Vote on 2024 Olympics delayed amid questions over cost

AP News
Posted: Aug 26, 2015 5:54 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Facing an early test of support at home, Los Angeles' 2024 Olympics plan stalled Wednesday before the City Council amid questions about potential runaway costs and the impact on neighborhoods already strangled by traffic.

The council had been expected to vote on a proposal to give Mayor Eric Garcetti broad authority to execute agreements linked to the bid.

But the vote was pushed backed until at least Friday and possibly next week after it became clear members were struggling with questions ranging from potential debt to how the international sports festival would transform the city.

"What protections do we have? Is this going to be a blank check?" Councilman David Ryu asked after the meeting.

At this juncture, any delay could have consequences.

The U.S. Olympic Committee last month cut talks with Boston, which was initially selected as the U.S. contender for the 2024 Games. With Los Angeles the likely stand-in, the USOC faces a Sept. 15 deadline to enter a bid with the International Olympic Committee.

Council President Herb Wesson credited Garcetti for proposing an ambitious plan but added that "we are not going to do anything that will put the residents of this city in harm's way."

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In a later statement, he said, "we cannot let our excitement trump our responsibility to the taxpayers and must ensure all documents have been thoroughly vetted."

Organizers on Tuesday released the first detailed budget for the Games, with plans calling for the staging of events from Santa Monica Beach to Hollywood. Ryu and others said they had been given virtually no time to examine the bid document, which runs over 200 pages.

The tentative plan calls for $6.4 billion in public and private spending, leaving a $161 million surplus.