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Olympics

Poll: L.A. residents want the Olympics, even if they must wait until 2028

Members of the media enter the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Thursday, May 11, 2017, in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. City officials have made a deal to host the 2028 Summer Olympics.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

The morning after Los Angeles officials announced a deal to host the 2028 Summer Olympics, a new poll suggests there is continued public support for bringing the Games back to the city, even if it means waiting a few more years.

Survey results published by Loyola Marymount University on Tuesday state that 83% of the 600 residents polled within Los Angeles County want the sporting event in 2028.

That number represents a slight dip from a previous LMU poll, conducted when L.A. was still pursuing the 2024 Games. At the time, 88% of respondents expressed support for hosting.

The scenario changed this summer when the International Olympic Committee decided that, with strong candidates in L.A. and Paris, it would name two winners, giving 2024 to one city and 2028 to another. Officials with what is now called LA 2028 negotiated better contract terms in exchange for going second.

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“The support among Angelenos for hosting the Summer Olympics remains strong, whether it’s in 2024 or 2028,” said Brianne Gilbert, associate director of LMU’s Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles. “The vast majority want the Games in L.A.”

There have been some questions about polling on this issue.

Earlier this summer, the IOC released its own results showing 78% support. The merits of that survey were difficult to judge because the IOC did not publish its methodology.

In both LMU polls, respondents were not asked if their support for hosting might be influenced by the fact that tax dollars would be put at risk if the estimated $5.3-billion sporting event runs over budget. Gilbert said LMU tested that type of question but chose not to include it.

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“We were very concerned that there wasn’t a great way for us to word the question where people would understand enough of the background and we’d be confident in the results,” she said.

The most recent LMU survey, funded in part by bid officials, was conducted by telephone and online in mid-July. Among respondents, 54% “strongly” supported hosting in 2028, 29% “somewhat” supported, 9% “somewhat” opposed and 8% “strongly” opposed.

Answering a second question, 70% said they would attend an Olympic event and 21% said they would leave town during the Games. The poll’s margin of error is 4%.

david.wharton@latimes.com

Follow @LAtimesWharton on Twitter

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