Evaluating Los Angeles bid for 2024 Olympics requires imagination

In an atmosphere of uncertainty, International Olympic Committee leaders began three days of meetings and site visits to weigh LA's plans for the 2024 Games in its showdown with rival Paris.

The bid leans heavily on existing sporting venues, including the Memorial Coliseum that was the center piece of the 1932 Olympics and used again for the 1984 Summer Games.

Both bids have insisted they are interested only in the 2024 Games but Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has refused to shut the door on taking on the 2028 Olympics should Paris come out on top for 2024.

With IOC members banned from visiting bid cities - a fallout from the 1998 vote buying scandal - there is risk to LA that the 85-or-so voters on September 13 won't understand how a university campus can stand in for the Olympic Village.

"This visit has confirmed our opinion that Los Angeles has developed an excellent proposal and probably, given the facilities that are already here, that seven years of lead time is a luxury", Baumann said.

Los Angeles 2024 bid chairman Casey Wasserman said he supported the IOC's move to reward both bids.

"One of them said to us: 'We keep looking for the hole in this bid and we can't find it, '" Garcetti told journalists.

On Friday, Garcetti said the city would "listen if the rules change". Garcetti said at a sunset press conference at Santa Monica beach.

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"We don't think that is going to be an issue", he said.

Convincing the International Olympic Committee that their bid is a safe choice and not susceptible to a rising budget will be key after Baumann revealed the panel found "no major risks" in Los Angeles.

The Evaluation Commission will publish a report on the results of their reviews July 5 ahead of presentations to the International Olympic Committee membership later that month in Lausanne. It will not simply be choosing a 2024 host, but it could be setting a precedent for what future Olympics should look like, what they should cost and whether hosting an Olympics helps or hurts a city. If you can create winners instead of so many losers, that's good for the Olympic movement. "I would expect sometime later in May or early June would be the time when they would be able to come back to us". "Both countries have a lot going on politically that can be game-changers at any minute", said Jules Boykoff, a professor at Pacific University in OR who has written widely on the Olympics movement.

"If America is a nation of immigrants, Los Angeles is ground zero", he said, calling the city a "living, breathing metaphor for unity".

Garcetti said the physical legacy of the Games would not be venues, but rather smaller projects aimed at boosting participation in sport across Los Angeles.

"I want every city in the world in 2025 to line up and say the Olympics are something we want to have in our town too", he continued.

With just one swimming pool and an Olympic Village to build, the renovation of the transport system being planned for 2022, Paris 2024 claim they are 95 percent equipped to host a third Games after 1900 and 1924.

"But from what we have seen here is that they would be a transformative vision for the Games moving forward".

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