Los Angeles officials said today they have sent a letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee, announcing a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics Games.
"We are proud of our city's sports heritage," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wrote in a letter addressed to the USOC. "And we stand ready to work with you to bring the Olympics Games back to the United States."
If the bid is successful, it would make Los Angeles -- which hosted the Summer Olympics in 1932 and 1984 -- the first American city to stage the Games three times and tie it with London as the only worldwide city to do so.
Chicago and New York City were passed over as hosts for the 2012 and 2016 Games.
If a U.S. city is selected for the 2024 Olympics, it would be the first time in 28 years since the 1996 Atlanta Games.
The 2002 Winter Games were held in Salt Lake City.
Among those signing a petition to Villaraigosa's letter were actor Tom Hanks, Anschutz Entertainment Group CEO Tim Leiweke, Olympians Janet Evans and Magic Johnson, and Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Chairman Alan Rothenberg.
"The private sector also has expressed its strong support for a bid ... with signatures from a cross-section of sport, business and community leaders," Villaraigosa wrote.
The process for becoming the United States' official entrant for the 2024 Games is still unclear at the moment, said David Simon, head of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games.
Past applicant cities have had to spend more than $10 million, but this time around, USOC appears to want to create a "less expensive, less elaborate process," Simon said.
The cost of hosting an Olympic Games could exceed $3 billion, according to USOC Chief Executive Officer Scott Blackmun, who sent out feelers last month to mayors of 35 U.S. cities.
"Based on expected International Olympic Committee deadlines, we have two-plus years to decide whether we want to submit a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games," Blackmun's letter stated. "We would like to begin having discussions with interested cities about possible bid themes as well as the infrastructure, financial resources and other assets that are required to host the Games."
Host cities are required to provide at least 45,000 hotel rooms, an Olympic Village with rooms for 16,500 people and a 5,000-person capacity dining area, space for 15,000 media and broadcast representatives, an international airport able to handle thousands of international travelers per day, public transportation to venues and roadway closures.
In 2011, the USOC declined to submit a city for the 2020 games, despite interest from several cities including Los Angeles, New York, and Las Vegas. It cited an inability to agree on revenue-sharing terms with the International Olympic Committee.
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