Did California Politicians Err In Putting Up A Half Billion Dollars For the 2028 LA Olympics?

Taxpayers on the hook.


Sometimes you wonder why politicians ever even think of spending public money on the Olympics. There are so many Olympics sized problems such as a court in France indicting the president of the Japan Olympic Committee on corruption charges in conjunction with Tokyo getting the 2020 Summer Games. There were arrests made in conjunction with the 2016 Rio Olympics for corruption. The United States Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics looking the other way or just plain ignoring whispers of the gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar sexually assaulting athletes.

Now another problem. The International Olympic Committee has accepted bids from Sweden and Italy for the 2026 Winter Olympics, after many bidders dropped out, without a guarantee of public funds behind the bids. Los Angeles and California politicians have pledged a half a billion dollars to help out the backers of the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Olympics. The IOC is bending its funding rule for Sweden and Italy in those countries bid for the 2026 Winter Games because the IOC is having great difficulty finding cities and countries that want to put up money for an event that saddles generations of people with public debt. In Salt Lake City, proponents of a 2030 bid for the Winter Olympics should take note, the IOC’s want for government backing for the Olympics is not a requirement for the 2026 bidding. The IOC’s action accepting the Swedish and Italian bids gives Utah lawmakers leverage in bidding for the 2030 event. Utah politicians are considering legislation that could shield Salt Lake City from financial debt if the local Olympic bid committee lands the 2030 Winter Olympics.  Salt Lake City has a past that fits in with Olympics history of corruption. In the early 1990s, members of the Salt Lake City committee gave IOC delegates gifts in exchange for votes in the awarding of the 2002 Winter Games.