LA 2024, the group organizing the 2024 Olympic bid for Los Angeles, is pledging to harness the popularity and technology of esports for their efforts to bring the Games back to the U.S. In a press release, the LA 2024 acknowledged the recent League of Legends World Championships, held in a sold-out Staples Center this past weekend, as inspiration for the announcement.
In a statement, LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said "we view esports' immense global popularity and continued advances in digital technologies as tremendous tools for reconnecting millennials with the Olympic movement."
21,000 fans turned out for the 2016 World Championships final, and millions tuned in on Twitch and other broadcast services. In comparison, the Olympics saw declining viewership among 18-to-49 year olds, a demographic keen to esports, as the average age of a North American esports viewer was found by research firm EEDAR to be 24 to 27.
Wasserman also notes technology surrounding both esports and the culture of Los Angeles as a potential area to leverage for 2024 events. Recent tournaments like Worlds and The International have utilized virtual and augmented reality, as well as presentation tools and streaming, to elevate the tournament's presentation.
"Harnessing the power of new technologies like virtual and augmented reality to promote healthy lifestyles will be a key objective as we seek to create a new Games for a new era in 2024," said Wasserman.