The L.A. 2024 Committee announced today that it is scrapping its costly plans to build an Olympic Village along the L.A. River.
The Olympic Village was the most ambitious part of the city's bid for the 2024 Summer Games, with an official price tag of $1 billion and unofficial estimates that ranged upward of $2 billion. The village was intended to be privately financed, and would have been built on a Union Pacific railyard. It would have had housing for 16,500 athletes, making it one of the largest developments in L.A. in recent memory. After the Games, the plan was to sell it off to a mix of subsidized and market-rate buyers.
But facing a climate of growing skepticism about the economic benefits of hosting the Games, the L.A. committee has decided to scale back. The new proposal is to house the athletes at the dorms at UCLA.
This is — no joke — an image the committee released of the new Olympic Village proposal:
All that's missing is the John Belushi “College” poster and a beer pong table.
In a statement, the committee said the goal is to reduce the costs and risk involved in hosting the Games.
“This approach of using existing facilities ensures certain delivery and allows L.A. 2024 to give even greater focus on the athletes’ experience, shaping the most innovative and creative Games to inspire a new generation,” the statement said.
Mayor Eric Garcetti has stressed that L.A. already has adequate infrastructure to host the Games, and will not need to pour taxpayer money into massive construction projects.
While the International Olympic Committee has encouraged host cities to make their plans more fiscally responsible, there's a risk that the IOC will end up being underwhelmed by L.A.'s proposal. Paris is widely considered the strongest rival, and Paris is — at least for now — still planning to build a new Olympic Village.