April 4, 2017 / 2:35 PM / 6 months ago

LA, Paris pitch Olympic bids amid vote uncertainty

The Eiffel Tower is lit in the colours of the Olympic flag during the launch of the international campaign for the Paris bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games, in Paris, France, February 3, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

AARHUS, Denmark (Reuters) - Los Angeles and Paris presented their candidacies for the 2024 Olympics to international sports federations on Tuesday amid confusion over the exact election process.

The two bids will campaign up until the International Olympic Committee vote in September but the IOC looks now likely to decide to award both the 2024 and the 2028 Games simultaneously.

Two-time host Los Angeles, which last staged the Games in 1984, highlighted its risk-free plan with every permanent venue already in place and a bid for privately-funded Games free from any government involvement or financing.

“We don’t have to build a single permanent new venue. That’s very important because it means a ‘no risk, no surprises’ budget,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told a meeting of international sports federations.

He said that if awarded the Games, Los Angeles would also “harness the power of our $250 billion (201 billion pounds) sports market for your sports.”

Paris bid leaders stressed the plan’s compactness while also highlighting the fact that it is a European bid. Rome, Budapest and Hamburg pulled out of the process, scared off by cost or local opposition to the Games.

“Why Paris now?” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said. “We believe in sport. We believe that the Games are so much more than just entertainment. We believe sport can change the world. Paris is a global city...made for sharing.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at a press conference following Los Angeles City Council's vote on whether to give final approval for the city's bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Paris, also a two-time host, last staged the Summer Olympics in 1924.

But while the two cities campaign for 2024, they could end up with the 2028 Games.

The city of Los Angeles, California is pictured on a hot summer day next to the San Gabriel mountains August 5, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

The IOC has set up a working group to look into the possibility of awarding both the 2024 and the 2028 Olympics at the same time in September and the group is expected to report back in July.

Four of the six cities that had bid at some point have pulled out in mid-race and the IOC is eager to change bidding to stop “creating so many losers”.

“They (IOC) have kept us in broad terms abreast but until something changes nothing is different,” Garcetti told reporters when asked about the possibility of awarding two Games and if the rules of the process were clear.

“I am going with the assumption that it will be one vote for 2024 then. If those rules changes, I think both cities are adaptable,” he said.

“If there is a win-win solution for everybody I always joke I would be happy to go to Paris in 2028 but I am sure Mayor Hidalgo would be happy to go to Los Angeles in 2028 too.”

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Mark Heinrich

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