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New potential LA Olympic sites revealed

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Long Beach waterfront would become a mini Olympic Park

LA’s low key bid for the 2024 Olympic Games just got a tad bit more ambitious. Though leaders of the city’s bid are still focusing on taking advantage of facilities that already exist, rather than taking on the kind of stadium and infrastructure projects that have nearly bankrupted past host cities, plans were revealed Thursday for a miniature Olympic Park in Long Beach that would include two impressive temporary facilities.

According to a press release from LA 2024, the city’s privately-funded bid committee, the organization wants to redefine the traditional idea of a central Olympic Park by spreading clusters of competition space around the LA area.

Prior to the Thursday’s announcement, LA 2024 had already made plans for three such sports parks, centered around the Downtown/USC area, Carson’s Stub Hub athletic complex, and the Sepulveda Basin.

Plans for the Long Beach sports park, which LA 2024 optimistically notes is just 40 minutes from the proposed Olympic Village on the campus of UCLA, would make the Long Beach Convention Center a warmup facility, while the attached arena would host handball matches.

Marathon swimming and triathlon events would be held on the waterfront, while sailing competition would take place along the Belmont Pier. Meanwhile, state-of-the-art temporary facilities that can be disassembled and repurposed after the completion of the games would be constructed to host water polo and BMX.

LA 2024 also announced that two new facilities will be added to the growing list of venues that the games will employ. The ultra-exclusive Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades will be used for the golfing tournament, while Anaheim’s Honda Center will host volleyball.

Previously, UCLA’s Pauley Pavillion was the planned site for volleyball, but now it’ll be hosting wrestling and judo instead. LA 2024 apparently made this change in the hopes of drawing in the volleyball-crazy crowds of Orange County, calling the area a "Volleyball hotbed" in the press release.

The bid committee has until February 3 to file its finalized plans to the International Olympic Committee, so it’s likely that LA 2024 will have a few more big announcements to make in the coming months.