Hosting rights for 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games officially given to Paris and LA

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Associated Press

This was one of those rare Olympic moments where everyone walked away a winner.

General View of Olympic Stadium at the 2016 Rio Olympics on Saturday the 13th of August 2016. © Copyright Photo by Marty Melville / www.Photosport.nz

General View of Olympic Stadium at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Source: Photosport

Paris for 2024. Los Angeles for 2028. And the International Olympic Committee for transforming an unruly bidding process to lock down its future by choosing not one, but two Summer Olympics hosts at the same time.

The IOC put the rubber stamp on a pre-determined conclusion this morning, giving Paris the 2024 Games and LA the 2028 Games in a history-making vote.

The decision marks the first time the IOC has granted two Summer Olympics at once. It came after a year's worth of scrambling by IOC president Thomas Bach, who had only the two bidders left for the original prize, 2024, and couldn't bear to see either lose.

Both cities will host their third Olympics.

The Paris Games will come on the 100th anniversary of its last turn — a milestone that would have made the French capital the sentimental favorite had only 2024 been up for grabs.

Los Angeles moved to 2028, and those Olympics will halt a stretch of 32 years without a Summer Games in the United States. In exchange for the compromise, LA will grab an extra $NZ415 million or more that could help offset the uncertainties that lie ahead over an 11-year wait instead of seven.

Flag bearers walk into the stadium during the closing ceremony for the Summer Olympics

Flag bearers walk into the stadium during the closing ceremony for the Summer Olympics

Source: Associated Press

Doing away with the dramatic flair that has accompanied these events in years past, there were no secret ballots and no dramatic reveals to close out the voting.

Bach simply asked for a show of hands from the audience, and when dozens shot up from the audience, and nobody raised their hand when he asked for objections, this was deemed a unanimous decision.

Bach asked the 94 IOC members to allow the real contests to play out at the Olympics themselves and turn the vote into a pure business decision — not a bad idea considering the news still seeping out about a bid scandal involving a Brazilian IOC member's alleged vote-selling to bring the 2016 Olympics to Rio de Janeiro.

Only two candidates made it to the finish line — Paris and Los Angeles, each with a storied tradition of Olympic hosting and an apparent understanding of Bach's much-touted reform package, known as Agenda 2020.

It seeks to streamline the Games, most notably by eliminating billion-dollar stadiums and infrastructure projects that have been underused, if used at all, once the Olympics leave town.

New Zealand’s Lisa Carrington holds the flag for New Zealand during the closing ceremony in Maracana.

New Zealand’s Lisa Carrington holds the flag for New Zealand during the closing ceremony in Maracana.

Source: Photosport

Can they deliver?

Paris will have the traditional seven-year time frame to answer that.

Only one totally new venue is planned — a swimming and diving arena to be built near the Stade de France, which will serve as the Olympic stadium.

Roland Garros, which will host tennis and boxing, will get a privately funded expansion. In all, the projected cost of new venues and upgrades to others is $NZ1.23 billion.

To be sure, Paris already has much to work with. Beach volleyball will be played near the Eiffel Tower; cycling will finish at the Arc de Triomphe; equestrian will be held at the Chateau de Versailles. And what would an Olympics be without some water-quality issues?

There will be pressure to clean up the River Seine, which is where open-water and triathlon will be held.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, will get an extra four years, though the city claims it doesn't need them. All the sports venues are built, save the under-construction stadium for the NFL's Rams and Chargers, which will host opening ceremonies.

Los Angeles proposed a $NZ7.3 billion budget for 2024 (to be adjusted for 2028) that included infrastructure, operational costs — everything.

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