The United States hasn’t hosted a Summer Olympics since Atlanta ’96, but it hasn’t been for lack of trying. New York and Chicago both made bids, for 2012 and 2016 respectively, only to lose out, for (mostly) better and worse. Los Angeles had been one of the only cities in the running for 2024, but though the IOC decided to award those Games to Paris, they also made an unprecedented decision to award Los Angeles the 2028 Summer Games as part of the same bidding process.
From LA Times reporter David Wharton:
Los Angeles has reached an agreement with Olympic leaders on terms that will pave the way for hosting the Summer Games in 2028 instead of 2024, according to a source close to the negotiation.
The deal will bring the Olympics back to Southern California for a third time, after Los Angeles hosted the Games in 1984 and 1932. It also opens the door for Paris to host the Games seven years from now.
The decision to award both events at the same time and as part of the same bidding process is slightly reminiscent of FIFA’s decision to jointly award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, a process marred by corruption and bribery. It’s slightly different in that the IOC hadn’t stated this as an official plan ahead of time (only in June did the IOC reveal it was possible), and fewer cities were strongly interested in hosting either version. It’s slightly similar in that FIFA and the IOC are both shady as hell.
Los Angeles hosted the Olympics in 1984 and in 1932, which means the IOC is awarding both 2024 and 2028 to cities that will be hosting for the third time. As it stands, no city has hosted more than twice.
It’s also added to the list of major sporting events that the Los Angeles area will (or will likely) play host to:
Big sports events likely to be held in Los Angeles:
2022 Super Bowl
2024 Final Four
2026 World Cup
2028 Summer Olympics
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 31, 2017
(Arash could have gone one further: the 2023 U.S. Open will be held the Los Angeles Country Club.)
Los Angeles is at least a city with the size and resources to absorb an event like the Olympics. Whether it ends up being a good thing overall remains to be seen, although past history suggests it likely won’t be. But hey, maybe this one won’t be on tape delay!