Recently, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics would be hosted in Paris and Los Angeles, respectively. Though both cities were initially vying to host the 2024 games, it is speculated that the 2028 games were awarded simultaneously because the IOC anticipated a lack of bids for future Olympic Games. Though the idea of hosting the Olympics excites many locals in Los Angeles, others have already noticed plenty of areas of concern surrounding how an LA Olympics would impact the city and those living in it.
Those who were in LA for the 1984 Olympics remember the not-so-mildly inconvenient traffic that actually shut down the 405 freeway for a period of time, adeptly nicknamed “Carmageddon”. The 2028 Olympics will certainly cause similar, if not worse, chaos on the streets. Though the traffic was a major cause for debate among the IOC when awarding the Olympics, it’s not the anticipated traffic that residents have taken issue with.
The problems that locals had with the 1984 Olympics are still applicable more than 30 years later as we look to start planning the 2028 games, and they ran far deeper than traffic. The Olympics created a need for heightened security; security for venues, for the Olympic Village, and, of course, for the 5.79 million tourists that traveled to Los Angeles for the Olympic festivities. However, officers used the need for additional security as an excuse to exercise unnecessarily aggressive force on civilians, specifically in the Black and Latino communities. Police staff focused on keeping drug and gang related issues out of the media’s eyes, and spent little time or effort trying to solve the problem. Resources and funds were used on weaponry as opposed to rehabilitation and employment programs. Los Angeles was already the “Capital of Incarceration”, and the 1984 games (and the security that came with them) only further exacerbated what was already a problem. There’s no denying that 2028 games could very well have a similar impact on Los Angeles’ neighborhoods.
Furthermore, it can be expected that the games will displace residents, specifically those located near Olympic venues. Construction of new buildings and an exponentially larger volume of tourists will inevitably fast track gentrification. And the proposed transit system will serve to benefit the needs of the Olympic Games, but not the city as a whole.
Lastly, the rush to enter an agreement with the IOC has raised plenty of eyebrows. LA City Council votes to approve the games in about a week, and have not seen any set budget or spending plan, something they won’t see until around 2018. The IOC set the agreement deadline as September 13, despite the fact that we’re still 11 years away from the event. And though the plethora of stadiums and arenas make LA a low-risk host city, the hurry to approve the games without a budget is a disaster waiting to happen.
In short, although Los Angeles has the resources and the venues to host a successful Olympic Games, there are notable areas of concern that should not be overlooked. Hosting the Olympics should be a way to celebrate your city on a global stage, but way more goes into hosting it than flamboyant ceremonies and eye-catching posters. For more information about the dangers of LA2028, visit nolympicsla.com.