KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS —- The deal has been struck. Los Angeles has agreed the financial terms to switch its Olympics host focus to 2028 which means Paris lands 2024, the neat and tidy centenary of the so-called Chariots of Fire Games.
Also, the International Olympic Committee and its president Thomas Bach has the guarantee of two major world cities picking up the torch after Tokyo 2020 and thus bringing an essential element of stability to the fragile event-hosting industry.
A direct hint of a formal announcement was delivered last week by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti after the International Olympic Committee’s endorsement last month of a unique double bid scenario.
IOC president Thomas Bach promised three-way negotiations with the two rival cities but that meant, in effect, with Los Angeles and the issue was how the Olympic bosses would cushion the Californian city’s four-year hosting delay.
Now the IOC, in a formal statement, has confirmed that it will “contribute $1.8bn to the local organising committee” within the host city contract after “the declaration of candidature by the Los Angeles Olympic and Paralympic Candidature Committee for the Olympic Games 2028.”
An IOC statement said: “In [the contract] the IOC stipulates that it will make contributions to the Organising Committee representing an overall estimated value of $1.8bn.
Bach said: “In comparison to the Host City Contract 2024, the IOC is making two major changes: the IOC will advance funds to a Los Angeles Organising Committee in view of the longer planning period and to increase participation and access to youth sports programmes in the City of Los Angeles in the years leading up to the Games.
“The IOC welcomes this decision of the Los Angeles Olympic and Paralympic Candidature Committee. and we are pleased to release the Host City contract 2028 in a transparent and timely manner.”
Bach sought to assuage any possible wounded LA pride over missing out on 2024.
He added: “Los Angeles presented an excellent candidature that embraces the Olympic Agenda 2020 sustainability priorities by maximising the use of existing facilities and encouraging the engagement of more youth in the Olympic Movement.
“Therefore, 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.
“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. This agreement will be put forward to the IOC Session in Lima in September for ratification.”
The IOC Session in Lima on September 13, 2017, will now be asked merely to rubber-stamp Paris and Los Angeles for 2024 and 2028 respectively.
Bach’s Olympic stage was set for a double deal after the bid evaluation committee led by IOC member Patrick Baumann reported back n glowing terms on both proposals earlier this year.
Baumann, reported: “Members of the Evaluation Commission have used the terms ‘forward-looking’, ‘innovative’, ‘vibrant’, and ‘cool’ to describe the Los Angeles candidature, and ‘historical’, ‘cultural’, ‘iconic’ and ‘amazing backdrops’ for that of Paris.
“However, whatever the description, it truly is a tale of two great Olympic cities. The two projects are different in nature, but each city presents a proposal which is genuinely authentic and reflects the best of what each has to offer.
“Los Angeles is one of the most entertaining sports and leisure destinations on the planet; Paris has a history second to none. On any given day, people around the globe enjoy Hollywood offerings of great storytelling and showcasing technology, while at the same time they dream of visiting Paris, one of the world’s most dazzling tourist destinations.
“With the support, enthusiasm and passion of their citizens and athletes, Los Angeles and Paris have presented the best of their cities. And their best is as good as it can possibly get for the Olympic Games.”
In line with the reforms Bach’s pet ‘Olympic Agenda 2020’ and in an effort to cut costs, both Los Angeles and Paris had proposed using a record number of existing and temporary venues, a first in Olympic history.
The release of the report led to the IOC executive board unanimously approving the award of the 2024 and 2028 summer Olympics at the same time.
The proposal was then endorsed at an extraordinary IOC session on July 11-12 in Lausanne.