Santa Monica city officials must have been closely following the exploits of Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross last month, because now they’re itching to host Olympic beach volleyball in 2024.
The LA 2024 Olympic bid book touts Santa Monica State Beach as the presumable location for beach volleyball events. Plans call for 12,000-seat temporary arena to be constructed just north of the Santa Monica Pier.
Before that becomes official, Mayor Eric Garcetti needs a guarantee in writing from the Santa Monica City Council that beach officials are 100 percent on board.
Things appear to be looking good on that front, reports the Santa Monica Lookout. City Council members took up the issue at their meeting Tuesday, and were enthusiastic about the prospects. Councilwoman Gleam Davis summed it up as a, "once in a lifetime opportunity...to really showcase what is so special and wonderful about Santa Monica."
But several officials warned that while the city is likely to sign off on the deal, there’s still some work to be done. Santa Monica beach administrator Judith Meister told the council, "we are so far out, we haven’t really identified all the issues and what all the costs and benefits are."
Concerns about parking, traffic, and how the games might affect local businesses are still to be examined in detail.
According to Karen Ginsberg, the city’s director of Community and Cultural Services, the entire beach would be fenced off to the public during the games. In addition, Santa Monica would also temporarily lose all 1,175 public parking spaces at the beach, and the bike paths would have to be rerouted.
Councilman Kevin McKeown warned that officials should be wary of what, "we inadvertently give away in terms of our rights as a community."
- City Leaders Speak Favorably About Olympics in Santa Monica [Santa Monica Lookout]
- Santa Monica Inches Closer to Net in Bid to Host 2024 Olympics Volleyball [Santa Monica Lookout]
- Los Angeles's New 2024 Olympics Bid Book Lays Out Plans for UCLA and Downtown [Curbed LA]