Boston's bid for the 2024 Olympic Games has been faltering for a while, and now the AP is reporting that it has finally collapsed. The hometown organizers failed to win over a skeptical public, and elected officials recently turned on the proposal.
That puts Los Angeles back in the running. L.A. leaders were bitterly disappointed to lose out to Boston in January. L.A. has the infrastructure to host the Games, and, unlike Boston, it also has broad-based community support. The 1984 Olympics are still remembered as a glowing success. With Boston out, L.A. will become the obvious fallback choice for the U.S. Olympic Committee.
In a statement, Mayor Eric Garcetti said he had not spoken to USOC officials but remains committed to hosting the Games.
“I would be happy to engage in discussions with the USOC about how to present the strongest and most fiscally responsible bid on behalf of our city and nation,” Garcetti said.
If this is going to happen, it has to happen fast. The USOC has to finalize its bid to the International Olympic Committee by mid-September. And even if the USOC can line this up, it's possible the U.S. bid for 2024 might already be beyond saving.
There is some wisdom in the warning that one should not try to catch a falling knife. The USOC faces stiff competition from Paris, Hamburg and Rome. It has already botched the Boston bid pretty badly, and any L.A. bid is going to be fairly rushed.
Given that, it might make more sense for L.A. to hold off and try for 2028. Or, L.A. could strike a deal with the USOC in which it agrees to rescue the 2024 bid in exchange for a guarantee that L.A. also gets the 2028 bid, which it might stand a better chance of winning.
With the USOC under the gun, Garcetti has an opportunity to drive a hard bargain.