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IOC President Thomas Bach to tour proposed Olympic village at UCLA

Thomas Bach, Kobe Bryant

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, left, talks to Kobe Bryant prior to the Lakers’ game against Charlotte on Sunday at Staples Center.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

LA2024 officials face an early but important test Monday in their campaign to bring the Summer Games to Southern California.

The bid committee will spend the afternoon showing Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, the student housing at UCLA.

Those dorms and suites represent a key component of the bid, with LA2024 proposing to house Olympic athletes on campus, a decision that could shave $1 billion or more off construction costs.

“It’s a bold move,” said Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College in Massachusetts and author of “Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup.” “But it carries some risk.”

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Bid officials must prove to IOC officials that the housing is of good quality. Impressing Bach would help.

The IOC president arrived in Los Angeles on Sunday and attended a Lakers game, where he met Kobe Bryant and others.


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