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Residents enthusiastic about 2028 Olympics, poll says

LOS ANGELES — Angelenos are nearly as enthusiastic about their city hosting the 2028 Olympics as they were about hosting the 2024 Games, according to a poll released Aug. 1 by Loyola Marymount University that found 83 percent of residents support the later date.

The results compare to a survey conducted last year by Loyola Marymount which found 88 percent of Angelenos backed the city’s effort to host the 2024 Games.

The latest poll was conducted prior to the news July 31 that the L.A. bid committee had reached an agreement to host the 2028 Games and received some financial concessions from the International Olympic Committee as part of the deal, including an advancement of $180 million to invest in local youth sports programs and to fund the Olympic organizing committee’s activities over the next five years.

“The support among Angelenos for hosting the Summer Olympics remains strong, whether it’s in 2024 or 2028,” said Brianne Gilbert, associate director of the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University, which conducted the poll. “The vast majority want the Games in L.A.”

“This new LMU poll shows Angelenos are excited to bring the Olympics back in 2028,” said Casey Wasserman, chairman of LA 2028, the nonprofit committee leading L.A.’s bid that was renamed Monday from LA 2024. “L.A. already has a proven Olympic legacy from the ’84 Games. That’s why it’s easy to believe in and support our 2028 plan — low risk and ready to go.

“LA 2028’s support remains strong across all demographic groups and our Games will benefit all communities.”

Although the city’s bid committee — LA 2024 — has reached the agreement with the IOC for the 2028 Games, the Los Angeles City Council and U.S. Olympic Committee Board of Directors also must approve it. If that approval is given, the IOC, Los Angeles and Paris will work on a formal three-way agreement in advance of the IOC’s meeting in Lima, Peru, on Sept. 13, when the games will officially be awarded.

“This agreement with the IOC will allow us to seed a legacy of hope and opportunity that will lift up every community in Los Angeles — not in 11 years’ time, but starting now and continuing in the years leading up to the games,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “LA 2028 will kick-start our drive to make L.A. the healthiest city in America, by making youth sports more affordable and accessible than ever before.”

City Council President Herb Wesson added, “The city of Los Angeles is a proud and enthusiastic partner in this ‘win-win-win’ scenario. The opportunity to again host the Olympic and Paralympic Games is a golden occasion further strengthening Los Angeles — not just through bricks and mortar, but through new opportunities for our communities to watch, play and benefit from sport.”

After the IOC announced its intention to award both games, either Paris or Los Angeles needed to agree to host the 2028 Games if not awarded the 2024 Games, and the cities’ Olympic leaders started negotiating with the IOC after the announcement was made in June.

Since the idea of awarding two games at once was first reported, it was widely expected that Los Angeles would end up hosting in 2028 because its leaders expressed more openness to the idea, while Paris leaders were firm on 2024 because they said their planned Olympic village may not be available in 2028.

“The IOC welcomes this decision of the Los Angeles Olympic and Paralympic bid committee,” IOC President Thomas Bach said. “They presented a strong and enthusiastic candidature that embraces the Olympic Agenda 2020 sustainability priorities by incorporating existing facilities and encouraging the engagement of more youth in the Olympic Movement.

“Therefore, we are very happy that as part of this host city contract, we are able to expand the impact of city youth sports programming and encourage the healthy lifestyle of Angelenos for the next 11 years. We are very confident that we can reach a tripartite agreement under the leadership of the IOC with L.A. and Paris in August, creating a win-win-win situation for all three partners,” he said.

Garcetti, Wesson and Wasserman held a news conference at the StubHub Center in Carson to discuss the Olympic bid. They were joined by members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.

Garcetti pitched the deal as a win for Los Angeles and said he would take it over hosting in 2024, in part because of the immediate money for youth sports.

“If somebody literally said you can take this deal for 2024 or this deal for 2028, you can have either one, I would take this 2028 deal, because I want the city to feel it immediately,” Garcetti said. “I don’t want seven or eight years of kids to be lost and never get to play sports.”

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