Los Angeles City Council poised to vote on 2024 Olympic plan

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A month after Boston’s bid for the 2024 Olympic Games collapsed, Los Angeles appears on the verge of stepping in as the replacement U.S. candidate.

The City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a proposal to authorize Mayor Eric Garcetti to execute agreements related to its 2024 bid, which outlines more than $6 billion in public and private spending.

If approved, the U.S. Olympic Committee is expected to announce that Los Angeles is its nominee, joining Rome, Paris, Hamburg, Germany, and Budapest, Hungary, in pursuit of the 2024 Games.

It marks a preliminary step. The International Olympic Committee will pick the host city in 2017.

If eventually selected by the IOC, Los Angeles would join London as the second three-time host. LA also was home for the Olympics in 1932 and 1984.

The vote will take place at a time when many financial details of the Los Angeles plan remain vague. The bid calls for building a $1 billion athletes village on a rail yard the city doesn’t own, and government analysts have warned that developing the site could significantly exceed the projected cost.

The Games also call for at least $1.7 billion in private investment, including most of the cost of building the village.

Initially, Boston was selected as the U.S. contender, but the USOC cut ties to the city in July amid lackluster public support and concerns from elected leaders and opponents about taxpayer spending and debt.

A so-called host city contract, which essentially sticks the city and state — not the IOC — with the burden of any cost overruns, became an obstacle in Boston.

In Los Angeles, Chief Deputy City Attorney James P. Clark assured council members last week that passage of the proposal Tuesday would not expose taxpayers to unchecked spending or debt. A host city contract would come later, if Los Angeles is selected to stage the 2024 Games.

In a report last week, city analysts said relocating the rail yard and environmental work at the site could consume over half the proposed $1 billion budget for the athletes village, and they recommended the city find alternative sites.

Additionally, the analysts said they didn’t have enough information to verify the overall 2024 budget or determine the financial risk. They recommended a series of safeguards be established, including protecting the city treasury into the future.

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