LA 2024 bid documents show average ticket prices of more than $1,700 for opening ceremony

Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at a news conference after the City Council gave its final approval to a proposal that could bring the 2024 Olympic Games to Southern California in 2024.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

If Los Angeles wins the right to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, organizers would seek to offset the estimated $5.3-billion budget with average ticket prices of more than $1,700 for the opening ceremony and $250-$450 for marquee events such as the gymnastics final and basketball gold-medal game.

That would put the proposed Games in the neighborhood of recent Super Bowls and NBA Finals, which have brought averages reported at $1,500 to $4,000.

Less popular Olympic events, including preliminaries for rugby and shooting, would average about $34 a ticket, according to documents the LA 2024 bid committee made public Thursday.

“The ticket prices are based on London 2012 prices,” said Jeff Millman, a committee spokesman. “With more than 10 million tickets available at a variety of prices, all Angelenos will be able to afford tickets to the Games.”

Bid leaders estimate that they will sell 97% of available seats, which would be an improvement over the recent 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, where some events were sparsely attended.


As with pricing, LA 2024 said it based projected attendance on the London Olympics.

“Rio is a very different city than Los Angeles,” Millman said. “London was our starting point.”

The numbers issued Thursday were included in a final candidate filing that host cities had to submit to the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland.

Los Angeles is competing against Paris and Budapest, with the IOC scheduled to select a host in September.

From the start, local bid leaders have sought to avoid billions in construction by using existing facilities such as the Coliseum, Rose Bowl and StubHub Center.

“LA 2024 does not need to construct a single new permanent venue,” bid chairman Casey Wasserman said in a statement, adding: “So we can focus on the things that really matter.”

The bid proposes to provide athletes with renovated rooms and upscale dining choices at UCLA, which will serve as the Olympic village. Competitors would be supplied with “concierge” wireless devices, helping them find the shortest food lines, order meals for pick-up or catch the next bus to their venue.

Bid leaders also said they plan to utilize Hollywood talent and California’s high-tech industry to help the Olympic movement connect with young fans.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has spearheaded the effort, called it “a chance to place L.A.’s extraordinary creativity and innovation at the service of the Olympic movement.”

Still, with an undertaking as complex and expensive as the Games, a key portion of Thursday’s filing addressed finances. And the most recent budget included some changes.

The proposed contingency set aside for unexpected costs was recently trimmed from $491 million to $488 million. If the Games were to run over budget, the city would be largely responsible for any unpaid debts.

Even with numerous stadiums and arenas already in operation, organizers would need to spend hundreds of millions on retrofitting for the Olympics.

The cost for such “overlays” at the Coliseum, for example, would be more than $117 million, with much of that devoted to a temporary, raised track.

Organizers would spend an estimated $68 million to convert USC’s baseball field into a swim stadium. Cheaper modifications, such as preparing a cycling road course and transforming Pauley Pavilion into a wrestling venue, would run about $4 million each.

LA 2024 officials have estimated that they can cover all expenses by generating billions in revenue from sources such as broadcast rights, corporate sponsorships and merchandising.

As for the ticket sales, the estimated prices in Thursday’s filing were averages that would include seats costing substantially more and less than the listed amount.

Golf preliminaries would be the cheapest event at an average of $13.12. Diving finals would cost $270 and beach volleyball finals would be $166.

The overall average would be about $137 a ticket.

Follow @LAtimesWharton on Twitter