Los Angeles and Paris now seem certain to both be awarded a Summer Games after a decision Friday by the International Olympic Committee to formally back picking the 2024 and 2028 Olympic host cities at the same time this year.
The only significant hurdle appears to be determining which city will go first. Both cities seek to follow London as three-time Olympic hosts. Paris hosted in 1900 and 1924, and Los Angeles in 1932 and 1984.
"This represents a golden opportunity for the Olympic Games and for the IOC," IOC President Thomas Bach said at a news conference Friday after an executive board meeting.
The widely expected proposal from the executive board did not address which city will host the 2024 Olympics and which will host in 2028. A meeting of the full IOC membership from July 11-12 in Lausanne can ratify the board's request. That should set up a vote on Sept. 13 in Lima, Peru, to confirm the hosting order.
Paris and LA bid leaders also could agree how to split the games in the coming weeks.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and LA2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman issued a statement after the decision: "We welcome the IOC Executive Board's decision to recognize two excellent bids from two of the world's greatest cities. With no new permanent venues to build and unwavering public support, Los Angeles is an eternal Olympic city and ideal partner for the IOC.
"We look forward to sharing our unique story with the IOC membership in July and working together to offer the best path forward for our city and the Olympic Movement's future."
The agreement Friday fulfills IOC President Thomas Bach's wish to avoid making a loser of either world-class candidate, though it must be ratified by the Olympic body's voting members.
By meeting on Friday, the IOC gave the required month notice to upgrade an already scheduled 2024 campaign event in Lausanne into a formal session with rule-changing power. On July 11, up to 95 members are due in Lausanne to see LA and Paris bid leaders present their projects.
LA officials have set a tone suggesting they could accept 2028. That would help give the IOC clarity and security for the next decade after a turbulent period of cost overruns by Olympic host cities and local voters sinking potential bids, including some former rivals in the current contest.
"To be blunt, LA 2024 has never been only about LA or 2024," Wasserman said in a statement Thursday. "Even when the issue of a dual award for the 2024 and 2028 Games was initially raised, we didn't say it's 'LA first' or it's 'now or never' for LA: that sounds like an ultimatum."
Paris, however, has stood by its claim that land to build a 1.7 billion euro ($1.9 billion) athletes village is guaranteed only for 2024.
Los Angeles, Wasserman suggested, declined a similar strategy "because we thought it was presumptuous to tell the IOC what to do and how to think. We're better partners than that."
The Paris bid declined requests to react to Wasserman's comments.
The IOC would prefer a consensus to emerge rather than impose a deal on the cities, and LA could be rewarded for being the most flexible.
"My dream is not so much just to bring the Olympics here, but is to bring youth sports for free to every zip code," Garcetti said last week in confirming talks with the IOC to explore "what it would take" to agree which city would host first.
Bach has sought to protect the IOC by driving the double award idea since December, though he asked his four vice presidents to draft a proposal for Friday's meeting.
The IOC president "has done an excellent job of managing the process so far," Michael Payne, the Olympic body's former marketing director and a consultant to LA, told The Associated Press in Lausanne this week.
"I think you will get three winners out of it -- the IOC and the two cities," Payne said, predicting that members would support a 2024-2028 award next month because "there is increasing recognition that this is what has got to be done."
The 13-member board chaired by Bach has two American members -- Anita DeFrantz and Angela Ruggiero. They should leave the room during the debate.
In other business Friday, the upcoming 2026 Winter Games bidding rules were reviewed, with 2030 now also seeming in play if two strong candidates enter. New medal events, led by 3-on-3 basketball, were added to the final 2020 Tokyo Olympic program. Some existing events could be dropped to make space after consultation with Olympic sports federations.