With The Los Angeles Olympics, Only The Rich Would Get Richer

Seems to be the trend no? There is a strong potential that Los Angeles will either host the 2024 Olympics, or the 2028 Olympics, if the IOC opts to go with Paris for the 2024 games.

It is not a given that a capable host city profits from the Olympics coming to town, and the rising cost of the Olympics plus taxpayer contributions does not justify the potential profit, if any at all. Looking back on the net gains and losses of either the Summer or Winter Olympics, Los Angeles is amongst the very few who saw a great return on investment, but a lot has changed since those 1984 games in LA.

Two questions need to be worked out before signing up for an Olympics: where does the profit go, and is the risk of an upward $1 billion loss ever worth the potential $10 billion investment (and by 2028 that numbers would approach $20 billion)? We know Rio has been ravished since the World Cup in 2014, and the Olympics that came to town were a disaster by every extent of the word.

“About 70,000 people have been displaced—20,000 families—by the Olympics and its parallel but dubious “legacy” projects. Thousands of poor people—mostly black and mostly men—have been killed during “pacification” efforts to make the city appear peaceful, but the exact number is hard to determine.”

This was in regards to the city’s people, and this does not dive into the corruption that occurs within the IOC (International Olympic Committee). Remember, the IOC sold Brazil knowing the state was being run on a deficit:

“The truth is that a large-scale catastrophe is already happening in Rio, but it has been happening in slow motion over a period of years. The state is running a $6 billion deficit. These Olympics will cost it $4.6 billion, overrunning the projected budget by 51 percent.”

Those Olympics ended up costing a reported $12 billion. It is not out of the question to say that Brazil will never recover, with the World Cup and Olympics, more so, the IOC, are directly to blame.

Los Angeles does not fall under the same umbrella Rio does given the infrastructure already in place to host the Olympics. The United States are more than capable of hosting the Olympic games, but the actual investment is counter intuitive to what makes any logical sense. So far, the biggest benefit that Los Angeles would see from an Olympics bid is a new subway. Los Angeles public transportation is far from acceptable, and the Olympics should not be the reason money is allocated to it.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently asked President Trump for funds, $1.6 billion to bolster an Olympics bid by adding a subway line to combat one of the IOC’s concerns about traffic and congestion in the city. Amazingly, the city received $1.6 billion back in January and is seeking the same amount since it is needed to complete the line by 2024, the summer in which Los Angeles is bidding to host the games. Aside from the common trend that all Olympics go over budget, and a plan to finish by 2024 hardly supplies the confidence of actually completing the task, it is a disservice that the Olympics are what causes the city to want to improve public transportation.

The IOC, a not-for-profit yet extremely profitably organization who has been lined in corruption again and again and again. The HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumble released a special edition 90-minute episode citing the greed and corruption that rolls back decades. Somebody has to profit, even when the hosts take multi-million losses though, and that’s where TV broadcasting deal amongst sponsors get packaged together and benefit the IOC.

Take the London Olympics for example. On par with the same line: over budget (by 106 percent, total cost ran upwards of $13 billion). The IOC made roughly $934 million off the broadcasting rights for the games, since sponsors like Coca-Cola, understandably, paid an absurd amount of money. The other major chunk of money that was awarded in direct cost to London was the private security firm, GS4, who signed on a $355 million contract for their services. Security is nothing to joke about when it comes to global events like that of the Olympics, however, when those funds are being taken away from the public sector, like that of the London police, to the tune of $250 million, it becomes an outstanding problem that once again affects the host city itself and rewards anybody else.

The realization here is that the Los Angeles does not need the Olympics, and Paris has noteworthy reason. It’s been 100 years since Paris has hosted the Olympic games, and the city is as capable as Los Angeles to take on the duties and likely further IOC corruption that comes along with it. The recent attacks on Paris will never be forgotten, but at least in the rearview by the time the 2024 games come along, but for city morale and a reason to bring together the community, the IOC’s announcement in September would be of value to the people of France.

In no way do I want that to come off as France picking up the burden that is likely inefficient to their capital city. The IOC needs to be restructured, or completely disbanded, for enough reasons that warrants the scientific journal articles and not for this post. Besides, Los Angeles would then be left to host the games in 2028, and by then, the subway will be finished.

**Updated 9:37 p.m. - Back in January, it was proposed that the Olympic Village would be held at UCLA, which could save upwards of $2 billion. While this has not been set in stone, it is the strongest lead as to where the village would set up shop. The article previously dove into LA homelessness in Eastern Los Angeles and how an Olympics Village there would only cause more of the same problem, but has since been addressed and fixed.