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L.A. gets extended deadline to consider 2026 World Cup bid

Los Angeles will have more time to submit its bid to become one of the host cities for the 2026 World Cup.

Alex Comisar, spokesman for Mayor Eric Garcetti, said Friday the United Bid Committee extended the deadline until later this month for Los Angeles to bid on a piece of the international event. The United Bid Committee represents the three-nation group cooperatively seeking to host the World Cup in North America.

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Los Angeles city leaders have balked at signing the host city contract put forth by FIFA, the sport's international governing body, because of the financial risk. For example, under the current contact Los Angeles could be obligated to provide police and other city services if events are held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

It's unclear which Southern California venue — the Coliseum, Rose Bowl or the new NFL stadium under construction in Inglewood — FIFA might want to use.

Garcetti said Friday that he's also concerned about the financial risk. "I'm grateful to the United Bid Committee for giving us time to take a closer look, resolve this, and welcome the world to L.A. for the World Cup," Garcetti said.

Doane Liu, executive director of the Department of Convention and Tourism Development, which is helping oversee the bid effort, said Friday the city now has more time to come up with "creative alternatives."

Under one scenario, he said, a private group could sign the host city contract with FIFA, to reduce the financial risk to Los Angeles and other cities. Some of the other cities bidding for World Cup events are also using third-party organizations, he said.

Follow Dakota Smith on Twitter @dakotacdsmith

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