Olympic officials begin three-day evaluation of Los Angeles’ 2024 bid

LA 2024 organizers meet with the International Olympic Committee’s evaluation commission in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday.
(David Wharton / Los Angeles Times)

Gathering in a conference room at a downtown hotel, International Olympic Committee officials began their three-day evaluation of Los Angeles’ bid for the 2024 Summer Games.

The members of the IOC’s evaluation commission are scheduled to hear a full day of presentations from L.A. bid leaders on Wednesday, then spend Thursday touring proposed venues.

Patrick Baumann, the commission’s chairman, referenced previous Games in Southern California in his opening remarks, saying: “Los Angeles is already a great Olympic city.”


L.A. is vying with Paris in a competition that has become even more complex than usual, with the IOC sending strong indications that it could name two winners, giving 2024 to one city and 2028 to the other.

The race is considered neck-and-neck at this point, with Paris as a sentimental favorite and L.A. as — perhaps — a more fiscally reasonable option.

LA 2024 officials spoke briefly at the start of Wednesday’s meeting, hitting all the talking points that have become the hallmark of their campaign.

Bid chairman Casey Wasserman spoke of “this unique moment in time,” insisting the Olympics need a financially successful Games in the wake of numerous potential hosts withdrawing over cost concerns.

U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Larry Probst talked about his organization’s effort to improve relations with the IOC over the last decade. Former hockey player and current IOC member Angela Rugierro, a Southern California native, called Los Angeles an entertainment and technology center that can help the Olympic movement connect with young fans.

Taking the podium last, Mayor Eric Garcetti seemed to address concerns among some IOC members regarding President Trump’s positions on foreign relations and immigration.


Garcetti touched on his city’s diversity, saying: “If America is a nation of immigrants, Los Angeles is ground zero … a living, breathing metaphor for unity.”

This week’s evaluation will result in a report that is provided to IOC leadership and approximately 100 members who will vote to select a host in September.

The commission will visit Paris next week.

Follow @LAtimesWharton on Twitter