending commitment that was provided to the U.S. Olympics Committee. “We are not going to allow Los Angeles taxpayers to be on the hook for cost overruns,” Councilman Mitch O’Farrell reportedly told the Times.
A final vote will be held on September 15, 2017 in Lima, Peru by the International Olympic Committee.
Boston, the original nominee, withdrew its bid in July following months of contentious debates between the city and opposition groups. City officials decided they would not burden their taxpayers with this expensive venture.
Mayor Garcetti issued a statement following news of Boston’s withdrawal: “I continue to believe that Los Angeles is the ideal Olympic city…I would be happy to engage in discussions with the USOC about how to present the strongest and most fiscally responsible bid on behalf of our city and nation.”
The AP reports that last week, L.A. Chief Deputy City Attorney James P. Clark assured city council members that passage of the proposal would not expose taxpayers to unchecked spending or debt. Yet analysts reportedly do not yet have enough information to determine the financial risk involved or to develop a tangible budget for the 2024 venture.
If Los Angeles is selected as the host city by the IOC, it would join London as the second three-time host as L.A. was the host in both 1932 and 1984.
The 1984 Olympics, which were boycotted by the Soviet bloc, made Carl Lewis and Mary Lou Retton household names across America.