A team of International Olympic Committee delegates kicked off a three-day tour of Los Angeles Wednesday as the city reiterated its readiness to stage the 2024 Olympics.

With just four months to go until a September 13 vote in Lima that will decide the race, the IOC’s Evaluation Commission will spend this week studying the fine detail of Los Angeles’s bid before heading to rival Paris next week.

The back-to-back visits of the only two cities in the running for the 2024 Games usher in what is expected to be a frenzied final spurt of campaigning.

The bidding contest has been overshadowed in recent weeks by speculation that the IOC is aiming to offer the 2028 Olympics to whoever loses out on the 2024 Games, anxious to lock in two strong bids at a time when the pool of cities willing to stage the mammoth sporting spectacular is shrinking.

But Los Angeles will spend the next three days working to make the case that the Californian metropolis is the right city at the right time.

The Los Angeles bid — which enjoys wide public support according to recent surveys — has emphasized that its vision for the 2024 Games would require no new venue construction, with events staged in an array of stadia that exist or are already being built.

– ‘Sustainability and legacy’ –

In opening remarks to reporters on Wednesday, IOC Evaluation Commission chairman Patrick Baumann praised Los Angeles for embracing the Olympic movement’s aim to make the games more sustainable.

“With its extensive use of existing venues and its strong focus on sustainability and legacy, a good proposal has become an even better one,” Baumann said.

“Los Angeles is already a great Olympic city and the legacy of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic games live on in the candidacy of LA 2024.”

LA 2024 chief Casey Wasserman played up the broad popular support for the Los Angeles bid.

“When cities around the world are becoming more reluctant to pursue the Games, LA offers the IOC certainty with 88 percent public support, a low-risk, verified budget and a sustainable Games plan that doesn’t require us to build a single new permanent venue,” Wasserman said.

United States Olympic Committee chief Larry Probst said the LA bid “is precisely what the Olympic Movement requires at this point in time.”

IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair and Executive Board Member Angela Ruggiero, who is also a member of the LA 2024 bid, said the Los Angeles Games could offer a transformative experience.

The use of existing venues would free up $50 million to “help the athletes throughout the Games experience,” Ruggiero said.

“We can do this because we do not have to build a single new venue.”

– No ‘fake version’ –

IOC delegates got an early taste of Los Angeles’s sporting culture with a trip to the city’s famed Dodger Stadium baseball ground on Tuesday.

For the remainder of the week, they will be ferried around the city to examine venues including the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the iconic centerpiece of past Olympics held in the city.

One potential hurdle for LA 2024 officials to overcome this week as they seek to impress IOC delegates is traffic congestion, a perennial complaint of often-gridlocked locals.

Bid chiefs nevertheless are adamant that there will be no attempt to ease the passage of the IOC delegation by rigging traffic lights as officials move around the city.

“That’s against the rules,” Wasserman said in remarks before the IOC delegation arrived. 

“We’re not trying to show them a fake version of what LA is — we’re trying to show them exactly what LA is, and exactly the LA they will get.”

Los Angeles 2024 officials also point to the $88 billion of expanded subway, light rail, bus and express lane projects that will be operational by 2024, an investment Wasserman described as “the largest ongoing transportation and infrastructure project in American history.” – Agence France-Presse

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