Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest Olympics Bids Continue

The Los Angeles Coliseum has hosted two Olympics, 1932 and 1984.

 

Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest are good to go to bid on the 2024 Summer Olympics. The International Olympic Committee will be reviewing the three cities with another test coming in February. But all is good although there could be some fighting between Los Angeles and Inglewood for the right to host the 2024 Opening and Closing Ceremonies in preparing the final bid.

The clubhouse favorite to get the Games is Paris. Securing the Olympics is a game of politics and money.

Does the International Olympic Committee epitomize the ultimate sports power-political relationship? The answer to that is more than likely yes. The International Olympic Committee is a non-profit ownerless group that oversees the Olympics and selects Olympics sites. In 2009, IOC delegates picked Rio de Janeiro as the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics although it is winter in South America. Anybody who understood anything about the IOC knew the 2016 event was going to Brazil. All was great with the Brazilian bid and the IOC was opening up a new market for the business, Brazil and South America. The country and its President Lula begged to be chosen ignoring Olympics financial history.

There is an incredible smugness to the IOC, possibly because governments genuflect at the very thought of getting an Olympics which politicians think is a truly high honor. It is not, countries and cities have been financially ravaged by the event coming to town and that smugness was recently on display by an IOC official, not just any official but the number two person in the company. Sir Craig Reedie, the IOC’s vice president made quite an incredible statement to a reporter when he said, “I feel rather sorry for Rio. When the Games were awarded in 2009 everything was in their favor, politically and economically sound, a very popular president and they had found oil. In the seven years since virtually everything has gone wrong. The price of oil has dropped dramatically, President Dilma Rousseff has been impeached and the economy is undergoing its deepest recession since 1901. Hopefully, by the time we get to Rio, steps have been taken to make sure the welcome to hell banner won’t be shown again.” In September, Sir Craig Reedie went home with a nice wad of cash in his pocket, Brazilians are living with the consequences of these Games for generations. It’s the Olympics way.

Rio Olympics 2016

The Rio 2016 Olympics event was a financial disaster for Brazil.

 

It is full speed ahead for Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest in those cities pursuit of the 2024 Summer Olympics. Those cities have been told by the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach to give it their best shot or show how much money you have for the Games and make sure everything is ready for the final presentation before IOC delegates next fall when the prize is handed out. The IOC cleared the three cities after finding that none of the bids had significant issues. In other words, the IOC is of the belief that there is enough public money available to cover all sorts of cost overruns which is a key component to any Olympics bids.

 

The IOC has had a rough time finding cities that want the show.

Boston, Rome and Hamburg dropped out of the bidding for the 2024 Summer Games. Boston residents did not want to invest in the Games. Voters in Hamburg, Germany said no to spending money for the Olympics and Rome’s mayor Virginia Raggi refused to put up money for the Games. Los Angeles stepped in after Boston ended the bid. The city of Los Angeles has pledged a quarter of a billion dollars to pay off unforeseen bills and the state of California could kick in another quarter of a billion dollars. There were just two cities that wanted the 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing, China got that. Quebec City has dropped out of the running for the 2026 Winter Games. There has been no real financial report on the 2012 London Summer Olympics. There are allegations that the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics cost the Russian government $51 billion in US money. Then there are slide shows available from news organizations that show dismal failure, abandoned Olympic venues. Local residents have told politicians they don’t think hosting an Olympics is worth it.

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