Los Angeles focus on vision, public support for Olympic bid
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Leaders of Los Angeles' bid to host the 2024 Olympics took away two clear ideas from meetings at IOC headquarters on Friday.
Vision and public support must be at the heart of bid files they will submit on returning to Lausanne in three months' time.
''The importance of having a very clear and succinct and persuasive vision. That was underscored today,'' bid CEO Gene Sykes told The Associated Press.
The value of solid city and state support is clear to Los Angeles, which entered the five-city contest in September only after Boston's bid fell apart due to lack of public support.
''We will provide evidence of that (support) in our February proposal,'' Sykes said after nine hours of sessions with IOC staffers and sponsors. ''Both in the city and the greater region of California which is very much a big part of the concept.''
Los Angeles followed Paris, Rome, Budapest, Hungary and Hamburg, Germany in having detailed workshops to shape strategy.
All must meet a Feb. 17 deadline to hand over bid files that is a key stage in a two-year campaign. First, Hamburg must win a city-wide referendum next weekend.
IOC members will chose the 2024 host in September 2017 in Lima, Peru.
''(The bidders) have all expressed in one way or another the big picture in terms of vision and concept,'' said Christophe Dubi, the IOC executive director of the Olympic Games.
The IOC has set candidates clear guidelines to cut costs by using existing and temporary venues - ideally in landmark locations.
Dubi gave few specifics beyond that Friday about the Olympic body's thoughts on the merit of bids, or if a signature new venue is wanted.
Asked if a $1 billion stadium could anchor the 2024 Summer Games, Dubi told the AP: ''Clearly the answer here is - what suits your needs. We don't have the answer.''
Whatever bidders choose, the IOC wants to see a clear legacy plan by mid-2017 for how new stadiums will survive after the Games have gone.
''We want to have the detail of the long-term usage of these venues,'' Dubi said. ''The Olympic Games have to serve the long-term development of a city.''
That should suit Los Angeles with a current plan of 85 percent of venues selected, including Memorial Coliseum, which also hosted track and field at the 1932 and 1984 Olympics.
Sykes, a longtime Los Angeles resident who took the unpaid CEO role this month, said the Olympics can dovetail with the city's revival.
''One of the great things about Los Angeles is that it's in the process already of dramatic regeneration with tremendous investment in infrastructure,'' he said, describing fast-changing downtown as ''the most exciting place in the United States.''
''That is happening and I think we can take advantage of it,'' Sykes said.