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Thursday, March 7, 2013
L.A. wants to bid on 2024 Games

By Arash Markazi
ESPNLosAngeles.com

Los Angeles has formally notified the United States Olympic Committee of its interest in bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The USOC sent a letter to the mayors of 35 large U.S. cities last month for the purpose of soliciting their interest in being considered as the official U.S. candidate for the 2024 Games.

Los Angeles last held the Olympics in 1984, and the Summer Games were last held in the United States in 1996, when they were in Atlanta.

"On behalf of the City of Los Angeles, I am pleased to confirm our enthusiastic interest in bidding to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wrote in a letter to the USOC. "We are proud of our city's sports heritage and tradition, and we stand ready to work with you to bring the Olympic Games back to the United States."

The Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution of support for a 2024 Olympic bid last year. Villaraigosa's letter to the USOC also included a letter of support from the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, which included signatures from Magic Johnson, Tom Hanks, Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans and AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke.

Leiweke and AEG are currently pushing to build a $1.5 billion stadium connected to an expanded Los Angeles Convention Center in Downtown Los Angeles, which could be completed as early as 2016. Also likely to be used as part of Los Angeles' bid are Staples Center and L.A. Live, AEG's 27-acre property across the street that boasts 5.6 million square feet of apartments, ballrooms, bars, theatres, restaurants and a 54-story hotel and condominium tower.

Los Angeles held the Summer Olympics in 1932 and 1984 with the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum serving as the first and only two-time stadium host of the Olympics.

The host for the 2024 Olympics will not be chosen until 2017.