As the IOC moves the goalposts in the 2024 Olympic contest, bid leaders from Los Angeles and Paris head to a campaign event in Denmark tomorrow unsure of exactly what they are shooting for. While both cities are bidding for the 2024 Games, the 2028 hosting rights are also in play, according to IOC President Thomas Bach. LA and Paris will send 12-member delegations to lobby and make 10-minute presentations in Aarhus at a conference of global Olympic sports officials - the first of only three set-piece events ahead of the IOC's scheduled decision in September. The audience will include some of the near 100-strong IOC membership who normally pick host cities. The 2024 campaign is no longer normal.
When Bach lamented in December a bidding process that produced "too many losers," he sparked speculation of a mid-game rule change to allow awarding both the 2024 and 2028 Games, and so avoid letting a coveted potential host slip away. Bach has only fueled the idea since, and last month said "all options are on the table" when he asked the four IOC vice presidents to examine change. They should report back in July, days before the next bid presentation event in the IOC's home city of Lausanne, Switzerland. Los Angeles and Paris, and their armies of retained Olympic consultants, now have to include strategizing for which games to get in a contest that no longer seems winner-take-all.
"We can't accept ‘28," Paris bid co-chairman Tony Estanguet said in London two weeks ago. "It's not possible. Either the IOC family wants to choose Paris for ‘24 or we will not come back for ‘28."
LA bid chairman Casey Wasserman has taken a more cooperative public line, and published an article Friday titled: "An opportunity, not an ultimatum."
Still, Wasserman's message concluded: "LA's vision for 2024 is relevant now, and cannot wait until 2028." The 2024 vote on Sept. 13 in Lima, Peru, is at the exact mid-point of Bach's eight-year first term and will help define it.