Los Angeles a U.S. finalist for 2024 Summer Games bid

Los Angeles a U.S. finalist for 2024 Summer Games bid
British children pose for photos under a sculpture of the Olympic rings in Coventry, England. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Washington are finalists for the 2024 Summer Olmypics. (Hussein Malla / Associated Press)

Los Angeles has made the short list of American cities vying to bid for the 2024 Summer Games, and now local officials are waiting to see what happens next.

The U.S. Olympic Committee has taken a streamlined approach to picking its candidate this time around, hoping to control the rampant costs traditionally associated with trying for the Games.


There have been months of informal meetings and non-official proposals.

"It's not been run like this before," said David Simon, president of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games. "Each step of the process, they've announced it as it goes along."

The competition will come from Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., the other finalists announced Friday.

"Los Angeles is the ideal Olympic city, with endless diversity, attractions and scenic beauty," Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. "I look forward to dealing with the USOC to ensure we present the strongest possible bid for our nation."

San Diego and Dallas, which had also shown interest, did not make the cut.

San Francisco has been considered an early favorite among International Olympic Committee members, with Los Angeles facing an image problem — been there, done that — because it hosted the Games in 1932 and 1984.

Southern California officials are fighting back with renderings of an athletes village constructed across the Los Angeles River from downtown and descriptions of new or unusual venues such as the Hollywood Bowl and a proposed NFL stadium near Staples Center.

But the confidential pitch — which SCCOG mistakenly posted on its website, then hastily removed — also featured a revamped Coliseum and suggested making Exposition Park the hub for four venue clusters.

It was 16 months ago that the USOC reached out to 35 cities to gauge interest in bidding. Over the past six months, the committee narrowed its focus to a smaller group.

"Simplifying the domestic bid process has been a major priority for us," USOC Chief Executive Scott Blackmun said in a statement. "We were able to have exploratory conversations with a greater number of cities while avoiding unnecessary costs."

Simon said his group has met with the USOC twice and has been working closely with the mayor's office.

SCCOG officials have not disclosed how much they have spent on their effort so far. Even with a relatively casual procedure, bidding for the Games can be expensive.

Another complication: The USOC has not yet committed to submitting a bid.

The last two American cities to try for the Summer Games — New York and Chicago — suffered stinging defeats.


The process for 2024 will continue with more meetings through the end of the year. In early 2015, after the IOC's Olympic Agenda 2020 session, the USOC said it expects to make a final decision about bidding.

The deadline for submitting bids to the IOC will probably be next year and the host will be chosen by a vote in 2017.

In the meantime, SCCOG is waiting for instructions.

"Really, the next steps are up to the USOC and the mayor's office," Simon said.

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