City officials are in talks with the U.S. Olympic Committee as part of a process that could see Los Angeles host the 2024 Summer Olympics, the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti confirms.

The talks, which could end up with L.A. as the nation's official contender to host the Games, are in the early stages, we were told. The negotiations are happening after Boston, the winner of America's bid, pulled itself from the running. Los Angeles was a finalist before losing the American bid to Beantown.

Citizens in that city were concerned about the cost to taxpayers; last month Boston withdrew its bid. In 2017 the International Olympic Committee will chose a host from among a group of international finalists.

The L.A. Mayor's Office is looking to allay fears about public costs in Los Angeles. As part of the bidding process, the city must promise to pay for cost overruns because Olympics organizers don't want to see a bill at the end of the Games.

Garcetti's people say he's willing to make that promise. On the other hand, his office argues, it's unlikely that taxpayers will be stuck with a check.

Los Angeles has a history of lucrative Olympic Games (in 1932 and '84), with the latter event being widely hailed as the most profitable yet. And we have many if not all of the necessary venues, including the Coliseum, up and running today. That would significantly reduce the cost of producing the Olympics, which is a goal of international organizers.

The 2024 Games are projected to cost $4.5 billion.

The Mayor's Office says that there will be a $400 million contingency fund, paid for by Olympics revenues, with $200 million of that to repay the city's costs of policing and managing the Games. And insurance will be purchased that could pay for cost overruns.

It's not a done deal yet, but The New York Times calls L.A. the “likeliest American candidate” to host the 2024 Olympics. You can almost take that to the bank.

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