TSX REPORT: LA28 confirms $4.4 billion revenue committed; Flavor Flav sponsors USA Water Polo; Oz: A$489 million for athletes

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1. L.A. City Council Olympics committee worried
2. LA28 repeats: 64% of revenues contracted
3. Flavor Flav comes through, sponsors USA Water Polo
4. USA Water Polo to hire USA Volleyball’s Davis as CEO
5. Australia commits to A$489 million funding for athletes

● The head of the Los Angeles City Council committee monitoring the development of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games voiced annoyance at the way the venue changes were announced by the LA28 organizers on 21 June and said the committee would have to weigh in, as would the City Council.

● During the same hearing, the LA28 chief financial officer reiterated last year’s statement that 64% of the revenues budgeted for the organizing committee have been contracted, or $4.4 billion out of the $6.9 billion budget. New chief executive Reynold Hoover attended and introduced himself to the Council members.

● Backing up his May declaration, Public Enemy co-founder Flavor Flav agreed to a five-year sponsorship as the “hype man” for USA Water Polo! The deal is through the 2028 Olympic Games and he will be present at men’s and women’s national-team matches and promote the teams on his social media.

● A Swimming World Magazine story reported that USA Water Polo will replace retiring chief executive Chris Ramsey with USA Volleyball chief Jamie Davis, who is leaving that federation at the end of the year.

● The Australian government announced a A$489 million commitment to funding athletes and sport support services for the country’s elite Olympic and Paralympic programs, a major increase for the 2024-45 and 2025-26 fiscal years.

Panorama: Paris 2024 (French government grants €33 million more to organizers in view of slow Paralympics ticket sales) = Badminton (Japan takes three at U.S. Open in Ft. Worth) = Cycling (Girmay wins Tour de France stage 3) = Fencing (U.S. sweeps individual events at Pan Am Champs) = Football (2: France and Portugal eke by to gain quarterfinals; Uruguay eliminates U.S., 1-0, at Copa America) = Shooting (Eddy and Maddalena take two at U.S. Nationals) ●

Schedule note: After 28 posts in the last 16 days covering the U.S. Olympic Trials, some technical issues have cropped up and need some dedicated attention, so our next post will be on Thursday.

L.A. City Council Olympics committee worried

The Friday morning announcement on 21 June of multiple venue changes proposed by the LA28 Olympic organizing committee apparently caught at least some Los Angeles City Council members by surprise.

One of those appeared to be 11th District Council member Traci Park, the current Chair of the City Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on the 2028 Olympics and Paralympic Games, which met on the following Monday, 24 June, with Park commenting in the opening moments:

“I want to bring to the committee’s attention that LA28 has transmitted its request for amendments to the 2028 venue plan. That can be found under Council file 15-0989 and while we are not considering that report today, I want to be very clear that to move an Olympic sport outside the City of Los Angeles will not be done by a press release, headline or by another city.

“That decision will be made by this committee and the full Council as agreed in the Games Agreement.

“I look forward to the CLA and the CAO providing their joint analysis and I would encourage committee members to use the summer recess to review those materials so that we can take them up when we return after recess.

“We are going to need to have a robust discussion and make some decisions at that time so I want to ensure that everyone has adequate time to prepare.”

Park’s tone suggested irritation, but the hearing otherwise included a series of approvals of reports provided to the City by LA28, including its annual report submittal. Another Council member, Monica Rodriguez of the 7th District in the eastern San Fernando Valley decried what she sees as already-failing preparation by local government for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games:

“I think it’s really important for us to recognize that we have to to engage our own constituencies so that they’re feeling included as part of these Games, because, frankly, our Metro system is failing to make sure that all corners of the City are going to be connected to it and frankly, some of the delays and some of the challenges that we have already seen are already limiting the exposure to a lot of our constituencies.

“So, for that reason, I want to make sure that to the greatest extent that our City family and our departments and even affiliates, like L.A. Unified, for example, – and I say this as someone who has her little reading Olympics medal from third grade, from the ‘84 Olympics – that there’s no restrictions from making sure that these Games are inclusive and reach a far and wide audience while it’s here.”

One of the report approvals was for a proposed, fairly straightforward agreement on intellectual property use of specific LA28 marks by the City of Los Angeles and use of the City Seal by LA28, with approvals required by both sides.

But Rodriguez was concerned that local businesses and restaurants should be able to use the LA28 marks to being “inclusivity” to the Games, something completely outside the agreement that was being discussed, and which can never happen if the organizing committee is to assemble the revenue needed to stage the events.

LA28 repeats: 64% of revenues contracted

During the 24 June committee meeting, there was a review of the LA28 annual report, including its 2022 financial statements, included asking some of the LA28 staff to come forward and explain the committee’s finances, including the current view of the $6.882 billion budget, which has not changed since 2019.

