California Legislative Analyst affirms LA 2024’s fiscal responsibility

Photo by Keyang Pang
LA Memorial Coliseum is the first stadium to have hosted the Summer Olympic Games twice. Photo by Keyang Pang

LOS ANGELES – On Thursday, the California Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) released a detailed report that expresses confidence in LA 2024’s low-risk and fiscally responsible plan. The LAO noted the economic viability of the LA 2024 plan with every venue either existing, temporary, or planned and funded by private investors with no incremental capital expenditure. This approach aligns with the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms that encourage bid cities to propose economically viable and sustainable Games that will still leave a legacy for, and inspire, the next generation.

The report follows state legislation enacted in September that would provide up to $250 million in state financial support for LA 2024. While LA 2024 does not expect to expend these funds thanks to the city’s existing venues and infrastructure that reduces the costs and risks of a Games in Los Angeles, the state support serves as a crucial show of support and unity behind bringing the Games to Los Angeles in 2024.
In its executive summary, the report states: “In recent years, several major cities have chosen not to bid for the Olympics, fearing massive sports venue and infrastructure cost overruns that have plagued prior host cities. Recognizing this problem, the IOC recently has put in place mechanisms intended to favor bid cities that propose low–cost, low–risk plans that primarily utilize existing or already–planned facilities. Los Angeles’ 2024 bid benefits from this low–cost, low–risk approach, as all of its planned venues already exist or are on track to exist by 2024. The bid also needs no new major public infrastructure to proceed. Short–term economic gains from the Games likely would generate additional state and local tax revenues that would offset some or all public costs. Compared to many past Olympic bids, the current proposal by the LA 2024 organizing group is a relatively low risk one.”
The LAO is the California Legislature’s fiscal and policy watchdog and conducted its review independently of the LA 2024 bid committee. The full report can be viewed at
LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman responded to the report, stating: “The LAO conducted a thorough and independent review of LA 2024 and we appreciate their confidence in our low risk and fiscally responsible Games plan. LA 2024 has developed a strong partnership with the California Governor, Legislature and state agencies and look forward to working closely with them to deliver our innovative, creative and sustainable ‘new Games for a new era’ in 2024.
“LA has a wealth of existing world-class sports venues and, in UCLA’s state-of-the-art campus facilities, an Olympic Village already serving more than 16,000 residents today. That means we don’t need to gamble our financial future on complex, controversial construction projects and unpredictable potential income generated by costly new stadiums. LA 2024 offers an unprecedented degree of certainty, and that gives us the confidence to explore exciting, impactful ways of maximizing the social and sporting benefits for the City of Angels beyond the purely economic.”
California is the world’s sixth largest economy, with a gross state product of $2.5 trillion in 2015, growing 4.1% from 2014 adjusted for inflation. In September, California added 30,000 new jobs, the 8th straight month of job growth. California’s unemployment rate is 5.5%, with LA county’s unemployment rate at 5%.
The Legislative Analyst’s Office has provided fiscal and policy advice to the Legislature for 75 years. It is known for its fiscal and programmatic expertise and nonpartisan analyses of the state budget. The office serves as the “eyes and ears” for the Legislature to ensure that the executive branch is implementing legislative policy in a cost efficient and effective manner. The office is overseen by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC), a 16-member bipartisan committee. Currently, the office has a staff of 43 analysts and approximately 13 support staff.


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