The Olympics are somewhat out of fashion, in part due to their main sports, such as track, fading in popularity, in part due to the excessive spending by recent host cities in marginal countries like Greece, China, Russia, and Brazil. So the International Olympic Committee can’t shakedown potential host cities for as much in bribes anymore.
Therefore, in this buyer’s market, the IOC announced yesterday that it was awarding the 2024 Summer Olympics to Paris and the 2028 Summer games to Los Angeles, two world famous cities that already have many of the necessary facilities.
Paris built a superstadium in the 1990s with the grandstands on rails so it could be reconfigured to host the World Cup soccer final and the Olympic track events. The IOC long exploited the obviousness of sending the Olympics to Paris to get other contenders to pony up more, kind of like how the NFL long exploited the obviousness of moving a franchise to Los Angeles to get other cities to pay for new stadiums for already rich owners. So it’s about time the French finally got another Olympics.
The 400 meter Olympic track is a major stumbling block lately since it requires a larger field than soccer or football do, and few stadiums built recently have enough space for an official track. Most stadiums these days are purpose built for a single sport, meaning the Stade de France is one of the few fairly modern existing stadiums that can host the Olympic.
The USC Trojans recently had the 90 year old LA Coliseum rebuilt to put the stands closer to the football field, but I guess the Coliseum will be temporarily reconfigured to the shape used in the 1932 and 1984 Olympics.
Having locked in LA, which rescued the Olympics before by putting on successful lower cost Olympics during the Depression and the Cold War, for eleven years from now, the Olympics look more stable. The Olympics remain quite popular on TV, but they don’t have momentum at the moment. So making the sensible choices so that the next three Summer Olympics will be in Tokyo, Paris, and Los Angeles, rather than some crazy scam like the World Cup going to Qatar in 2022, makes it less plausible to forecast doom for the Olympics.
As Los Angeles showed in 1984, it’s really actually pretty easy to put on sporting events if you don’t succumb to Olympic psychosis. You just pick a fashionable new color scheme, print up some banners in those colors to hang around the stadiums you already have, and make sure the grass is mowed before you roll the ball out.[Comment at Unz.com]