LA28 Chief Financial Officer Karen Sturges explained the current status:

“So I have a couple ways to answer your question. We have been consistently iterating on the budget and the component pieces that we can do and have fidelity on, and have stayed at the $6.9 [billion total].

“We’re still early and can make a lot of choices, especially on controlling costs and reducing costs.

“On the revenue side of the $6.9 [billion], we do have 64% of that number secured. The cash has not come in, we haven’t recognized it , but it is contractually secured. We feel very good about that. We feel like we’re ahead in terms of other organizing committees at this time and have a path to achieve 100%.

“By the end of this year, we will publish a new budget, which will show the contingency amount with a lot greater fidelity on the costs of commodities, services and what not.”

That is almost exactly what former LA28 chief executive Kathy Harper told the same committee a little more than a year ago, on 13 June 2023, which means:

● Up to the time of the report, which was submitted in March 2024, no significant increases in revenue have been seen.

● But there are no significant increases in expenses, either.

The 64% figure represents $4.404 billion out of the $6.882 billion total. The primary revenue sources are the (1) International Olympic Committee for broadcast rights and worldwide sponsors – some of which are doubtful for the 2025-28 period – plus (2) domestic sponsorships sold in concert with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, (3) hospitality and tickets and (4) licensing and merchandising.

The committee members asked several questions about revenue and specifically how the City of Los Angeles could attract more money, for example by making sure that ticket sales were sited in Los Angeles so that the city’s ticket tax could be collected, and that licensed merchandise was sold from a Los Angeles location to allow sales tax collections.

New LA28 chief executive Reynold Hoover attended the meeting, as did Chief Operating Officer John Harper and Vice President/Impact Erikk Aldridge, among others. Hoover, in brief introductory remarks, said “I came out of retirement for this job” and that he believes in public-private partnerships to ensure the widest possible distribution of benefits to all concerned.

Observed: It’s a good thing for the committee members to be focused on finances, as the City has a $270 million guarantee as the first backer of any deficit. Despite the annoyance of seeing venue moves, it’s likely the Council members will be more enthused when they understand that the changes proposed on 21 June will bring a positive benefit of $156 million to the budget.

Flavor Flav comes through, sponsors USA Water Polo

Imma sponsor the whole team posted Public Enemy co-founder Flavor Flav in response to a 4 June Instagram post by USA women’s Water Polo team captain Maggie Steffens, and now he has followed through.

USA Water Polo announced Monday:

“Hall of Fame rapper and iconic member of Public Enemy, Flavor Flav, has signed an unprecedented five-year sponsorship deal as the official hype man for the USA Water Polo Women’s and Men’s National Teams. …

“As part of this sponsorship, Flavor Flav will make a financial contribution to the 2024 USA Women’s Water Polo Olympic Team, demonstrating his commitment to supporting these elite athletes as they strive for Olympic gold in Paris. Though the financial details are not disclosed, this contribution underscores Flav’s dedication to fostering excellence in women’s sports.

“Flavor Flav’s role as an official hype man includes multiple appearances annually at USA Water Polo events, bringing his signature energy and enthusiasm to the poolside. Additionally, the partnership will feature extensive social media collaboration, leveraging Flav’s influential presence to amplify the sport’s reach and engage new audiences.”

The deal is through the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and Flavor Flav (born William Drayton, Jr.) is ready to go:

“Supporting USA Water Polo teams is an honor. As a girl dad and a champion of all sports, I’m excited to bring my energy and voice to this incredible sport. Niche sports often don’t get the spotlight they deserve, but they are packed with incredible talent and heart. Together, we’re going to make some serious waves!”

USA Water Polo to hire USA Volleyball’s Davis as CEO

Swimming World Magazine reported Saturday that USA Water Polo will hire current USA Volleyball chief executive Jamie Davis as its new chief executive, to follow the retiring Chris Ramsey.

Ramsey, one of the longest-serving federation chief executives ever, has been at the helm of the water polo federation for 18 years, joining in 2006, when USWP had $3.90 million in annual revenue. By 2022, that was up to $16.111 million, with nearly 50,000 total members. Ramsey announced last December he would be retiring following the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Davis, 58, announced in March that he would be leaving USA Volleyball at the end of this year, after joining the federation in 2017. He came to USAV from outside the Olympic world, having been with CBS Sports, Fox Sports, Versus, ESPN STAR and Fanatics.

His efforts at USA Volleyball saw the federation jump from $29.416 million in revenue before he joined (2016) to $36.808 million through the end of 2022 and from $14.838 million in assets to $45.240 million, with $29.764 million in reserves. USA Volleyball membership has been reported at about 450,000.

