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Two years ago, when Los Angeles was bidding for the 1984 Olympics, Mayor Tom Bradley estimated the Games would cost $33.5 million. It now appears they will cost four times that much, or even more if some non-Olympic construction is approved.
Last week Bradley asked the Los Angeles City Council for permission to seek a federal appropriation of $141.2 million for capital construction and stadium facility improvements for the Games. City Administrative Officer Dr. C. Erwin Piper recommended that an additional $43.1 million be added to the request for construction of underground parking structures for 5,000 cars near the Memorial Coliseum. Bradley objected to this supplementary funding. "If any such proposal ever came to me," he told the Los Angeles Times, "I would veto it."
The major items in Bradley's request include $25 million to refurbish the Coliseum; $1.58 million to expand and revamp the Memorial Sports Arena; $19.4 million for an Olympic-size pool; $22.4 million for a velodrome; and $20 million for shooting and yachting facilities. These costs include an inflation factor of 33% as well as 20% for contingencies.
In his defense, Bradley says that the original estimate of $33.5 million was not his. He contends the figure was arrived at by the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, the original group involved in bidding with the IOC.
Moreover, the $141.2 million, in the opinion of Peter V. Ueberroth, the president of the organizing committee, represents only an anticipated 25% of the ultimate cost for the '84 Games.
Briefing congressional and federal administrative officials on the L.A. request, Ueberroth said in Washington last week that realistic Olympic budget estimates had yet to be made. He did estimate, however, that to meet a 42-month construction schedule for the various facilities, Congress would have to O.K. the funds by Oct. 1, 1979. It remains to be seen if that much money will be appropriated that soon. Early conjecture says it is doubtful. In any case, under the terms of the agreement reached last summer by the USOC and the L.A. organizing committee, the City of Los Angeles is still not responsible for any losses incurred by the 1984 Olympics.
Sports technology, which already has developed the fiber-glass pole, the aluminum bat and the graphite shaft, now has come up with the electric tennis racket, which is designed to improve one's game through beeping.
The brainchild of inventor Skip Conrey, the racket has a lightweight battery-powered device in the handle, which creates a beeping sound when the ball hits the center of the racket.