A Los Angeles delegation that included Mayor Eric Garcetti joined three other cities today making final pitches to the U.S. Olympic Committee Board of Directors in Redwood City in hopes of becoming the U.S. candidate to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Following the presentations, the board voted unanimously to move forward with bidding for the Olympics to be held in the United States, but held off choosing a city. The committee is expected to choose the U.S. candidate in January.
All potential bids for the 2024 Summer Olympics must be submitted to the International Olympic Committee by Sept. 15 which will select the host city for both the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2017.
Potential foreign bidders include Rome; Nairobi, Kenya; Casablanca, Morocco; Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa; Doha, Qatar; Melbourne, Australia; Paris; Hamburg, Germany; and Saint Petersburg, Russia.
USOC board members said they plan to mull over the strengths and weaknesses of each city’s presentations and come back after the holidays to debate which city to choose.
In addition to Los Angeles, groups from Boston, San Francisco and Washington also made presentations to the USOC.
“All four cities have presented plans that are part of the long-term visions for their communities,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said. “At our request and because of the preliminary nature of our discussions the cities have not spoken about their bids in great detail. That will be an important part of the process after we make our selection in January.”
The four finalists were selected after a 16-month process that began with the USOC reaching out to approximately 35 U.S. cities to gauge interest in a bid.
Garcetti, who helped give Los Angeles’ 45-minute group presentation to the committee, said he was “honored to meet with the United States Olympic Committee today to discuss our bold vision for a sustainable, affordable and inspiring Los Angeles Olympic and Paralympic Games that will directly benefit our community.”
Garcetti said the presentation touted the city’s growing public transportation system and existing venues such as Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles and the StubHub sports complex in Carson.
Also joining the Los Angeles presentation were sports and media executive Casey Wasserman; Bill Hanway, who heads Global Sports for architecture firm AECOM; and Kafi Blumenfield, executive director of the Discovery Cube Los Angeles science museum that opened Nov. 13 at Hansen Dam Recreation Center.
The United States did not make a bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, which were awarded to Tokyo in 2013. Los Angeles sought to be the U.S. candidate to host the 2016 Games, but was beaten by Chicago, whose bid was rejected by the International Olympic Committee in favor of Rio de Janeiro.
Los Angeles is seeking to join London as the only cities to host the Summer Olympics three times. Los Angeles was the site of the 1932 and 1984 Games.
The Summer Olympics were last held in the United States in 1996, when Atlanta was the site.
“An entire generation of athletes in this country has not had the incredible opportunity to witness the Games in America and I’m very hopeful that we’ll be able to submit a bid next year and attempt to bring the games back to the U.S.,” Blackmun said.