The Swimming World story reported that others were considered, including Adam Krikorian, the enormously-successful coach of the women’s national team, which is trying for fourth straight Olympic gold in Paris this month. And there are those within the water polo community who would have preferred someone with a stronger background in their sport.

Australia commits to A$489 million funding for athletes

It is often noted that the only country in the world which does not have direct government funding of athletes is the United States. On Monday, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced a new initiative of government funding of athletes:

“A record $283 million in new money will flow to our elite athletes, coaches and support staff over the next two years in a historic show of support on the path to Brisbane 2032.

“This investment represents a 50 per cent increase on the previous Government’s 2021- 2022 high performance funding. It also represents a doubling of the investment the previous Government made for Paralympic athletes.

“This new funding is in addition to our $102.8 million annual grant funding and brings the Government’s total high-performance investment to $489m over two years.”

The exchange rate is A$1 to $0.67 U.S., so translated into American dollars, the commitment is now U.S. $327.63 million in direct government support from the Australian government over 2024-25 and 2025-26.

However, this is not all in direct stipends to athletes, but also includes:

● Direct sport funding to national federations
● Training support, including access to coaches and support staff
● Travel and access to better competitions worldwide

The Australian Olympic Committee had directly challenged the government to provide more sport funding now to begin the run-up to the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane. Said AOC President Ian Chesterman:

“We have said many times that a successful home Games needs a successful home team, so this injection of funds at this time is fundamentally important to that outcome.”


● Paralympic Games 2024: Paris ● The French government, at the request of the Paris 2024 organizing committee, has approved an additional grant of €33 million (€1 = $1.07) to support the Paralympic Games.

The request was made by Paris 2024 in view of the slow ticket sales so far, about one million out of 2.8 million available.

● Badminton ● At the Yonex U.S. Open in Ft. Worth, Texas, a Badminton World Tour Level 300 event, Japan scored three wins, including Yushi Tanaka over Lan Xi Lei (CHN) in the men’s Singles by 15-21, 21-18, 21-15, and Natsuki Nidaira upsetting top-seeded Beiwin Zhang of the U.S., 17-21, 21-18, 24-22. The women’s Doubles team of Rin Iwanaga and Kie Nakanishi defeated Laksika Kanlaha and Phataimas Muenwong (THA), 21-19, 21-15.

But Thailand got the other two wins, in the men’s Doubles from Peeratchai Sukphun and Pakkapon Teeraratsakul by 13-21, 21-16, 21-11 over Kuang Heng Liu and Po Han Yang (TPE), and in the Mixed Doubles, from Teeraratsakul and Muenwong, beating Jesper Toft and Amalie Magelund (DEN), 15-21, 21-19, 21-13.

● Cycling ● Stage three of the 111th Tour de France saw Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay take his first win, finishing fastest in a sprint in Turin (ITA) ahead of Fernando Gaviria (COL) and Arnaud de Lie (BEL).

The 230.8 km route was covered in 5:26:48, with the main race contenders sitting back and letting the sprinters have the day. Richard Carapaz (ECU) moved into the yellow jersey, although he and two-time winners Tadej Pogacar (SLO) and Jonas Vingegaard (DEN) and Belgian Remco Evenepoel remain tied in overall time at 15:20:18.

The first mountain stage comes Tuesday, with the race moving into France after the “Grand Depart” in Italy.

● Fencing ● The powerful U.S. squad dominated the 2024 Pan American Championships in Lima (PER), sweeping all six individual titles and winning four of the six team titles.

In the men’s finals, Sam Imrek of the U.S. defeated Kruz Schembri (ISV), 15-14 in Epee, and the other two finals were all-American affairs. In Foil, Nick Itkin got past Gerek Meinhardt, 15-12, and Eli Dershwitz edged Mitchell Saron in Sabre, 15-14.

Venezuela defeated Colombia to win the men’s team title in Epee, but the U.S. won in Foil over Brazil and in Sabre, over Canada.

The American women’s individual sweep was led by Olympic champ Lee Kiefer in the Foil final, defeating Canada’s Eleanor Harvey, 15-10, with Jacqueline Dubrovich getting a bronze. In Epee, Elizabeth Tartakovsky took the gold, 15-9, against fellow American Maia Chamberlin, with Tatiana Nazlymov earning one of the bronzes. In Sabre, Margarita Guzzi Vincenti was the winner over teammate Hadley Husisian, 15-7, with Anne Cebula earning a bronze for the U.S.

The U.S. defeated Canada to win the women’s Team titles in Foil and Sabre, but in Epee, it was the Canadians with a 35-34 victory.

