Today, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti is in Qatar presenting the city’s case for hosting the 2024 Olympics to the Association of National Olympic Committees. According to a press release from earlier this month, part of the city’s plan for their Olympic bid includes a focus on eSports (video games).
Last month, the city hosted the League of Legends World Championships in the Los Angeles’s Staples Center, home of the LA Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and Sparks. The event’s finals drew a crowd of 21,000.
LA 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman highlighted the opportunity as an effort not to replace traditional athletic events, but to extend the Olympic movement to an even larger (and younger) crowd.
“LA 2024 fully supports the IOC’s mission to get young people all over the world leading active, healthy lifestyles,” he said. “We view eSports’ immense global popularity and continued advances in digital technologies as tremendous tools for reconnecting Millennials with the Olympic Movement. The 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles – a city always imagining what’s next, where sport, entertainment and technology mix like nowhere else – would enable the IOC to stay at the cutting-edge of digital youth engagement.”
The IOC has already added (or brought back) baseball/softball, skateboarding, sports climbing, karate, and surfing to the Tokyo 2020 program.