Leaders of Los Angeles’s bid for the 2024 Olympics confirmed Monday that if the city is chosen to host the games, the venerable Memorial Coliseum will play a role in the opening and closing ceremonies for the third time in its long and illustrious history. But it won’t be alone.
Breaking with convention, bid leaders have proposed staging the ceremonies in two locations, with the other half of the action going down across town at the under-construction LA Rams—and Chargers—stadium in Inglewood.
According to a press release from LA 2024, the organization managing LA’s bid, splitting the ceremonies between multiple venues will allow the games to celebrate “LA's fascination with ‘what’s next,’” while simultaneously honoring the city’s storied Olympic legacy.
As the release notes (and the cartoonish video above illustrates), spectators in the Coliseum would witness a leg of the torch relay, along with a “Hollywood-produced program of live entertainment.” The relay would then continue on to the Inglewood venue, where formal opening ceremonies would be held. Those seated in the Coliseum would be able to follow along through a “virtual-reality experience.”
The venues would essentially switch roles for the closing ceremonies, with the soon-to-be-renovated Coliseum hosting the live events while the Inglewood stadium served essentially as an overflow facility.
Leaders and promoters of LA’s bid have long hinted at the possibility that the new Rams stadium, set to open in 2019, could play a major role in the games, should the city be chosen to host. But some worried that the shiny new stadium could overshadow the legacy of the Coliseum, which hosted opening and closing ceremonies during the 1932 and 1984 games.
What’s more, hosting ceremonies in the forthcoming NFL stadium would immediately bring the games outside of city limits. In December, members of the LA City Council made clear that they would be resistant to plans to move the ceremonies away from the Coliseum.
The multi-venue compromise appears to have satisfied those concerns. Council President Herb Wesson said that “LA 2024's Ceremonies will celebrate the legacy of our wonderful Games in 1932 and 1984, while embracing the world's most advanced stadium and the opportunity to include as many Angelenos at the 2024 Games as possible.”
According to bid leaders, using both venues will allow as many as 170,000 spectators to view the ceremonies in person.