IOC_LogoThe International Olympic Committee’s executive board has endorsed a recommendation that the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Summer Games be awarded this year, noting the caliber of the existing bids from Los Angeles and Paris, the last two cities remaining after several other destinations backed out of the competition.

“The signal that we’re sending is very clear: It’s a golden opportunity and a fascinating race to have Paris and Los Angeles striving for the right to organize the Olympic Games,” IOC President Thomas Bach said. “It is hard to imagine something better. It is a very strong signal of stability for the Olympic movement and for the Olympic Games.”

In addition, Bach announced proposed changes in the bidding process for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games that would see the IOC have more involvement at an earlier stage with potential host cities, and a one-year candidate period instead of two.

A final decision on both issues will be made by the full IOC at a special meeting on July 11 and 12. The selection of which specific city will be awarded 2024 and 2028 is expected to be made in September. But in recent weeks, Los Angeles bid leaders have expressed a willingness to accept the 2028 Games, noting in a statement earlier this week that the city’s bid “has never been only about L.A. or 2024.”

Following Bach’s announcement, LA 2024 Bid Chairman Casey Wasserman and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a statement supporting the move for the dual decision. “We welcome the IOC Executive Board’s decision to recognize two excellent bids from two of the world’s greatest cities. With no new permanent venues to build and unwavering public support, Los Angeles is an eternal Olympic city and ideal partner for the IOC.”

For its part, Paris 2024 also expressed support. “Paris 2024 welcomes today’s decision by the executive board of the International Olympic Committee to review bidding processes and also organize an Extraordinary Session of the IOC in Lausanne in July,” the group said.

In announcing the joint-award decision, Bach noted that each bid calls for a record number of existing or temporary venues to be used as part of the event. “This is something we have not seen in this dimension before in the Olympic Games and this will then lead to significant cost reductions in the organization of the Games and will make the Games more sustainable and more feasible,” he said.

As for 2026, Bach said the decision to work more closely with potential bid cities was a result of the reality of the political obstacles many recent bid city efforts have faced. By the time the IOC recently awarded the 2022 Winter Olympic Games to Beijing, for example, every city had been forced to drop out of the race except Almaty, Kazakhstan. “To put it in a nutshell, the candidature procedure has, for this world we’re living in, become too expensive and too onerous for the candidate cities or the potential candidate cities and in this way it’s producing too many losers,” he said.

To help change that, Bach announced that the bid process for 2026 will include more involvement from the full IOC earlier in the process. He also said the IOC will lend its expertise to potential bid cities earlier in the process, allowing cities to make better decisions about whether to move forward and to save costs on outside consulting fees. “The IOC will customize its approach to the needs of the cities in order to develop together the best value proposition for the cities and the Games,” he said.