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July 11, 2017

The Olympics return to the U.S. – Some thoughts on Los Angeles getting the Summer Games

Hello friends, I’m sure you saw some of the news this morning that the Olympics will be coming back to the United States in either 2024 and 2028. What are your thoughts on the Summer Games making a return here for the first time since 1996? Are you pro or anti Olympics in Los Angeles?

Ammar Moussa: I’m all in on LA. Let’s go

Paul Snyder: Woo buddy! I am anti.

Ammar: Because on the Garcetti tangent. Rumors he might run for President lol. But anyways…LA!!

Ryan Sterner: Paul, I feel like all your arguments about cities going broke paying for these things doesn’t necessarily apply to Los Angeles since we do have the facilities.

Paul: That’s fair. So their budget will be smaller, but when was the last time any sort of major event of municipal project didn’t go over budget? Even with renovations and whatnot, it’s just not something iI’m willing to risk, personally. For the city to wind up footing the bill so that the few, the proud, the wealthy, can enjoy two weeks of lavish vacationing. The modern Olympics are so overblown and massive that they always overrun their budgets and so the municipality and tax payers are left footing the bill. The only local people who actually benefit from the Games are those who can afford to attend, but everyone shares the burden of inconvenience equally.

Ammar: I get that argument Paul, but…the thing is, there are lasting benefits that LA gets including new infrastructure the city desperately needs.

Ryan: The timeline for the purple line to finish its extension is 2024 because of the Los Angeles Olympics. I want that fucking purple line, Paul.

Paul: That’s definitely true. But (going to just reiterate my earlier point) I guess since I’m the lone anti-man, I get to be a purist too. I just think it’s beyond fucked up that these desperately needed projects only get forced into existence when wealthy visitors are coming. I love public transit MORE than the next guy and I just want new train lines to be built, bus lanes to be painted, because the city realizes it’s necessary, not because some corrupt IOC hacks deem it so. LA is sucking the Colorado River Dry and has the worst air quality of any major us city. Why not just do the right thing because otherwise we will all die?

Ryan: I think we’ve learned, though, that things aren’t going to get done unless someone serves to benefit from it. It’s never going to be for the greater good, but if Mayor Garcetti can pull off the Olympics in Los Angeles and have it as some coming out party for a #newLA, I think whatever benefit we can derive from that as a city is fantastic.

Paul: Maybe I’m just anti olympics in general, while being extremely pro-train.

Ammar: You know what would be sick? If they just build a permanent Olympic city…or two cities. And if they rotated among them.

Paul: That’s the only situation where I can get behind the Olympics at this stage.

Stephen Kersh: When you guys want to talk about the Garcetti/Carcetti tangent, please lmk. I will be over in the #memes channel.

Ammar: In what situation are you okay with the LA Games? What if LA successfully gets an infrastructure project paid for? Or negotiates something cool? Like LA getting the Eiffel Tower.

Paul: Hmmm… if the IOC funnels all its Coca Cola and Visa money into expanding public transit in LA to the point of taking 100s of 1000s of cars off the road, them I’m game.

Ryan: Yeah isn’t this part of the problem with the Olympics? The IOC is flush with cash right?

Ammar: Yes.

Ryan: So the whole thing kind of feels like the fucking bullshit football stadium arguments. Owners have billions of dollars but force the taxpayers to foot the bill for an enormous stadium that 90% of the time sits empty.

Paul: I the IOC wants THIS bloggers’ stamp of approval — and subsequently the approval of the tens of people who value my opinions — then they should be paying for way more. STADIUMS ARE NOT A VIABLE FORM OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR BLIGHTED REGIONS. THE RICH GET RICHER AND THE ADJACENT POOR SEE NO BENEFIT. THERE ARE STUDIES. STUUUDDIIIIIIESSSSSS.

Ryan: Aside from Paul’s crusades for the poor and blighted, stadiums aren’t a public park. Why the fuck am I paying for a privately held entity to put up a billion dollar stadium? That has no benefit to the public outside of every other Sunday for five months of the year.

Paul: I would like to see the IOC ponying up money for public works projects if i’m going to throw my 135 pounds of weight behind the proposal. Consider me the political left who is hypocritical enough to love the NBA.

Ryan: What’s wrong with loving the NBA, Paul.

Paul: Nothing, Ryan. Nothing at all. Back to the issue at hand. I’m not anti Olympics for LA, I’m anti-Olympics in general in their current form – both from an urbanist perspective and also as someone who loves track and field. By having one event every four years that’s publicly viewed as the only iteration of that sport, you greatly limit potential exposure for it. I think niche sports that rely so greatly on the Olympics for press are harmed by it.

Ammar: The IOC is bloated AF, but i genuinely think LA benefits from 2024/28, because it doesn’t pour money into the events like Rio/Beijing/Sochi. We can talk about entire reform of the IOC and all that but at least let L.A. thrive with 2024/28.

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