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LA 2024 promises frugal Olympics with good weather

LA 2024 officials have submitted the first installment of their bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, insisting they can stage a cost-efficient Games across almost two dozen locations in the greater metropolitan area.

The 56-page document was delivered to the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland on Wednesday morning as part of a revamped bidding process.

Its venue map shows a renovated Coliseum serving as the main Olympic stadium, with basketball at Staples Center, soccer at the Rose Bowl and beach volleyball on Santa Monica beach.

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A planned NFL stadium in Inglewood is mentioned only briefly but officials propose to use UCLA as an athletes village, house media at USC and partner in the construction of a costly media center on the NBCUniversal Studios lot.

“We all know that Los Angeles is a city that breathes Olympism,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a separate statement released Tuesday afternoon. “It’s in our DNA.”

The first official “deliverable” includes few specifics on financing for a project that could exceed $6 billion, with officials using words such as “prudent” and “conservative” to insist they can avoid a deficit.

The bid itself will cost an estimated $40 million to $55 million, the document states.

LA 2024 pledges to maintain a 10% to 15% contingency against cost overruns and a series of insurance policies, including “comprehensive earthquake coverage.” The bid committee mentions commissioning a security and risk analysis but does not detail costs of safeguarding the Games.

Officials say partners such as USC, UCLA and NBCUniversal will bear much of the financial risk, which also includes USC’s planned $270-million upgrade to the Coliseum.

Wednesday’s submission represents the first part of a three-stage bidding process that will stretch well into 2017. In addition to the document, LA 2024 was scheduled to pay $50,000 of the overall $250,000 “Candidature Service” fee.

The IOC will review the documents from Los Angeles and three other bidders – Paris, Rome and Budapest, Hungary – and by summer will announce which candidates are moving forward.

All four are expected to be confirmed.

Candidate cities have historically based their bids on a narrative – a story that tells the IOC how and why they should be given the Games.

LA 2024’s pitch highlights the region’s warm weather and adds some Hollywood to the mix, promising that “the greatest storytellers on Earth” can help craft the image of a “New Games for a New Era.”

The bid committee also released a new logo – an angel in the colors of sunset with wings outstretched and a sun shining from its heart.

Of greater importance, the bid reaffirms an intention to save money by using existing venues.

The potential layout includes such familiar sites as Pauley Pavilion, the Forum and the StubHub Center, along with unconventional proposals such as mountain biking in the Santa Monica Mountains and archery on Bunker Hill.

The marathon would run past City Hall and equestrians would ride in the Sepulveda Basin.

Olympic proposals tend to shift over time. Much could change by the time the IOC selects a host in September 2017.

Follow David Wharton on Twitter @LATimesWharton

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
A version of this article appeared in print on February 17, 2016, in the Sports section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Initial L.A. bid to IOC focuses on efficiency" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe

UPDATE

10:13 p.m. - This article was updated with additional information.

This article was originally published at 8:22 p.m.

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