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Los Angeles officially awarded 2028 Olympic Games

David Wharton, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Olympics

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles' roller-coaster campaign to host the Olympics -- an effort marked by early defeat and last-second negotiations -- reached its conclusion Wednesday when the city was formally awarded the 2028 Summer Games.

International Olympic Committee members, by a unanimous show of hands, voted their approval at a session in Lima, Peru, ending an unusual bid competition that resulted in two winners as Paris was simultaneously given the 2024 Games.

"Everyone connected with LA 2028 is thrilled to be part of this win-win-win scenario for the Olympic movement," bid leader Casey Wasserman said in a statement. "Together, L.A., Paris and the IOC will demonstrate the Games' enduring value to host communities."

Immediately after the vote, Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the controversial "host city contract," promising the city government will serve as a financial backstop, paying off any debts should the estimated $5.3 billion sporting event run over budget.

LA 2028 has sought to cut costs by using existing venues such as the Coliseum and Staples Center. Bid leaders estimate they can cover all expenses through revenues from broadcast rights, sponsorships, ticket sales and other sources.

"This is the moment Angelenos have been waiting for," Garcetti said.

But critics have noted that a slew of previous hosts -- including Rio de Janeiro, which staged the 2016 Summer Games -- have ended up with substantial deficits.

"Despite the fact that the IOC has awarded L.A. the bid to host the 2028 Summer Olympics, the fight isn't over," the NOlympics LA group said in a statement. "The notion that 'L.A. is going to have the Olympics, one way or another' isn't necessarily true, as many opportunities still exist to intervene and stop them entirely."

Wednesday's vote took place during a tumultuous session for the IOC, which is facing separate bid scandals involving 2016 Rio de Janeiro and 2020 Tokyo.

"The IOC Ethics Commission is following up on this matter," the committee announced in a statement this week. "Where evidence is provided, we will act."

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