Leaders of Paris’ Olympic bid have been scouting L.A. venues

An aerial view of the Coliseum in 2014.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

LA 2024 leaders reacted with surprise at learning that a rival Olympic bidder arrived quietly in town this week to study venues that form the centerpiece of Los Angeles’ campaign for the 2024 Games.

Leaders of the Paris 2024 bid spent several hours Wednesday taking pictures and videotape inside the Coliseum, Galen Center and a USC housing complex that would serve as a media village, a university spokeswoman said.

The French contingent was scheduled to visit UCLA — proposed site of the athletes village — on Thursday morning. The bid committee could not be reached for comment.


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With International Olympic Committee rules of conduct strictly prohibiting any public rancor between bid cities, LA 2024 issued only a brief statement.

“While surprising, we have no objection to Paris 2024 leaders wanting to tour our venues because they are not secrets,” spokesman Jeff Millman said.

Paris and Los Angeles are considered the front-runners in a race that includes Rome and Budapest.

IOC rules do not preclude information-gathering trips, nor do they require the visiting city to provide notification.

The Paris bid committee arranged its tours last week through the French consulate in Los Angeles, the USC spokeswoman said. The touring group includes Chief Executive Etienne Thobois and three of his top executives.


LA 2024 officials subsequently learned of the visit from officials at USC and UCLA.

Told that the rival bidder had taken extensive photos and video, Millman stressed that some of L.A.’s venues would look significantly different if the city is chosen to host the Games.

“With USC’s $270-million renovation of the Coliseum, it will be ready to provide the ideal experience for athletes, fans, media and all Olympic stakeholders,” he stated.

IOC members are scheduled to select a host in September 2017.


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