Arts & Entertainment

USOC optimistic Los Angeles will bid for 2024 Olympics

The Opening Ceremony at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
The Opening Ceremony at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Steve Powell/Getty Images

If the United States is going to bid for the 2024 Olympics, that bid will come from Los Angeles.

After a hastily called board meeting Wednesday, U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said he was optimistic the USOC could work out a plan to make Los Angeles the bidder. He said he hoped the decision would be official by the end of the month.

The news comes two weeks after the USOC dropped a Boston bid that was short on support.Los Angeles isn't showing any of those problems. Mayor Eric Garcetti has said he'd have no problem signing the host city contract that the mayor in Boston said he had no intention to sign.

In a statement Wednesday, Garcetti said the city has had "very positive discussions" with the USOC over the past week.

"The L.A. Olympics would inspire the world and are right for our city, he said.

Earlier this week, city officials said the proposed budget for the Summer Games would be $4.1 billion, plus a $400 million contingency.

Blackmun revealed results of an internal poll out of the L.A. area from earlier this month that showed 81 percent support for hosting the Olympics. Boston was in the 40s.

"That's remarkable and very encouraging," Blackmun said.

The centerpiece of an L.A. Olympics would be the Memorial Coliseum, which was also used in the city's last two Olympics — in 1932 and 1984. USOC chairman Larry Probst suggested the positive feelings from the successful '84 Games still resonate in Southern California.

"People remember that time," he said. "It left a great legacy for the city."

Probst and Blackmun declined to get into details about what issues might hold up a bid fromLos Angeles, though they believe the mayor will honor his commitment to sign the host-city contract. That issue became a major sticking point as the Boston bid disintegrated, as the mayor said he didn't want to put taxpayers on the hook for any potential cost overruns.

Los Angeles would join Rome, Paris, Budapest and Hamburg, Germany in the contest. The winner will be decided in 2017.

The U.S. hasn't hosted a Summer Olympics since 1996 in Atlanta. At meetings earlier this month, IOC president Thomas Bach said he was expecting the United States to bid.

And if it didn't?

"I think it would be a lost opportunity," Blackmun said. "On the summer side, there's a whole generation of American who haven't seen the games on American soil. We want to address that, and make sure the games come to the U.S. on a regular basis."

This story has been updated.