Not so fast: LA still has business to settle on road to ‘28


AP National Writer

LONDON — About that deal to bring the 2028 Olympics to Los Angeles: Not all is set in stone.

Sometime over the next five weeks, leaders from LA and the U.S. Olympic Committee have to iron out financial details about their joint marketing agreement that will figure heavily into the USOC’s ability to fund its athletes and sports organizations through those 2028 Games.

Sorting out the agreement is one of the biggest hurdles to clear before the IOC meets the week of Sept. 11 in Lima, Peru, to approve Paris to host the 2024 Olympics and Los Angeles for 2028.

When a city is awarded the Olympics, it also takes over its country’s domestic sponsorship program for a six-year period leading into those Games. The idea is to prevent the country’s Olympic committee and the host city from selling competing sponsorships for essentially the same product.

In the United States, where individual sponsorship deals can reach into the tens of millions, that has resulted in delicate negotiations that haven’t always ended well and have hurt the chances of past bids in Chicago and New York. Deals with those cities were finalized at the last minute and some International Olympic Committee members have used the uncertainty as a reason to vote against the U.S. cities.

But early in the process of the 2024 bid, LA and the USOC locked in their deal. It was a six-year agreement in which the USOC was to receive 20 percent of the revenue — worth somewhere around $380 million — from the domestic deals that LA expects to negotiate.

With LA now in position to host in 2028, the USOC and LA will try to expand that deal to eight years — from 2021-28. USOC CEO Scott Blackmun and LA chairman Casey Wasserman will talk soon about whether the 20-80 split will remain in place, and what other details need to change.