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LA City Council approves contracts with IOC to host 2028 Olympics

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-12 15:37
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Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti (L) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach shake hands during the visit of the 2024 candidate city delegation of Los Angeles at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, July 10, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Council voted Friday morning by 12-0, unanimously approving the contracts signed by the city government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last week to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2028.

It's an important move for the second largest city of the United States to lock the award of being host of the 2028 Summer Games, which is scheduled to be announced with 2024 Olympics host city, most probably Paris, together by IOC on Sept 13 in Peru.

In the four-hour and two separate meetings, representatives from Chief Legislative Analyst, City Administrative Officer, and City Attorney report briefly their assessments to the Host City Contract, Memorandum of Understanding and other actions for the 2028 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Meanwhile, about one hundred local residents also shared their comments and recommendations regarding the contracts before vote.

Some residents expressed their concerns about the Games could worsen the traffic problem and housing crisis of the city, But more people believed that LA would benefit from the Olympics, including infrastructure works, education and small business.

The Chairman of City Council Herb J. Wesson Jr voted "yes" to the bill, he twitted after the meeting: "Many have the chance to be a part of history. Few have the opportunity to make it. @LA2028 let's do this."

Jenifer Wang, 46, an Angelino born here and married to a Chinese man, told Xinhua that she still remembered that there was a big scare in preparation for the 1984 Olympics that traffic would be horrible, but nothing happened.

"The only real difference I can see for this upcoming 2028 Olympics is that there are more people and less of a community feel here in Los Angeles than there was in the 1980's. " she said. "I hope traffic won't be horrible, but it already is so I can't see it getting better at that point."

LA is on track to host the Olympics four years later than it originally planned though, members of the city council just received the Fiscal Impact Statement and Community Impact Statement only two days before the votes and they don't have a revised budget for the 2028 Games on Friday's meeting.

Council member Mitchell Englander, who joined the vote Friday, noted in a statement sent to Xinhua that in exchange for postponing the Olympics, "among other concessions, the IOC will pay some $160 million to fund youth sports programs in the city."

Local media reported that the incentive fund of the IOC could total $1.8 to 2 billion.

The endorsement on Friday authorizes LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Council President Herb Wesson to sign a "tripartite" agreement between the cities of Paris and Los Angeles, each nation's Olympic committee and the IOC, which will ensure the two cities to be awarded the two Games in 2024 and 2028 simultaneously.

It will also authorize Garcetti and Wesson to sign the Host City Contract and provide a written guarantee stating the city will cover any potential financial shortfall incurred by the Olympic organizing committee while staging the 2028 Games.

"The City Council goes for the gold! Our LA 2028 Olympic & Paralympic bid receives a unanimous vote of support" LA Mayor Eric Garcetti twitted Friday noon, emphasizing 10 minutes later "Our LA 2028 bid a once-in-a generation opportunity to serve and strengthen LA and the Olympic and Paralympic movement."

In a rare move, the IOC unanimously voted last Month to announce the bid winner of the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games at the same time. That means two competitors for 2024 Olympic, Paris and LA, each at least locked an opportunity.

IOC officials then entered into negotiations with bid leaders from LA and Paris to determine which city will host the games in 2024 and which city must wait until 2028.

Having landed a deal with IOC on July 31 to host 2028 Games, the LA City Council and United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors have to approval it before Aug 18, then the IOC, LA and Paris will enter a tripartite agreement, clearing the way for IOC Membership to confirm the Olympic Games 2024 to Paris and the Olympic Games 2028 to LA at the next IOC session in Lima.

LA has hosted the Summer Games for two times in history. The first was held in 1932 during the Great Depression. The 1984 Olympics in the second largest city was the first modern games that didn't leave behind large public debt.

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