LA 28

The real story: a billion-dollar surplus

The real story: a billion-dollar surplus

he Los Angeles 2028 organizing committee on Tuesday released an inflation-adjusted budget, and in the rush to pounce on the new number, $6.9 billion, every single outlet missed the story.

The story is this, and it’s all there in black and white, though my colleagues in the press either don’t want to embrace it or simply can’t believe it, almost surely because they have been so thoroughly accustomed to Olympic finance horror stories: the fundamental truth is that Los Angeles and California are different, and so in 2028, as in 1984, LA will be the Games changer, meaning absent an act of God like an earthquake that turns abruptly turns Las Vegas into beachfront resort, LA28 is going to clear an absurd amount of money.

Like, an anticipated surplus of a billion dollars. 

On a budget of $6.9 billion. 

There is a place for caution and tempered expectation and all of that.

There is also reality. 

Reimagining Olympic legacy

Reimagining Olympic legacy

Time flies. It was September 2017 when the International Olympic Committee made the dual award of the 2024 Games to Paris and the 2028 Games to Los Angeles.

In essence — nearly 11 years ’til the Olympics came back to LA, in July 2028.

Last week, it was exactly 2024 days until the start of the 2024 Games in Paris. A typical Olympic countdown clock ticks down from roughly seven years. The year marker for Paris is already at five.

In Los Angeles, meanwhile, 11 years has turned to nine-plus. Of course nine-plus is a long time. But look how many months have already passed so quickly.

Unlike every other Games in modern Olympic history — the LA 84 Games the exception and thus the model, turning a $232.5 million surplus — LA28 offers a chance to do it differently, differently in this case meaning better, because in LA everything is built, meaning the LA 28 organizing committee has the extraordinary opportunity from the get-to to focus on what the Games ought to stand for and be about.

LA28 does not have to wait until after a Games for new buildings built as part of an Olympic-related infrastructure boom to secure a legacy.

Instead, it can and should use the Olympics — because there is no construction need — to redefine, indeed reimagine, legacy.

'Like, my parents are already saying they want to buy tickets!'

'Like, my parents are already saying they want to buy tickets!'

In blue shading to purple, the big sign to the left of the cauldron read, “The Games are Back.” To the right, purple back to blue, “LA 2028.”

With International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, LA mayor Eric Garcetti and LA 2028 chairman Casey Wasserman looking on, Rafer Johnson — the Rome 1960 decathlon champion who so memorably lit the cauldron at the 1984 Games — lit the cauldron again.

The Games are back.

Paris will stage the 2024 Games and Los Angeles 2028. Last Wednesday, at an assembly in Lima, Peru, the IOC ratified this historic double allocation.

In keeping with the approach that brought the Summer Games back to the United States for the first time in a generation, since Atlanta in 1996, Sunday’s moments at the Coliseum were — yet again — low-key and marked not by any of the excess, entitlement or pompsity too often associated with the Olympic scene but by a genuine display of what the Olympics is supposed to be about:

Friendship, excellence and respect.

Plus, most of all, and this cannot be stressed enough, especially from and for Americans, and from and for Americans especially now: humility.