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2028 L.A. Olympics: Agreement outlines key issues but final price tag remains unclear

David Wharton and Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Olympics

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles officials have reached a tentative agreement with private organizers of the 2028 Summer Olympics that, while short on details, serves as a road map for the biggest issues facing the city as it inches toward hosting a sporting event that could cost $7 billion or more.

Much of the so-called Games Agreement focuses on financial risk and the need for insurance against the type of expenses Tokyo incurred when the coronavirus outbreak forced a one-year postponement of its Summer Games.

The proposed contract also identifies concerns involving traffic and the homeless population, as well as the need to include small businesses and local workers in discussions about hiring and procurement.

“The Olympics and Paralympics are a golden opportunity to make sure that we can advance solutions to the issues of our day,” Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said in a statement before viewing the contract. “We have seven years to get there.”

The 25-page document was released Wednesday, allowing time for public scrutiny before a City Council vote expected later this year. Instead of providing dollar amounts or explicit policies, officials and the LA28 organizing committee would establish deadlines for finalizing their plans over the next few years.

The report is expected to be heard in the Ad Hoc Committee on the 2028 Olympics and Paralympic Games, unless council members waive it out of committee.

 

“It can’t be an agreement that locks in every detail because the one thing we need is flexibility,” said Casey Wasserman, a sports and media executive who led the bid campaign and now serves as LA28 chairman. “Seven years is a long time and the world can change a lot.”

The seemingly backward nature of this process — a city committing to host before knowing the particulars — is common in the Olympic movement and helps explain why past Games have amassed huge deficits.

Los Angeles could be different, given its history of holding successful Olympics in 1932 and 1984. Unlike other hosts that spent billions on construction, the LA28 committee will make use of existing facilities such as Staples Center (soon to be known as Crypto.com Arena), SoFi Stadium, the Coliseum and Pauley Pavilion.

“Every other city is an apple and we’re an orange,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “We have our venues built.”

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