In a special meeting this morning, the Los Angeles City Council approved a bid to make the city the official American candidate to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. The vote comes a little more than a week after the event organizers released a hefty proposal to build or refurbish many facilities around the Los Angeles area for the biggest sporting event in the world, and a month after original contender Boston withdrew due to lack of support from the mayor.
The City Council vote gave Los Angeles Mayor Eric Carcetti the go-ahead to officially sign a contract with the U.S. Olympic Committee. The USOC followed suit with a presentation this afternoon to officially name Los Angeles as the U.S. candidate city. Four-time Olympic champion Janet Evans was one of the presenters at the USOC press conference.
The next step is to submit Los Angeles as a bid city to the International Olympic Committee, who had set mid-September as the deadline for submissions. Rome, Paris, Budapest and Hamburg are the other cities that have officially been picked by their nations as contenders. Cities such as Durban and Melbourne were other cities that initially considered submitting bids.
After finalizing the bid cities, the IOC will spend time doing site visits and reviewing documents. The name of the host of the 2024 Summer Olympics will be named in 2017.
Los Angeles would be hosting the Games for the third time if it’s picked. The city hosted in 1932 and 1984, both times to great acclaim. In terms of aquatic sports, the two events created facilities that still exist. The 1932 pool is now a state-of-the-art recreation facility next to the famed L.A. Memorial Coliseum. The pool used for the 1984 swimming, diving and synchronized swimming is on the campus of the University of Southern California, and underwent a multimillion-dollar upgrade recently.
For the 2024 Games, the organizers would like to build a temporary pool inside the soccer stadium that will be constructed on the southeast side of the Coliseum for a new Major League Soccer team. This would be the first temporary pool built for the Olympics in more than 100 years, but continues a tradition of housing major competitions inside arenas that started about a decade ago.
According to the bid book, the soccer stadium would seat about 20,000 people for the swim meet, the largest crowd assembled for an Olympic swim competition since the 1908 Olympics in London.
In an editorial originally posted on Around the Rings, Carcetti and LA 2024 bid leader Casey Wasserman write:
With today’s 15-0 vote of the City Council, Los Angeles is moving forward as the United States candidate city for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. And we will be presenting a completely new story to the worldwide Olympic Family. This is the story of the new Los Angeles and its extraordinary ability to align with the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, which seek to deliver long-term benefits, not burdens, to host cities.
But as we look to start this journey, our motivations are not only about the exciting legacy a third-Olympic Games will deliver to LA, but about LA’s ability to serve and strengthen the Olympic Movement while inspiring our nation to new levels of commitment to the Olympic Ideal. We want to make sure our community is committed to partnering with the Olympic Movement in its unceasing quest to build a better world through sport.
Why? Because we believe the Olympic Movement holds more promise and hope for the future of humanity, and our city, than anything else we could invest our energies in.