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Proskauer Helps Bring Olympic Games Back to Los Angeles
[September 13, 2017]

Proskauer Helps Bring Olympic Games Back to Los Angeles

Overcoming numerous obstacles and navigating a first-of-its-kind bid process, international law firm Proskauer played an integral role in bringing the summer Olympics back to U.S. soil for the first time since 1996. The Firm served as legal counsel and strategic adviser to Los Angeles 2028 (LA28) in connection with Los Angeles' successful bid to host the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Led by Sports Law partner Jon Oram, a cross-office, cross-department team at Proskauer helped LA28 secure the Olympics after a unique, three-year process. In July 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made the unprecedented decision to award the 2024 and 2028 Games at the same time, with Paris hosting in 2024 and L.A. in 2028. L.A., which previously hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1984, was officially awarded the 2028 Games after a vote by the IOC members on Sept. 13 in Lima, Peru.

"We are thrilled that the Olympics will be returning to Los Angeles," said Oram. "The phenomenally talented LA28 team has worked tirelessly for more than three years to deliver on our promise to create a new Games for a new era."

In 2014, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced that it would select the U.S. candidate city to host the 2024 Games from among four finalists - L.A., Boston, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. The Proskauer team helped assemble L.A.'s bid book, develop the vision, concept and budget for the Games, secure venue agreements and negotiate with the USOC, form the bid committee and obtain its status as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizatio.

In January 2015, the USOC initially selected Boston as the U.S.'s candidate. However, the Boston bid never gained the popular support needed to sustain it, and in July 2015, the USOC and Boston jointly announced that Boston had withdrawn its bid. The L.A. team quickly marshalled its resources, working around the clock to reach an agreement with the USOC under which Los Angeles would take over for Boston. The USOC announced L.A. as the U.S. candidate on Sept. 1, 2015.

Los Angeles was initially competing against several other cities to win the IOC bid for the 2024 Games, including Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome. Over the course of 2015 and 2016, however, Hamburg, Rome and Budapest removed themselves from consideration for various reasons, leaving L.A. and Paris as the only two cities in the running to host the 2024 Games. After the IOC's 2024 Evaluation Commission visited L.A. and Paris in May 2017, it issued a report praising both cities and describing L.A.'s bid as "forward-looking, innovative and vibrant." "With the support, enthusiasm and passion of their citizens and athletes, Los Angeles and Paris have presented the best of their cities," IOC Member and Evaluation Commission Chair Patrick Baumann said in the report. "And their best is as good as it can possibly get for the Olympic Games."

The IOC subsequently decided to award the 2024 and 2028 Games at the same time, but the two cities had to decide which would go first. Ultimately, after weeks of negotiations in which Proskauer participated, Los Angeles and the IOC reached a deal under which L.A. agreed to host in 2028. LA28 was pleased with the outcome. "I can look people in the eye and say this is a much stronger deal financially," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Proskauer has advised LA28 on a wide variety of matters and will continue to serve as legal counsel and strategic adviser to the Los Angeles 2028 Organizing Committee, which is led by Mayor Garcetti, Chairman Casey Wasserman and CEO Gene Sykes (News - Alert), as they prepare to host the 2028 Games and write the next chapter in L.A.'s storied Olympic history.

In addition to Oram, the Proskauer team advising LA28 includes senior counsel Christine Lazatin and associates Sean Alford, Sally Bradley, Erica Esposito and Krista Whitaker (Corporate); partner Amanda Nussbaum and associate Bowon Koh (Tax); partner Nancy Sher Cohen (Litigation); and associate Anthony DiBenedetto (Labor & Employment).

For more than 50 years, Proskauer has advised the world's leading sports organizations on their most critical and complex matters. Our attorneys play a pivotal role in the transactions, negotiations and litigations that transform the business of sports.

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