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Olympics - New stadium to play key role in LA's 2024 Games bid

(Reuters) - A futuristic stadium that will be home to the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams will be a key feature in the city’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics but officials on Wednesday would not say what events are planned for the venue.

Casey Wasserman, chairman of LA2024, poses on the blue carpet prior to the 2015 ANOC Awards at DAR Constitution Hall. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The stadium, which will be built in Inglewood and cost close to $2 billion, was not in the original LA24 bid proposal as the National Football League had not yet settled on plans to return to the city.

But when the NFL decided last month to approve St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s request to relocate his team to Los Angeles and build an 80,000-seat, glass-roofed, stadium, the LA24 bid was quick to add it to their pitch.

“When the Kroenke stadium became a certainty it was too late in our process to include that in a meaningful way other than to reference that it was a certainty and going to be happening,” LA24 Chairman Casey Wasserman told a conference call.

“But suffice to say the most expensive and most technologically advanced stadium ever built will certainly be a key part of our plans going forward.”

Speculation is that the stadium, which will be built roughly 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles and expected to open in 2019, could be used for the high-profile athletics competitions, but Wasserman would only say, “stay tuned.”

“When we are ready to tell people how we’re going to use all of our facilities on a definitive scale beyond where we are today, we’ll do that at the right time, but not today,” said Wasserman.

The race to stage the Games is now officially underway with the International Olympic Committee having received the four candidature files of Paris, Budapest, Rome and Los Angeles.

Earlier on Wednesday Paris bid leaders said 95 percent of the venues would be already existing or temporary to minimize investment but Los Angeles raised the bar and said 97 percent of the venues are in existence or already planned.

“That is the definition of sustainability in terms of legacy and cost,” said Wasserman. “There’s no risk involved with venues or facilities.”

The host city of the 2024 Olympic Games will be announced in September 2017.

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue