Monday, May 21

LA City Council to vote on proposed 2024 Olympic bid

The Los Angeles City Council's vote on Tuesday for the bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics may open UCLA venues to the games. (Daily Bruin file photo)

The Los Angeles City Council's vote on Tuesday for the bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics may open UCLA venues to the games. (Daily Bruin file photo)

The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Los Angeles will be submitting a bid to the International Olympic Committee. In fact, United States Olympic Committee will submit the bid.

The Los Angeles City Council will vote Tuesday on authorizing Mayor Eric Garcetti and an independent committee tasked with organizing the city’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, an event that would make use of four UCLA venues and residence halls on the Hill.

The city council was scheduled to vote on the bid on Aug. 26, but pushed the vote to Aug. 28 because they were only given one day to review the Los Angeles 2024 (LA24) Exploratory Committee’s official bid book. During its Friday meeting, the council decided to push the vote again to give council members more time to read the document.

The current bid states Pauley Pavilion, Drake Stadium, the Los Angeles Tennis Center and the North Athletic Field will host three sports — basketball, water polo and field hockey — if Los Angeles is chosen. These venues would then be expected to undergo $65 million in renovations, according to the bid’s budget.

Among those renovations is a pool that would be added to the L.A. Tennis Center for water polo. The total cost of this project would be $40 million.

UCLA will also create a village on the Hill to house the reporters who will be covering the Olympics.

In an October 2014 letter to LA24 included in the bid book, Chancellor Gene Block said he supports bringing the Olympics to Los Angeles, and he would grant Olympic organizers access to campus venues if Los Angeles becomes the host city.

Organizers anticipate a budget of about $4.5 billion, with a profit of about $150 million. About $1 billion would go toward renovating current stadiums and no new stadiums would be built. A much more detailed plan would be released late 2016 if Los Angeles submits a bid.

Zev Yaroslavsky, a fellow in the history department and the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs who was a member of the L.A. City Council during the negotiations over the 1984 Olympics, said the budget does not account for important items, such as security and transportation.

Yaroslavsky added he thinks the U.S. government will not pay for all of the security costs, despite organizers saying it will, because it has never done so in past Olympics.

Organizers also plan to build an athlete’s village, a center where athletes would live during the Games, next to the L.A. River in downtown Los Angeles. After the Olympics, the Olympic Village would be transformed into residential units and sold or rented to middle- and low-income residents.

Organizers said in the bid book their goal is to hold 94 percent of all sports no more than 30 minutes from the Olympic Village. Each cluster will be connected by an L.A. County Metro Rail or Bus Rapid Transit line.

The bid book also states organizers are seeking federal funding so Metro can finish the Purple Line Extension project by 2024 instead of 2035.

Metro spokesperson Dave Sotero said if Metro officials had the funding, the project would finish sooner. But he said as of right now, the Purple Line would reach Westwood in 2035.

After the city administrative officer and the chief legislative analyst reviewed the initial agreement last week, the city attorney revised it to allow the city council to have a say in future agreements involving finance and planning. They presented the revised agreement to a special committee Friday morning, before the full council met.

The original proposal would have allowed LA24 and the United States Olympic Committee to make decisions that would have cost Los Angeles money without needing the city council’s approval, if it was voted on as scheduled on Wednesday.

“We view our involvement as value added,” L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson said during the committee meeting Friday. “For us to have a successful bid, we have to show the world that we’re all in this together.”

Yaroslavsky said city officials involved with the 1984 Olmypics put financial responsibility on the organizing committee and not the city, which he thinks made it more accountable because the committee knew it was not going to receive any financial support from the city.

He added the good management was key to achieving a $250 million surplus during those games, and will be essential if city officials want to be as successful this time around.

“I don’t think you can sit here and say, ‘If we did it once, we can do it again,’” Yaroslavsky said.

William Yu, an economist at UCLA Anderson Forecast, said he thinks Los Angeles has the capacity to profit because it already has the necessary stadiums built. He said he thinks hosting the Olympics can leave behind an updated transportation system and much-needed housing.

Yu added the Olympics would be good for businesses, especially in Westwood Village, because it will to attract many people from around the world.

The deadline for United States Olympic Committee to tell the International Olympic Committee that Los Angeles will be its bidding city is Sept. 15, and a host will be chosen in September 2017.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on Reddit
News senior staff

Roberto Luna Jr. is currently a senior staffer covering Westwood, crime and transportation. He was previously an assistant News editor from 2015-2016 and a News contributor from 2014-2015.

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.

  • brentrn

    How is a pool going to be added to the tennis center?