L.A. won't lose money if awarded 2024 Games: officials

Fri Dec 2, 2016 1:30pm EST
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(Reuters) - Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid officials unveiled a "no surprises" $5.3 billion balanced budget on Friday, boasting they will not need money to build any new permanent venues.

The bid committee, which is up against Paris and Budapest for the right to host the summer Games, said in a statement its budget includes a $491.9 million contingency in case costs escalate.

An Olympic village that already exists, no new permanent competition or non-competition venues needed specifically for the Games and previously approved funding for the airport and transit that was not related to the Olympics all helped to keep costs down, officials said in a statement.

The largest expenditure in the budget is $1.1 billion for Olympic venue overlay, upgrades to existing facilities and temporary venue construction.

In all, the projected $5.3 billion cost of hosting the Games is less than half the roughly $12 billion Brazil spent on the Rio Games in August.

Budget overruns can saddle host cities with a legacy of debt and unused facilities. But Los Angeles' history - the 1984 Olympics ran a $93 million surplus that still helps to fund youth athletic programmes - makes its officials more confident.

"Our Games Plan offers stability and minimal risk to the City and the Olympic Movement," LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said in a statement.

"Like the organizers of the LA 1984 Games, we believe we have a responsibility and a tremendous opportunity to put forward a plan that will serve Los Angeles and the Olympic Movement long after the Games are over in 2024."

According to the budget, LA 2024's revenue will be driven by domestic sponsorship and activation ($1.93 billion), ticketing ($1.47 billion) and IOC contributions from its international broadcasting ($855 million).   Continued...

The city of Los Angeles, California is pictured on a hot summer day next to the San Gabriel mountains August 5, 2015.   REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo