When Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass sat down with her Parisian counterpart to talk about hosting the Summer Olympics, she came away with a “bracing reality check” about how little time there really is to prepare, according to Politico.

“It definitely put some fire under our feet,” Bass told reporters after meeting last week with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and other French officials overseeing the 2024 Summer Games, describing seeing firsthand what it takes to ready a city for one of the world’s largest sporting events as “eye-opening.”

Los Angeles was named the host of the 2028 Summer Games nearly seven years ago by the International Olympic Committee, as a way to resolve having two strong contenders for 2024. The dual award was a model for the IOC’s decision late last year to advance a pair of Winter Games bids to preferred host status, the French Alps for 2030 and Salt Lake City for 2034.

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Both Paris and Los Angeles face challenges with issues like homelessness, although Bass pointed out after visiting a Parisian shelter that the French capital’s “numbers are nowhere near where our numbers are” and that Paris’ focus on relocating homeless people from along the Seine River and other Olympic sites won’t work for Los Angeles, Politico reported.

“The biggest thing that’s different is that they have a much stronger social safety net, so they have more resources to provide to people,” the LA mayor said, adding, “For us, just moving people around is not going to be the solution. We know that very well. We need to continue to get people housed.”

Bass said Los Angeles “fortunately” has four years to figure out how to deal with what Politico said is a homeless population of some 30,000, compared to just over 3,500 in Paris, “so we really need to address our population because we could never just have our Games with the numbers of people that we have on our streets.”

A blazing Olympic cauldron is seen at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. Los Angeles was named the host of the 2028 Summer Games nearly seven years ago by the International Olympic Committee. | Richard Vogel

While the Paris mayor has used the 2024 Summer Games to push efforts to restrict automobile traffic, such as replacing driving lanes and parking spaces with lanes designated for bicycles, Bass recently announced $900 million in federal funds have been secured for the Los Angeles area for infrastructure and rail expansion ahead of the 2028 Games.

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Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian, who accompanied the mayor on the trip to Paris along with other officials, has said there will be no parking places at any of the Games venues, although details of what that means for such a car-centric city “remain hazy,” Politico said.

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“We’re going to have to acquire buses, rent buses and drivers and everything from probably all over the country to be able to do that,” Krekorian said. “We hope to get the federal government to pay for this.”

The price tag for the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles is currently $6.8 billion. Organizers intend to cover the cost through private sources, primarily the sale of sponsorships, broadcast rights and tickets, just like Utah’s bidders propose doing for the $2.45 billion it will take to host the 2034 Winter Games.

With four years to go before the first Olympics in the United States since Salt Lake City’s 2002 Winter Games, the chair of the Los Angeles organizing committee, Casey Wasserman, said recently that LA28 already has more revenue under contract than what Paris will have in total.

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