LAUSSANE: IOC top brass recommended today that hosting rights for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics be awarded together, virtually assuring that rival bidders Paris and Los Angeles will both host the Games.
The move will not be final until a vote of the International Olympic Committee's roughly 100 members next month, but that body is seen as unlikely to defy Friday's executive committee recommendation. "The IOC Executive Board has today unanimously approved the recommendation... to award the Olympic Games for 2024 and 2028 at the same time," IOC chief Thomas Bach told reporters. Bach said that the aggressive push by two world class cities like Paris and LA for 2024 amounted to a "golden opportunity" for the IOC, which has seen in interest in hosting the vastly expensive Summer Games dwindling. The IOC had "two such great cities" vying to host and did not want to let either get away, he said.
Both Paris and LA have said they are fighting to host in 2024. But the French capital appears to have claimed a lead in the race, especially after LA bid chief Casey Wasserman said this week that "LA 2024 has never been only about LA or 2024".
Wasserman said Wednesday then when the idea of double vote emerged, LA shied away from giving the IOC a "now or never" ultimatum. Paris has held a tougher line. "We want to get the Games for 2024.
That's my mandate", said the co-chief of the Paris bid, Tony Estanguet. "We can't really consider 2028 at the moment," added the former Olympic champion canoeist.
Assuming the dual award recommendation is approved by IOC voters at the July 11 meeting in Lausanne, the body's main meeting in Lima in September will then choose the host city for 2024 and 2028. Bach had been a strong proponent of the so-called double vote.
He has complained that there are "too many losers" in Olympic bidding, with cities often spending tens of millions of dollars only to come up empty handed. The IOC has also prioritised making the Olympics less expensive, while avoiding the legacy of crumbling stadiums that fall into disrepair after the flame goes out. Bach stressed that both Paris and LA had plans in place to "use a record number of existing or temporary facilities", which would lead to "significant cost reductions" in hosting.