By Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Eric Garcetti made a once in a generation announcement – the summer Olympic and Paralympic Games are coming back to Los Angeles for the third time.
Two and a half years after losing the United States Olympic Committee’s bid selection to another U.S. city, the determination and creativity of the Mayor and local Olympic leadership have solidified an agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to stage the 2028 Games here in L.A.
The Chamber and LA 2024 (now renamed LA 2028) recently commissioned the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University to survey L.A. residents’ opinion on holding the 2028 Games. An overwhelming majority, 83 percent, want Los Angeles to host, with 54 percent in “strong” support. The most frequently cited reason was the economic boost to Southern California.
In agreeing to let Paris host the 2024 Games and accepting the 2028 Games, Mayor Garcetti and the LA 2024 Committee, led by Casey Wasserman and Gene Sykes, negotiated a deal that could result in L.A. receiving a contribution of $2 billion from the IOC, as well as the IOC’s commitment to waive their cut of any surplus generated by the Olympics. The agreement also includes an interest free loan upfront, which will inject millions of dollars now into youth sports programs.
I have been so proud to serve on the LA 2024 Board of Directors with other local business, civic and sports leaders, and I look forward to our transition in preparation for the 2028 Olympics. Congratulations to Mayor Garcetti, the City Council, Casey Wasserman, Gene Sykes and all of L.A. The 1984 Olympic Games left a legacy in Los Angeles that is still felt over three decades later. I have no doubt that this agreement and the 2028 Olympic Games will do the same.