Olympics: LA officials ponder US$4.1 billion 2024 Olympic bid proposal

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum would be renovated and used as the main stadium if the city bids for the 2024 Summer Olympics.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum would be renovated and used as the main stadium if the city bids for the 2024 Summer Olympics.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The Los Angeles city council is reviewing a US$4.1 billion (S$5.78 billion) bid proposal for the 2024 Summer Olympics that backers say could produce a surplus of US$161 million if the city is awarded a third Summer Games.

A 218-page bid book made public on Tuesday shows plans for a Los Angeles Games rely on private-sector partners to pay more than US$1.7 billion in venue costs and includes revenue projections such as US$4.8 billion from ticket sales, broadcast rights and corporate sponsorships.

Los Angeles are in the mix as a potential US candidate for the 2024 Games after Boston - the city originally chosen by the US Olympic Committee in January - pulled the plug on its bid in the face of public opposition related to financial concerns.

Boston's bid foundered for good after the city's mayor and the governor of Massachusetts both declined to give their full support because of fears the Games would leave taxpayers with debt.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has been the key proponent of a Los Angeles bid, quickly saying after Boston's withdrawal that LA would be interested in stepping in as a replacement candidate.

However, the full city council must still decide whether to back a bid. They were to consider a "joinder agreement" which would mean that Los Angeles will pursue the Olympics, on Wednesday, but since they only received the bid document on Tuesday they have pushed back a decision to give them time to consider the details.

"They will now meet on Friday where they expect to decide their recommendation on what action the full City Council shall take," a spokeswoman for City Council President Herb Wesson's office told AFP.

The USOC must submit any bid city to the International Olympic Committee in September. Paris, Rome, Hamburg and Budapest are already in the race.

The Los Angeles proposal published on Tuesday relies largely on existing venue such as the downtown Staples Centre - home of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers - which would host gymnastics.

The nearby Los Angeles Convention Centre, the recently renovated Forum arena and the StubHub Centre in suburban Carson - a multi-sport facility best known as the home of Major League Soccer's LA Galaxy - would also be used.

The Rose Bowl in Pasadena The Coliseum would be at the heart of the plan, as it was when the Games were in Los Angeles in 1932 and 1984.

The proposal calls for a US$300 million upgrade to the aging stadium, stating that the University of Southern California - which plays its home college football games at the Coliseum - will have already launched a US$500 million refit. Only two major venues would be built from scratch.