LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — It was good news for the City of Angels Friday, as it was announced that Los Angeles is one of two cities in the running to host the upcoming Olympic Games.
Now, the question is, “When?”
The executive board of the International Olympic Committee announced it might soon name the host cities for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics at the same time.
Los Angeles joins Paris in its bid for the games.
Perhaps intending to allude to the quest for the gold, IOC President Thomas Bach said at a press conference Friday, “The situation of these candidature for 2024, having two such great cities and such great countries, having two candidatures which are really enthusiastic and really promoting the Olympic Games and Olympic Spirit in a great way — this represents a golden opportunity for the Olympic Games and the IOC.”
The strengths of L.A. and Paris lie “in the way they are planning to use a record number of existing and temporary facilities,” said Bach. “This is something we have not seen in this dimension before in the Olympic Games and this will lead to significant cost reductions in the organization of the Olympic Games and will make the Games more sustainable and more feasible.”
In fact, the issue of lacking existing facilities is one reason many other cities dropped their bids, not wanting to experience the severe financial losses incurred by the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sochi.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti echoed Bach’s endorsement. “We have the L.A. Rams stadium, which is the most expensive stadium ever built,” he said at a news conference. “But it’s privately funded at no cost to the taxpayer.”
For all the praise, anxious Angelenos and Parisians will have to wait a little longer to find out who gets to host first. However, in L.A., not everyone is as excited about the prospects of the world descending upon the city.
Some fear the Olympic curse could manifest itself with even more traffic on our already burdened roadways.
Others like the group NOlympics LA, a campaign of the L.A. chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, go beyond the immediate effects, saying the games would create profits for corporations, developers and the media, while increasing homelessness, police militarization and contributing to the exploitation of labor.
Garcetti’s words Friday did little to calm those fears.