Opinion: The upside to Los Angeles losing the 2024 Olympics

The men's 5,000-meter event at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
(Associated Press )

Los Angeles lost its attempt to host the 2024 summer Olympics. Boston was picked Thursday by the U.S. Olympic committee as America’s nominee. Boooo.

Bean Town is a fine city and will make a good competitor for the games on the world stage. But it’s disappointing that L.A. will lose out on the huge infusion of development dollars, as well as the thrill of having our city to play host to the world’s most exciting international sporting event.

Of course, not everyone in L.A. is sad to lose out on the games. There was a flurry of tweets from relieved Angelenos shortly after the committee’s announcement, and they have a point. The Olympics are a huge risk. They require an enormous public investment, in terms of money and time. They can divert attention from more pressing issues facing Los Angeles (namely, the city’s huge backlog of infrastructure repairs, the need to reinvent our water supply and the question of how to create more, better paying jobs.)

So, rather than mourn the loss of the Olympics, let’s look on the bright side:


  • At least San Francisco didn’t get it.
  • Los Angeles taxpayers are completely off the hook for any potential Olympic expense. No games means no stadium renovations or hotel construction subsidies needed.
  • We don’t have to prepare for and then endlessly worry about the possibility of an Olympics-related terrorist attack.
  • We don’t have to make any sacrifices in 2024. There will be no repeat of Carmageddon and no urgent pleas from politicians to stay off the road to prevent gridlock. Drive to your heart’s content, Los Angeles! (Just kidding, please don’t.)

Instead we can sit back, relax and follow the news as Boston prepares to woo the International Olympic Committee, which will pick the official host city in the summer of 2017. And if it doesn’t work out for Boston in 2024, Los Angeles can always get back in the game for 2028. If we even want to.
For more opinions, follow me @kerrycavan