VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council still needs to give its final stamp of approval to the 2028 Olympic Games.
On Friday, the council heard from community members in Van Nuys during a public comment period.
“I can’t think of a better place to host the Olympics,” said Olympian Janet Evans. “The Olympic spirit is in our DNA here in the City of Los Angeles.”
Many others giving public comments agreed with Evans’ optimism about hosting the Olympics.
“This is the chance for us to behave like Olympians. To gird ourselves for the long haul and produce the greatest Games ever,” said one citizen.
But not everyone is seeing gold about the 2028 games in L.A.
“The cities that host the Olympics see an increase in rent and an increase in homelessness,” said a critic of bringing the Games to the city.
There are still plenty of questions and concerns about the changes that come with an extra four years of time before hosting the games — a so-called “increased unpredictability” from the 2024 Games.
“What the IOC recognizes is that there are unique both opportunities and challenges and they’ve created a financial structure for 2028 that’s better than 2024,” said L.A. Olympic Bid Committee President Casey Wasserman.
But some worry there isn’t enough time to adequately review the plans and budget for the 2028 games — and fear taxpayers could take the fall.
“We think because we don’t have to build a single venue there is a great amount of certainty in it. There is a half-a-billion dollar contingency in that plan in which the City Council would have approval over every dollar spent of the last $270 million of that contingency before we would even get to break even,” said Wasserman.
The council will meet again next week with any additional questions and a final decision is expected by Aug. 18.
State legislators also have to review the new host city contract and in September members of the IOC will meet in Peru to sign off on the 2024 and 2028 Olympic bids.