Los Angeles bid team ‘solely focused’ on 2024
Leaders of Los Angeles’s Olympic bid said Thursday they remain “soley focused” on 2024 amid speculation the runner-up at a key vote this year could be offered the right to stage the 2028 Games.
Los Angeles and Paris are the only two cities remaining in the race for the 2024 Games following the withdrawal last month of Budapest after a petition against the bid by residents of the Hungarian capital.
With fewer major cities willing to embrace the multi-billion-dollar price tag of staging the games, it has raised the prospect of the International Olympic Committee possibly awarding both the 2024 and 2028 hosting rights at a crunch vote in Lima on September 13.
LA 2024 and United States Olympic Committee officials brushed off questions about the possibility however during a conference call with reporters on Thursday.
“The conversations with us are about 2024, that’s the bid process we’re engaged in and solely focused on,” LA 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman said following a meeting of USOC’s board.
USOC chairman Larry Probst said officials remained “100 percent focused” on winning the bid for 2024.
“The update we got from the leadership team of the (Los Angeles) bid was entirely focused on 2024 and staying the course and working harder and harder as we get closer to the actual vote,” Probst said.
“I think we have 188 days to go. We’re going to be on a lot of airplanes and spending a lot of time interacting with IOC members and we’re going to work hard to win this bid.”
The IOC’s Evaluation Commission, which inspects bid cities before reporting back to members, will visit Los Angeles in May before heading to Paris.
The commission was thrown into turmoil this week following the sudden resignation of chairman Frankie Fredericks amid corruption allegations.
Fredericks was replaced by Swiss official Patrick Baumann. LA 2024 chief Wasserman said he was looking forward to working with Baumann.
“I’ve known Patrick for half a dozen years. I think he’ll do a great job chairing the evaluation commission,” Wasserman said.
“He’ll manage the process fairly and effectively for both cities and we’re looking forward to working with him.”
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