After Rio 2016 Olympics, Los Angeles again bids among four cities that USOC must decide

US Committee says it will encourage a single city to host in the wake of recent reforms to allow co-hosting and split costs.
Los Angeles has hosted the Olympic Games twice and wants to be the first city in the United States to host the quadrennial event since Atlanta in 1996. Eric Feferberg / AFP
Los Angeles has hosted the Olympic Games twice and wants to be the first city in the United States to host the quadrennial event since Atlanta in 1996. Eric Feferberg / AFP

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has announced it will bid to host the 2024 Summer Games, but the candidate city will not be selected until next year.

Los Angeles, Washington DC, Boston and San Francisco all made their final pitches for staging the four-yearly showpiece to the USOC board of directors.

“The board voted unanimously to move forward with a bid,” USOC chairman Larry Probst said. “We are going to take our time and pick the city we think has the best chance of winning the competition from other cities around the world.

“This is going to be a really, really difficult decision. That is why we want to make sure we get to the best possible ­decision.”

The US has won the most medals at the past five Summer Games but it has not hosted a Summer Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta Games.

The 2002 Winter Olympics at Salt Lake City were the last Games on US soil.

All four cities have said it would cost up to US$5 billion (Dh18.3bn) to host the Olympics, not including infrastructure improvements such as airport expansion, public transit and motorway upgrades, which could take the price up as high as $9 billon to $10bn.

“The board would like to have some further discussion,” Probst said. “We want to make a very thoughtful decision and the best possible decision and so the next part of the process is to get the board together again in the early part of January.”

The US can expect a tough competition. The official decision to bid for the Olympics comes just a day after Italy announced Rome would spearhead what is expected to be a multi-city bid. Germany has said that Berlin or Hamburg will put forward for the 2024 or 2028 Summer Games.

Paris is to decide in January whether to stage a bid and the Azerbaijan capital, Baku, and Doha, both beaten by Tokyo in the bid to host the 2020 Games, are potential candidates.

South Africa could have a bid by Durban or a joint Johannesburg-Pretoria bid.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will choose a final list of candidate cities in May 2016 and make a final decision in Lima in 2017.

Probst said the US plan is to come up with a single city bid and not to spread it out over too big an area.

“It is unlikely we will do a multi-city bid. We are far more likely to do a one-city bid,” he said.

The IOC passed new rules recently allowing the Games to be held in more than one city and encouraging the use of existing facilities so hosts can spread the costs around.

The 2014 Winter Games in Sochi cost Russia an estimated $51bn, and the IOC believes that spiralling costs have scared many nations off hosting the Games. Probst aims to pick a city that can launch a competitive bid while keeping the costs under control.

“The IOC is trying to make this more cost effective,” he said.

The US did not make a bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. Los Angeles sought to be the US candidate to host the 2016 Games, but was beaten by Chicago, whose bid was then rejected by the IOC in favour of Rio de Janeiro.

Los Angeles is seeking to join London as the only cities to host the Summer Olympics three times. Los Angeles was the site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympics.

Washington, Boston and San Francisco are all hoping to host their first Olympics.

Published: December 18, 2014 04:00 AM


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