The Los Angeles economy could get a $415 million shot in the arm from the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, with local hotels expected to be fully booked, according to a study released today by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Villaraigosa, speaking at Los Angeles Unified School District-run Special Olympics basketball game at the Roybal Education Complex Gymnasium, where Special Olympics officials unveiled their LA2015 logo.
“I am excited that this unique event celebrating the achievements and spirit of people with intellectual disabilities will be a major contributor to our city’s economy,” he said, adding that “it will also continue its tremendous work improving the quality of life, as well as respect and dignity for those with disabilities.”
The study commissioned by the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board predicts the event will draw 500,000 spectators and members of the news media, in addition to 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches from 170 countries are expected to participate.
Competitions are scheduled to be held at USC, UCLA, the Los Angeles Convention Center and Griffith Park, as well as at venues in Long Beach, Los Alamitos and the San Fernando Valley.
Athletes and delegates are expected to spend $25 million on accommodations, according to the study.
Another $260 million would stream in from production costs, including $27.5 million in state and local tax revenue.
It will cost about $90 million to host the Games, according to the mayor’s office, which says donations and corporate sponsorships are being accepted.
The Special Olympic Games in Los Angeles would be the largest single event to take place in region since the 1984 Olympic Games, with 26 Olympic-style competitions scheduled over nine days, starting July 24, 2015.