You're a Sucker for the Olympics, L.A.

Los Angeles Coliseum, home to two Olympic Games
Los Angeles Coliseum, home to two Olympic Games

You hate taxes, parking fines and trash pickup fees — cash that keeps City Hall humming — but you love the multibillion-dollar Olympics.

Los Angeles is the United States' official bidding city for the 2024 Summer Games, and you're just dyin' for them to come here.

It would be kind of cool.

A new survey from the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University found that 85 percent of Angelenos support L.A.'s bid for the Olympics.

That's up from the 81 percent support found by the U.S. Olympic Committee in August.

"Not only does every demographic and geographic group support the Summer Olympics potentially returning to Los Angeles, but they do so in tremendous numbers," says Brianne Gilbert, associate director of the Leavey Center. “It’s hard to think of anything else that 80 percent of Los Angeles agrees with across every category."

But are you willing to pay for the Olympics? Would support be that high if you knew that a couple hundred million dollars of your tax money might have to cover the Games' organization?

LMU didn't ask those questions, unfortunately. The survey asked 2,400 adults for their opinions about L.A.'s bid to host the Olympics.

"The increasing level of support shown in our survey suggests the organizing committee has made strides in addressing those issues," argues Fernando Guerra, director of the Leavey Center and a political science professor at LMU.

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A majority of respondents said the Olympics would be good for the local economy (by creating jobs, increasing tourism or generally giving the city an "economic boost").

"We asked those who oppose hosting the Games here why they opposed it, and the top reasons were 'too much traffic' (21.5 percent) and 'costs too much' (20 percent)," a university spokesman told us.

What about those costs?

Estimates of the price of the Olympics now reach as high as $6 billion. Los Angeles has guaranteed that taxpayers (that's you) will cover the costs of the event. But organizers say that the city could come away with a surplus if the Games are successful.

In fact, Los Angeles wrote the book on successful Olympic Games in 1984. Let's hope for a sequel.


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