The International Olympic Committee decided Tuesday that it will award the 2024 and 2028 Olympics at the same time by seeking a consensus three-way deal between Los Angeles, Paris and the committee's executive board.
The decision means both Paris and LA will likely host an Olympics in the next decade. The only decision to be made is which city will host first. The cities' mayors said Tuesday they could work together on a deal to ensure both cities host a Summer Games soon.
If a deal falls through, the 2024 hosting rights would be voted on at the IOC's September meeting in Peru. A deal is likely because a head-to-head fight for 2024 would create a loser that is unlikely to return four years later for a new 2028 bid contest.
Representatives of both cities appeared optimistic that they could reach an agreement.
"Both of us will find it more and more difficult to convince cities -- whether it's Paris, Los Angeles or other American cities -- to really go into this process if one of us gets turned down," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Both cities used 45 minutes of videos and speeches, including French President Emmanuel Macron promoting the Paris cause, in a closed-door session with International Olympic Committee members Tuesday to explain how they would host the 2024 Olympics. Those members voted later Tuesday to add the 2028 hosting rights and make both cities winners when the IOC next meets in September.
That will likely need IOC leaders to broker a consensus deal within weeks.
"We look forward to working together maybe not in competition but collaboration with Paris," Garcetti said at a news conference after his city's bid officials opened the campaign event.
Garcetti and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo have long touted their good working relations on other issues such as climate change.
"We are all at the disposition and by the side of the IOC which was right to ask itself this question," Hidaldo said at the Paris news conference, citing her friendship with Garcetti as potentially a "key element" to reaching an agreement.
The dual award can give the IOC a decade of stability with two world-class cities touting financially secure bids with, in LA's case, zero risk of white elephant venues. This follows years of overspending by Olympic hosts and political defeats to sink potential candidates.
The win-win option also guards against a 2024 loser refusing to bid again for 2028m and avoids inflicting a third recent defeat on Paris — which lost with bids for the 2008 and 2012 Olympics — and the United States. New York and Chicago both lost heavily for 2012 and 2016, respectively. Paris also failed with a 1992 bid.
"We lost three times, we don't want to lose a fourth one," Macron said. "I'm here to convey the message that there's a strong unity to back this candidacy."
Minutes after Macron spoke, U.S. President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: "Working hard to get the Olympics for the United States (L.A.). Stay tuned!"
Garcetti said the Olympic movement "can't afford to lose the United States."
"Both of us will find it more and more difficult to convince cities — whether it's Paris, Los Angeles or other American cities — to really go into this process if one of us gets turned down," the mayor said.
Still, it could be a 2028 Olympics in LA that will be the first American-hosted games since 1996 in Atlanta.
IOC President Thomas Bach has said the idea of a double award was presented to him at a lunch last year by friends whom he declined to identify in a recent interview with French sports daily L'Equipe.
The LA bid team declined to comment Tuesday whether the suggestion came from its supporters.
"He (Bach) has good friends who gave him good advice," LA bid chairman Casey Wasserman said.
If Tuesday's vote passes as expected, the Bach-chaired IOC executive board could be empowered to broker a future deal on picking the 2024 host ahead of a Sept. 13 meeting in Lima, Peru.