● Football ● At the UEFA Euro 2024, two tight matches in the round-of-16 advanced France and Portugal to the quarterfinals.

France (1-0-2) faced 1-1-1 Belgium in Dusseldorf, with the game scoreless deep in the second half, when substitute striker Randal Kolo Muani sent a shot that ricocheted off of defender Jan Vertonghen in the 85th for the only score of the game. The French led on shots by 19-5, but each side only got two shots actually on goal.

In Frankfurt, Portugal (2-1) and Slovenia (0-0-3) played to a scoreless tie through extra time, but the penalty shoot-out was lopsided, with the Portuguese going 3-3 and Slovenia missing all three of their attempts. The Portuguese had 72% of possession and a 20-10 edge on shots, but finally scored when it really counted.

France and Portugal will meet in the quarters in Hamburg on 5 July.

The 48th Copa America, being played in the U.S., saw the close of Group C on Monday night, with the U.S. and group leader Uruguay in Kansas City and Panama and Bolivia in Orlando.

The Uruguay-U.S. match opened with the U.S. aggressive on offense, knowing that a win was needed, and the Americans controlled possession and got some chances, but no serious challenges to Uruguay keeper Sergio Rochet.

Uruguay was physical, trying to gain control of the match, but the U.S. was equal to the intensity. In the 24th, a ball volleyed in front of the U.S. goal saw U.S. defender Tim Ream and midfielder Maximiliano Araujo clash on a header try, with Araujo having to leave the game with a possible concussion.

On the re-start, U.S. striker Folarin Balogun ran down the middle of the Uruguayan box and smashed into Rochet in the 27th, as the play was called offsides. Pretty rough. The half ended 0-0, with Uruguay holding 53% of possession and a 4-1 shots edge.

In the second half, the U.S. kept up the pressure, but could not get a quality chance. Finally, in the 66th, Uruguay got a free kick and sent the ball into the middle of the box, for defender Ronald Araujo’s header that was saved by U.S. keeper Matt Turner, but rebounded for an easy follow-up goal by defender Mathias Olivera for the 1-0 lead.

The U.S. controlled play, but could not score, with the best chance perhaps in the 87th as Haji Wright’s shot in front of the Uruguayan goal was blocked and then saved. And it ended at 1-0, with each side at about 50% possession and a 12-8 edge for Uruguay on shots.

Meanwhile, in Orlando, Panama’s Jose Fajardo scored in the 22nd minute to give Panama (1-1) a 1-0 halftime lead on 0-2 Bolivia. The game was tight, with Panama holding only a 5-4 shots lead, but Fajardo brought down a header in the box and laced a right-footed rocket into the net.

Bolivia had not scored a goal in the tournament, losing its first two matches by 7-0, but suddenly tied the game in the 69th as on a left-footed goal by substitute midfielder Bruno Miranda. But Panama managed a goal in the 79th on a header by sub defender Eduardo Guerrero and added one more at 90+1 on a volley by sub midfielder Cesar Yanis. Panama had a 13-7 edge on shots and had 49% of possession.

So, Uruguay won Group C with a 3-0 record and Panama advanced at 2-1; the U.S. finished 1-2 and Bolivia was 0-3.

Group D finishes on Tuesday with Colombia (2-0) facing Brazil (1-0-1) in Santa Clara and Costa Rica (0-1-1) playing Paraguay (0-2) in Austin, Texas.

● Shooting ● USA Shooting held its 2024 nationals for pistol and rifle at Ft. Moore, Georgia, with Paris Olympians winning all four women’s Olympic events, and Jared Eddy and Sagen Maddalena winning two events each.

Four-time Worlds medal winner Maddalena defended her national title in the men’s 10 m Air Rifle, winning the final, 251.3 to 249.5 over Mackenzie Kring, and then took the 50 m Rifle/3 Positions win over defending champ Cecilia Ossi, 460.3 to 459.1.

Paris Olympian Ada Korkhin won the women’s 10 m Air Rifle, 243.3 to 239.3 for Suman Sanghera, and Katelyn Abeln defended her 2023 national title in the 25 m Sport Pistol, 29-28 in the final vs. Korkhin.

Rising star Eddy, 23, won two men’s events, the 10 m Air Rifle over Tokyo Mixed Team silver winner Lucas Kozeniesky, 251,3 to 249.9, with Eddy moving up from fourth in 2023. In the 50 m Rifle/3 Positions, Eddy won his second national title in a row, 459.6 to 459.5 for Peter Fiori.

In the 10 m Air Rifle final, Marcus Klemp won by 236.8 to 234.8 for Sergey Kalinichenko, and the 25 m Rapid-Fire Pistol title went to six-time Olympian Emil Milev, over four-time Olympian-to-be Keith Sanderson, 30-29.

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