LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — The City Council voted on Tuesday to allow for Mayor Eric Garcetti to execute agreements related to the 2024 Olympic Games bid, which outlines over $6 billion in public and private spending.
City Council members voted to move forward with the bid, which led the U.S. Olympic Committee to formally name Los Angeles as its official bidder for the athletic spectacle.
Council members agreed to back the bid after city attorneys assured them the city will not be making any immediate financial commitments to the bid, which includes calls for building a $1 billion athletes’ village on a rail yard the city doesn’t own.
LA24 officials estimate the cost of hosting the 2024 Olympics in Los Angeles would be $4.1 billion, or $4.6 billion when a roughly $400 million contingency fund and insurance are included.
Los Angeles officially joins Rome, Paris, Hamburg, Germany, Budapest and Hungary in the bid to host the Games. The International Olympic Committee is expected to make a final decision on a host city in September 2017.
The Olympic Village would be next to the Los Angeles River in Lincoln Heights — in a Union Pacific rail yard known as the “Piggyback Yard” — and calls for track-and-field and the opening and closing ceremonies to be held at a renovated Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The bid also designates sports venue clusters in downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley, coastal areas like Santa Monica, the area around UCLA and the South Bay.
Garcetti and Council President Herb Wesson were joined by several former Olympians at a press conference in Santa Monica to celebrate the announcement.
“This is a great day for Los Angeles and a great day for the Olympic movement,” said Garcetti. “We all know the next two years are about fleshing out the details, but this is in our DNA. We know how to do Olympics, we know how to do them well, we know how to do them economically.”
Veteran Olympics journalist Alan Abrahamson with 3 Wire Sports told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO regardless of what some critics may say, hosting the Olympic Games would bring a “boatload of money” to the city if it wins the bid.
“If you understand the way Olympic finance works, you understand that this is not going to be a money loser,” said Abrahamson. “This is going to be a money maker in the biggest way possible.”
The vote came a month after Boston’s bid for the Olympic Games collapsed in July, amid lackluster public support and concerns from elected leaders and opponents about taxpayer spending and debt.
Government analysts have warned that developing the site could significantly exceed the projected cost as the games call for at least $1.7 billion in private investment, including most of the cost of building the village.
If eventually selected by the International Olympic Committee, L.A. would join London as the world’s second three-time host city.
Los Angeles was home for the Olympics in 1932 and 1984.
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