Olympics

Delusional LA Mayor Eric Garcetti Promises $1 Billion Profit on 2028 Olympics

Why do elected officials keep pushing the same damn lies about the economic impact of publicly funded sports events?

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The Olympic Games are among the planet's biggest boondoggles, routinely plunging host cities and countries into rivers of red ink. That's one of the main reasons fewer and fewer cities compete to host them.

But don't tell that to Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, the city that will be hosting the 2028 Summer Games. The Los Angeles Times reports that Garcetti is promising a record profit of $1 billion from what will be the City of Angels' third time putting on the Olympics.

"I believe it to be very realistic," he said. "There is no question we will be in the high hundreds of millions."

Such a surplus would be unprecedented in the history of the Olympics, in an era when high costs have scared off cities from bidding to host the Games. The 1984 L.A. Games turned a reported $223-million profit. The 1988 Seoul Games reported a record $479-million profit, although observers said then that the figure did not account for all facility construction.

To put it bluntly, Garcetti is delusional. While the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles turned a profit of (60 percent of which was turned over to the United States Olympic Committee), many of the revenue opportunities that once existed for hosts have been usurped over the past decades by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which gets at least half of all revenue (like all good criminal organizations, the IOC doesn't wait for profits). The L.A. organizers of the '84 games faced all sorts of fiscal constraints that tied their hands when it came to building new facilities and spending money. That same of cheapness by necessity is unlikely to obtain as L.A. prepares for its next moment in the sun and the predictable result will be a loss for the host city. Politicians such as Garcetti have a tough time resisting their "edifice complex" despite the dismal economic track record of the Olympics and other big-ticket, sports-related money pits.

At least Los Angeles will join some other fine cities in losing money on the Olympics. From 2017, here's one of Reason's most popular videos of all time, "Five Cities That Got F*cked By Hosting the Olympics":

Related: "The Five Worst Olympic Mascots" and "An Incomplete List of Why Nobody Really Gives a Shit About the Olympics Anymore."

NEXT: When the Government Says You're Fake News

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  1. Politicians such as Garcetti have a tough time resisting their “edifice complex” despite the dismal economic track record…

    Edifice wrecks?

    1. bravo

  2. “Why do elected officials keep pushing the same damn lies about the economic impact of publicly funded sports events?”

    Because they get paid whether it loses money or not.

    1. Exactly.
      They suffer zero pain when it turns out their obvious lies were lies. They just run for another office in the next election.

      1. Most importantly, the Olympics are planned several years out, so it’s easy to win three terms with “I got us the Olympics” and then move on to bigger office.

        1. It’s important to move on to higher office before the actual Olympics so that all the flubs and flaws can be blamed on your successor and/or opponents who took over control and ruined your beautiful plans.

        2. “Most importantly, the Olympics are planned several years out, so it’s easy to win three terms with “I got us the Olympics” and then move on to bigger office.”

          I have a hard time seeing Garcetti move on to a bigger office after this. His two biggest claims to fame as mayor are out of control homelessness and “road diets” that make LA’s already insane traffic worse.

  3. Since when do politician not like boondoggles?

    The bigger the boon the damnedest the doggle.

  4. I predict a billion dollar profit too, but it won’t be to the taxpayers.
    The 2028 marathon should be interesting , a slalom through the shit stained streets.

  5. I think Garcetti is planning on doubling up on the facilities to host the Homeless Games immediately afterward. They’ll play for food (and Thunderbird). Assuming Carcetti isn’t recalled by then.

  6. I thought profits were evil?

  7. He meant $1 billion in profit for himself.

    The fame and political accolades are really hard to put a specific dollar value on, but by gosh he’s done it.

  8. Not a very informative article. Reuters did it better.

    For example, Greater LA sports generated better than $6b in economic impact by itself last year alone. Garcetti has taken into account some of the pitfalls which have befallen other host cities, principally the construction of new Olympic-centric venues; his model plans to rely

  9. To rely on existing infrastructure.

    For a city which already generates $6b in sports revenue, the suggestion that thousands of international visitors won’t generate upwards of $1b… is but blithe pessimism.

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