Congratulations, Los Angeles!
You not only have secured the 2028 Olympic Games — pending some i-dotting and t-crossing — but you did so in the least controversial fashion in modern Olympic history.
The populace seems to be on board. The business, political and media communities seem to be on board.
The rest of America is on board, because we are happy to have the Games back in the USA and even happier that the rest of us aren’t the ones hosting them.
And for the few among us not pleased with the idea — the USOC’s 2015 choice of Boston collapsed in the face of public opposition within six months — the unusually long lead time makes it more difficult to complain. Eleven years is a long time, even more so in sports than in real life.
The 2028 U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team currently is distracted from training because its members are shopping for school supplies before kindergarten and elementary school starts.
LaMelo Ball will turn 27 during the Games, so he might still be interested in playing basketball near where he grew up, which is good, because his older brother Lonzo will be approaching 31 that summer and might need to ice his knees instead.
Baseball is set to return to the Olympics in 2020. If it still is around eight years after that, it could be back at Dodger Stadium, where in 1984 it was an exhibition sport.
Hmm. By the summer of 2028, Aaron Judge will be a lumbering 36-year-old playing out his bloated, long-term contract, and Jacob deGrom will be the Mets’ new 40-year-old pitching coach.
Anyway, it’s all good. Really. Again: Thank you for doing this, L.A., so the rest of America doesn’t have to.
NBC, which has American television rights sewn up through 2240 or thereabouts, loves L.A.’s TV-time-zone-friendly location.
It also loves the predictably pleasant weather, which limits the risk of disruption, other than from the occasional earthquake.
There is such an established set of venues and support facilities that when mayor Eric Garcetti said the city could host the games two months from now if need be, he was not exaggerating.
One could argue that using aging structures such as the L.A. Coliseum – which then will be 105 years old and hosting its third Olympics – and the even-older Rose Bowl is an indictment of Americans’ commitment to infrastructure.
Fair point. But by then L.A. will have it shiny new NFL stadium up and operational, and the Clippers are working on building a new NBA arena next to it, preferably before 2028.
UCLA has offered its dorms for housing, and the Pacific Ocean remains available nearby.
Plus: Maybe everyone at least will show up this time.
In 1932, L.A. was the only city to bid on the Games and attendance by overseas athletes was limited by the global effects of the Great Depression.
In 1984, L.A. again was the only city to bid on the Games, which were a success aesthetically and financially. But they suffered competitively from the absence of the Soviet Union and others because of a politically motivated boycott.
Thank goodness U.S.-Russia relations have come so far since those dark, Cold War days, making the thought of tensions leading to another such boycott unthinkable!
Well, if not, at least the Canadians come. And the Brits, probably. And Guam.
The L.A. bidders wrung some significant financial concessions from the IOC in return for stepping aside and letting Paris have 2024, which should ease concern among skeptics.
Another worry is traffic, just as it was in 1984, when it turned out to be a non-issue.
Hypothetically, there could be some among us who are sports journalists planning to retire between the 2024 and 2028 Games who might now be denied a chance to cover their first and only career Games because of L.A. not hosting in 2024.
But let’s not be selfish! This L.A. news is excellent all around. Should be fun.
So, girls, put the crayons, glue sticks, blunt-tipped scissors and “Frozen” backpacks down for a while and get back to work on the balance beam!