After months of deliberations, the battle between Paris and Los Angeles over who will get to host the 2024 Summer Olympics has been resolved in positively Solomonic terms.
In an unusual move, the International Olympic Committee decreed Tuesday that Los Angeles and Paris can make an arrangement so that one city can host the 2024 summer games, and the other can host the 2028 event.
The IOC then voted unanimously to award both games at the same time, in a ceremony to be held September 13 at the 131st IOC Session in Lima, Peru.
However, the catch is that one city or the other must agree to accept the later games. If Los Angeles and Paris are unable to reach a deal, the IOC will name only the host of the 2024 games, leaving the 2028 Olympics once again open to competing bids from other cities.
According to the Los Angeles Times, informal negotiations between the two cities have been taking place for several weeks, but will now intensify. L.A. is reportedly willing to take the 2028 slot in exchange for concessions like a larger share of IOC revenues.
Los Angeles and Paris became front-runners for the 2024 games in March, after Budapest, Hungary, the last remaining competing bidder, withdrew.
Los Angeles’ last Olympics in 1984 is considered one of the most profitable in the history of the Games, thanks in large part to chief organizer Peter Ueberroth’s aggressive recruiting of sponsors to finance the event.
A potential 2024 Olympics would also be free of the white-elephant venues that have plagued recent hosts like Athens and Rio, as the city could re-purpose already existing venues like the Staples Center and L.A. Coliseum, along with the soon-to-be completed NFL stadium in Inglewood.
Paris is also planning a similar bid that will minimize permanent venue construction.