LOS ANGELES (REUTERS/AFP) - Los Angeles will host the 2028 Summer Olympics Games after reaching a deal with Olympic organisers, Olympic officials announced on Monday (July 31).
The decision paves the way for the 2024 Summer Games to be awarded to Paris.
The deal will bring the Summer Olympics to Los Angeles for a third time, after the city staged the Games in 1984 and 1932.Both cities were competing for the 2024 Games after several other candidates withdrew from contention, and the stage was set for Paris to win its bid when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that Los Angeles had agreed to the later date of 2028.
“The IOC welcomes this decision of the Los Angeles Olympic and Paralympic Candidature Committee, and we are pleased to release the Host City contract 2028 in a transparent and timely manner,” said IOC President Thomas Bach in a statement.
LA city council member Gil Cedillo tweeted "hashtag goes from #LA2024 to #LA2028" along with a link to the Los Angeles Times story on the deal.
The possibility that Los Angeles would abandon a 2024 bid and accept the 2028 Games instead has been growing since the IOC decided in July that it could award not only 2024 but also the 2028 games in its vote in Lima on September 13 - effectively ensuring that the two candidates will each host a Games.
Paris, Los Angeles' only rival in bidding for 2024, had remained more insistent that it wanted to host the Olympics on the 100th anniversary of the 1924 Paris Games.
IOC president Thomas Bach said in July he hoped a "tripartate agreement" could be struck by the end of August that would allow the body to prepare for its Lima with the prospect of awarding both Games.
The Olympic movement has had increasing trouble attracting prospective hosts given the soaring costs and taxpayer support needed to put on the Games.
Paris and Los Angeles mounted progressive, exemplary bids that would trim costs by using existing facilities, the IOC said, making it clear it did not want to reject either candidate.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said last week that the city "would be stupid" not to agree to host in 2028.
But there were some hurdles to be overcome, with Los Angeles needing to make sure financial deals it had secured when it proposed its budget of US$5.3 billion ($7.19 billion) for 2024 would still be viable four years later.
"There are a lot of stakeholders," US Olympic Committee chief executive Scott Blackmun noted in June, when the idea of awarding the 2028 Games to one of the candidates was gaining traction.
"When you change the rules of engagement you have to make sure you have the approval of those stakeholders." Details of the agreement were not immediately available, and it was not clear if LA 2024 had been able to secure any additional funding or financial concessions to offset any concerns raised by the delay.
The United States last hosted the Summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, while the Winter Games were held in Salt Lake City in 2002.