A rushed and contentious Friday meeting returned the result the Los Angeles City Council was hoping for: a unanimous council endorsement of the 2028 Olympics bid, and agreement that the city would cover any cost overruns associated with the games. From a Los Angeles Times report:
As council members unanimously endorsed the revised 2028 bid — and positioned the city to serve as a financial backstop in case the estimated $5.3-billion event loses money — their vote was drowned out by a small but voluble group of critics.
“I thought this was going to be a marathon,” Mayor Eric Garcetti later said of the two-year effort. “But this has been the hurdles.”
The effort was “the hurdles” because opponents are concerned that the timeline pushed by the IOC—a late-summer deadline to get both Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 locked into place, arbitrarily chosen to appease IOC membership and secure approval for the shady, backroom two-winner proposal that pegged the 2024 and 2028 games—kept the city from engaging the kinds of budgeting and economic impact analyses that would normally accompany a commitment of this scope:
Opponents complained that council members were acting without benefit of complete information, hurrying their decision to meet an Aug. 18 deadline set by the IOC.
“Look, there’s 11 years before the Games, so it wouldn’t hurt if they took a year or even six months instead of rushing,” said Jed Parriott, an organizer of the NOlympics LA group. “The whole process feels like a giveaway to the IOC.”
But rather than push back against the deadline and insist upon having all the necessary information before signing taxpayers up for a potentially massive liability, officials used some pretty funky logic to defend rushing to a vote:
“We are the only city that has two successful Olympics — that’s what I look to,” Councilman Gil Cedillo said, referring to previous L.A. Games in 1984 and 1932. “You can tell me other cities haven’t been successful. That’s not us.”
Hey, if it worked in 1984, it can’t possibly go wrong in 2028.