Garcetti in Rio pitches hard for LA to host 2024 Summer Games

RIO DE JANEIRO (KABC) -- With the world's attention on Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is making a hard push to bring the 2024 Summer Games to Southern California.

The mayor's pitch makes the point that LA already has most of the infrastructure in place, along with billions of dollars in transit improvements planned.

"We also don't have our Olympic infrastructure up on drawing boards. It's actually already on the ground," Garcetti said.

Every Olympics presents serious financial challenges to the host city. That's why Boston dropped out of the competition. Russia spent a record $50 billion on the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Rio's Olympics are costing nearly $12 billion.

Olympics or not, Los Angeles officials note they have already authorized a long-term $55-billion program to improve the city's airport and add train service.

An Olympic Village to house athletes would be located at the UCLA campus, which has state-of-the-art medical facilities, members of LA's 2024 committee noted.

City boosters also note that Los Angeles has a good track record. The 1984 Olympics were a huge success and made a profit - a $93 million surplus that still helps fund local youth athletic programs.

"An America that I saw in 1984 where the face of the world was on the sidewalks of my city is something that can inspire a nation not just a city," Garcetti said.

Paris, Rome and Budapest are also candidates for the 2024 games. The host-city decision is expected about a year from now.
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