Los Angeles is set to host the 2028 Summer Olympics after reaching an agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the office of L.A City Council President Herb Wesson confirmed Monday. The deal will be formally announced at a Monday evening news conference and reviewed by the Olympic council later this week. The decision was widely anticipated, given that L.A. and Paris were the only remaining bidders for the 2024 and 2028 Olympic spots. With L.A.’s position confirmed, Monday’s announcement all but secures Paris’s status as the host of the 2024 Summer Olympics.
“This is an historic day for Los Angeles, for the United States, and for the Olympic and Paralympic movements around the world,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “Today, we take a major step toward bringing the Games back to our city for the first time in a generation and begin a new chapter in Los Angeles’s timeless Olympic story.” Having previously hosted the Games in 1932 and 1984, L.A. is now set to become a three-time Olympic host.
Monday’s decision marks the culmination of a long-running effort on behalf of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to bring the Summer Games back to the U.S. The last time the Olympics were held in the United States was in 1996, when Atlanta hosted the Summer Games. In 2012, New York was short-listed to host the Summer Olympics, but lost out to London after being denied funding for a stadium proposal. Four years later, Chicago was one of three cities under consideration to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, but the final victory ultimately went to Rio de Janeiro. While the USOC originally selected Boston as its candidate for the 2024 Games, the city was forced to pull out in 2015 amid waning public support.
Like Boston, many European cities dropped out of the running early on, fearing a large financial burden with minimal long-term payoff. While Olympic hosts often expect to see an increase in population size and economic prosperity, recent Olympics—such as the 2016 Summer Games in Rio and the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi—have left cities struggling to fill their newly-constructed hotels and public facilities. As a result, the latest running for the 2024 Games saw early withdrawals from three of the top five contenders: Rome, Budapest, and Hamburg.
With only L.A. and Paris remaining, the IOC voted earlier this month to pursue a dual award that prevented either city from losing its bid. Although both cities were keen on hosting the 2024 Olympics, L.A. officials remained open to negotiations with Paris, which has not hosted the Games since 1924. While L.A.’s bid touted a low-cost approach that did not require the development of additional infrastructure, the city’s heavy traffic was seen as a disadvantage compared to Paris’s top-notch public transportation system. Many also saw the Trump administration’s current rhetoric toward immigrants as a potential drawback.
Despite these concerns, IOC President Thomas Bach said on Monday that L.A. “presented a strong and enthusiastic candidature” that emphasized the Olympic Agenda’s sustainability goals. Bach specifically highlighted the city’s plan to engage local youth in the Olympic Games and expand L.A.’s youth sports programming. “This agreement with the IOC will allow us to seed a legacy of hope and opportunity that will lift up every community in Los Angeles—not in 11 years’ time, but starting now,” Garcetti said on Monday. The committee’s decision, he added, “will kick-start our drive to make L.A. the healthiest city in America.”