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Los Angeles will host the 2028 Summer Olympics thanks to deal with IOC

Michael Juliano
Written by
Michael Juliano

UPDATE: A session of the IOC today in Lima officially selected Los Angeles as the host of the 2028 Summer Olympics.

“Bringing the Olympics back home to L.A. gives us the chance to imagine what our city will look like a decade from now,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti in a statement. “L.A. is a city where the Games are not a barrier to making progress; we know that they are an accelerating force to re-envisioning a better city and a better world in the days ahead as we welcome you back to the City of Angels.”

Both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times report that Los Angeles officials have struck a deal with the International Olympic Committee to accept the bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics and drop the city's current bid for 2024—which would now go to Paris. This will mark the third time—1932 and 1984—that L.A. has hosted the Olympics.

Local bid committee L.A. 2024 endorsed the news in a tweet along with a teaser for a 5pm announcement from Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Getting to this point has been "a roller coaster," as L.A. bid chairman Casey Wasserman told the L.A. Times. In early 2015, L.A.'s Olympic bid seemed dead as the United States Olympic Committee chose Boston as its bid city. But just over six months later, Boston withdrew from the running and L.A. swooped in to compete against four other global cities. By early 2017, that number had dwindled to just one other: Paris. Then last month, the IOC approved a proposal to simultaneously award the 2024 and 2028 games. Rumors suggested that Paris would take 2024 and L.A. 2028; today's news confirms that.

One of L.A.'s biggest selling points has been cost; most venues already exist or are currently under construction or renovation. The cost for hosting the Olympics in L.A.—one of the few cities to ever host the games at a profit—was originally estimated at $5.3 billion and projected to be covered by revenue from sponsorships and ticket sales. But that figure was for 2024, not 2028. In response, L.A. will receive more money from the IOC in broadcast revenue, the opportunity to sell domestic sponsorships and a $180-million interest-free loan to cover the extended planning period. In addition, the bid estimate now includes a $487.6 million contingency to cover any cost overruns; the IOC has waived its traditional 20% claim to any surplus funds, so if that money goes unused it would find its way back into the city.

The IOC still has to undergo its official selection process in September. And the city still has to approve the games again—since the current agreement was for 2024—while organizers will have to secure fresh dates with L.A.'s participating host venues. But pending some sort of Olympic-caliber upset, L.A. 2028 sounds like a done deal.

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