After the enormously costly Beijing and Sochi Olympics, the International Olympic Committee is ready to go back to basics, looking to control the costs of hosting the games simply because few, if any countries will be able to afford spending so many billions.
So when Los Angeles offered it’s bid to be the host candidate of the 2024 Olympics to the U.S. Olympic Committee, it will get very serious consideration, after Boston sort of bailed out. LA mayor Eric Garcetti says the games would cost about $4.6 billion with about half a billion in contingency, a real bargain compared to Beijing’s reported $40 billion investment in 2008, which in reality may have been more like $50 billion. If there is drinkable water in LA by 2024, if we haven’t had some apocalyptic earthquake, or had the city consumed by massive brush fires, here are 7 good reasons why LA should host the summer games.
1- History. the 1932 and 1984 games in Los Angeles have gone down as two of the greatest ever, plus the LA Memorial Coliseum is still there and with some refurbishing could successfully host it’s third Olympics.
2- The ’84 Olympics, which I had the privilege of covering, proved that LA’s challenging traffic situation can be controlled, I was there and it worked better than other Olympics I have attended, without having people displaced from their homes or relocated.
3- LA has a great number of existing facilities for many different sports, certainly much more than in 1984, from a velodrome to basketball and Boxing venues. Even with some structures in need of refurbishing it’s still cheaper than starting from scratch. For example, the University of Southern California which uses the Coliseum for their football team is committed to investing at least $70 million dollars to restore it including the seating.
4- The Olympic Village might be the coolest ever, in an area by the LA River and with LA’s downtown in the backdrop. The area is already earmarked for residential zoning and developers would take the lead in the project with Olympic organizers adding only $75 million to the pot.
5- Even the often overlooked San Fernando Valley will get a piece of the action with the media hub located in the NBC Universal Studio City lots, and events like the Modern Pentathlon and Archery being staged in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area in Encino.
6- With Beach Volleyball set next to the Santa Monica Pier, the Marathon starting and finishing on Hollywood Boulevard, BMX and Mountain Biking by the legendary Griffith Observatory hills with the Hollywood sign as a backdrop and the Opening and Closing ceremonies at the Coliseum, the wow factor will be big. I remember the guy in the Jetpack in the Opening Ceremonies of the ’84 games it was awesome.
7- Finally even if the games do go over budget, London 2012 was supposed to cost $5 billion and wound up costing $15 billion, it will still wind up being one of the least expensive of recent games and with an outstanding infrastructure.
I for one hope that it happens, don’t forget to BYOW! (bring your own water).