Olympics 2024: 'LA has not conceded race' to Paris

Casey Wasserman
LA bid chair Casey Wasserman says their bid had to make sense for the Olympic movement and the city

Los Angeles has not conceded defeat to Paris in the race to be named host city of the 2024 Olympic Games - but its bid leader has hinted it is open to hosting them in 2028.

The two cities are the only ones left in the race for 2024 after Budapest, Hamburg and Rome withdrew.

Bid chair Casey Wasserman appeared to concede to Paris when he said: "We have never been only about 2024."

But a spokesman later told BBC Sport: "LA is the ideal host city for 2024."

He added: "LA is not conceding anything in the race for the 2024 Games."

Concerns over this apparent lack of interest in staging sport's biggest event, as well as years of bad publicity about spiralling costs and unused venues, has led the International Olympic Committee to consider taking advantage of these two strong bids by giving them a Games each.

Confirmation of the legality of that option is expected on Friday.

Wasserman issued a statement on Wednesday that appeared to concede the race.

"Even when the issue of a dual award for the 2024 and 2028 Games was initially raised, we didn't say it's 'LA first' or it's 'now or never' for LA: that sounds like an ultimatum," Wasserman said.

"We could have used that strategy but we didn't because we thought it was presumptuous to tell the IOC what to do and how to think. We're better partners than that.

"It has always been our contention that LA 2024 had to make as much sense for the Olympic movement as it did for the people of LA. And we've stuck to that premise.

"We don't believe in ultimatums - we believe in partnership; that's why we are willing to look beyond ourselves and ask the question 'how can LA best serve the long-term needs of the Olympic and Paralympic Games?"'

He said the LA bid requires no public funding and all the facilities are either built or being built anyway.

But the bid team later issued the clarification to emphasise they had not given up on LA hosting in 2024.

The Paris bid aims to mark the centenary of its last Games in 1924 and end a run of three previous failed bids, most recently in 2005 when London was awarded the 2012 Games.

Paris has also claimed it has to go first as the site it has earmarked for the Olympic Village will not be available for redevelopment after 2024.

The traditional vote to decide between the bidders is scheduled for the IOC session in Peru's capital Lima in September.

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