THE BIG PICTURE: Los Angeles City Council Committee Approves LA28 Gaming Deal; Wasserman says LA28 has over 50% contracted revenue!
The Los Angeles City Council’s ad hoc committee on the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games unanimously approved, with minor modifications, the draft Games Agreement between the city and the LA Olympic Organizing Committee. 2028.
Six of the seven committee members were present for an online meeting through more than two hours. The detailed Gaming agreement, released on November 17, was approved intact, but with the exception that the community business engagement plan is due to be delivered a year earlier than expected – by March 31, 2022 – and reported every six months thereafter.
After more than a dozen public comments, most of which were in favor of the Games coming to Los Angeles and the deal itself, the six board members posed questions to the city’s negotiating staff and the president of LA28. Casey wasserman for almost an hour and 45 minutes. While the emphasis has been on avoiding any financial risk to the City, even greater attention has been paid to contracting opportunities for local businesses and jobs for local residents:
â Advisor Mitch o’farrell, chairman of the ad hoc committee, explained:
“This agreement addresses the key elements that were raised during the committee hearings, including provisions relating to local hiring, involvement of small businesses, a thoughtful and comprehensive approach to arts and culture, insurance policies comprehensive, environmental impact protections, in addition to the heritage. “
â Sharon Tso, the City’s chief legislative analyst and one of the negotiators of the proposed contract:
âThis Games Agreement is intended to serve as a model for future LA28 negotiations, discussions and commitments. â¦ What this gaming deal was meant to do was protect the city from financial risk and also establish a process by which we would address very important city policies and programs, and this gaming deal basically creates the vehicle for this contribution and engagement of the public for the very specific details of each of these important City policies and programs.
â Board member Paul Krekorian, one of the Council’s expenditure monitors:
âI think the work that we have done collectively on this committee over the past few years has made this agreement that is before us now a kind of belt and suspenders agreement that I am convinced it doesnât. is not without risk, but the risk is minimal, given the upside potential. We’ve designed this in almost every way imaginable.
â Board member Gil Cedillo noted the additional money the Games will bring to City workers:
âWhen we talk about more services for the City, that the City is going beyond its normal and usual service delivery processes, I consider that to be overtime. I look at this from the perspective of the city worker, the county worker, and the state worker. As a representative of the City, I welcome and embrace these opportunities for us to do more work. Because it means that those families that are part of the City family will have an opportunity, and will budget and anticipate that they are going to do more work. There will be more cleaning, there will be services, there will be more overtime. There will be more experiences for them and their families. So I see this as a very positive thing.
LA28 President Wasserman answered several questions, but also made an explosive announcement about the organizing committee’s financial situation:
âI think it has been explained that there is a base of services for which the city operates, and our job is to make sure that any costs above that base for the city services are fully reimbursed by here. LA2028. So we worked very clearly with the City to make sure the City was protected. We weren’t asking for more for free; you know, whatever the City does, it does, and all that is needed beyond that is a requirement from LA2028 to reimburse the City for these services. …
âWe have no requirements for new sites. We have no additional infrastructure requirements. We have no requirements for additional hotel rooms. All that we [need] is in place today, in fact, that was in place when we presented our offer in 2016, and this offer is the offer that we would present today, if we didn’t have new sites popping up that create more opportunities.
âEven the railways that were under construction in 2016, or the airport [expansion] which was under construction in 2016 was not part of our delivery plan for 2028. So our plan was what was in place in 2016 and we think that plan is excellent. We believe this plan will continue to improve. But, the risk to the Games in traditional cities comes from a cost perspective; our risk comes from a revenue perspective, if we cannot provide the revenue to cover the costs, although as we sit here today, with more than half of our income contracted, and we are ready to host the Games – if necessary – with the income we have today.
âNow we don’t think that’s going to be our final revenue figure. We are very confident in our ability to generate revenue over the next seven years due to the economic hub that is both Los Angeles and the United States, and our ability to take advantage of amazing locations, to amazing universities, amazing civic venues to make these Games truly unique. ” (emphasis added)
The Budget LA28 is $ 6.884 billion.
However, the Council member Paul Koretz complained that a recently placed souvenir order came with defective merchandise; Wasserman promised to “dig in“and solve the problem.
Cedillo also strongly took issue with critics who cite surveys of past Games that suffered significant cost overruns:
âI think we have to say very clearly that these studies that have been referenced [about Olympic cost overruns] are closer to fraud, or it is closer to fraud to suggest that these guide our analysis and our point of view. They don’t apply to the city of Los Angeles, so we shouldn’t get into some sort of Olympic hysteria as we go along. “
O’Farrell concluded with an interesting perspective on a Games which are being held privately, but which could have an ambitious impact on city government in the future:
âMy goal, being a member of this committee for all these years and chairing it now, has always been and will continue to see a better Los Angeles the day after the 2028 Olympics ends. We approach our task with clear recognition. considerable challenges our great city is currently facing, to get the best Olympic Games deal of any city, and a deal that helps us build a more liveable and fairer Los Angeles after 2028.
âI think of the 2028 Games as a primary motivation to leverage our collective resources to make real and visible progress on producing coveted affordable housing, homelessness, climate change, equity – social and racial – and no, as some have claimed, to sweep our challenges outside, or under the rug, or hide anything. We also cannot allow our approach to hosting a successful Olympics in Los Angeles to be guided by fear, cynicism and negativity. “
With the 6-0 vote on the agreement with the changes on the dates, the matter will be forwarded to the entire city council for consideration and approval.
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