Los Angeles is closer to hosting another Olympics, while few cities can stay in race
LOS ANGELES — It’s an oft-repeated quip from Mayor Eric Garcetti when he discusses the 88% support in Los Angeles for the city’s Olympic bid.
In his business, almost nothing polls that well — not even sunshine.
It’s a line Garcetti has been able to get plenty of mileage out of as it highlights something the International Olympic Committee wants to see in its bid cities. As opposition groups and lack of support have sunk bids in recent years, that support matters.
It will certainly be what the IOC looks at as a grassroots group, NOlympics LA, starts a seemingly uphill battle to stop the Olympics from coming to Los Angeles.
“It’s very high, but not unanimous,” Garcetti said of public support. “It’s obviously something that we’ll reach out consistently to any group to engage them, to make sure that we can address those concerns. This is something I get more pressure from my constituents to do than not to do.”
These days, that is rare.
Organized opposition or lack of political support has largely contributed to eight cities, including Boston, pulling out of the bidding process in the past two cycles. Only four have remained to the vote — Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan for 2022 and Los Angeles and Paris for 2024.
NOlympics LA is a smaller operation than the group that worked against Boston and has been in existence for a few months. It faces the challenges of a bid that has support, thanks partly to fond memories of the 1984 Games, and the IOC’s moves toward giving Los Angeles and Paris each an Olympics, either in 2024 or 2028.
While previous opposition groups have focused primarily on the financial risks, NOlympics LA is building its messaging around social issues.