Proposed locations for a number of sports should Los Angeles be successful with its attempt at securing the hosting rights for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics have been changed after the Bid Committee revealed it had added three existing venues to “enhance” its Games concept.
The Honda Center in Anaheim, which has a capacity of just over 17,000 when the Anaheim Ducks play there in the National Hockey League and nearly 19,000 for concerts, Long Beach’s Arena, Convention Center, Waterfront and Pier and the Riviera Country Club are now all part of Los Angeles 2024’s venue plan.
The Bid Committee claim the move, announced today, further highlights its attempt at staging a cost-effective Games as all of the venues are currently in place so it “minimizes construction risks, operational struggles and costs”.
Long Beach would now comprise one of four main clusters of facilities should Los Angeles beat off competition from Paris, Budapest and Rome – which is hanging in the race by a thread after Mayor Virginia Raggi withdrew her support for the bid yesterday – for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.
The Long Beach Arena and Convention Center, which has recently undergone extensive renovation work to the tune of $10 million, would stage handball, and BMX and water polo would be held on the waterfront at temporary venues.
Marathon swimming would also be staged on the waterfront, with the triathlon competitions happening at the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit.
In the original Candidature File, the two sports had been planned for Santa Monica.
Long Beach, located 24 miles south of Los Angeles and which would become one of the central areas of the Games if Los Angeles emerges triumphant ahead of its three rivals, has also been given sailing events, originally planned for San Pedro, under the alterations.
Handball was previously set for the LA Convention Center – along with judo and wrestling – while water polo had been planned for the UCLA LA Tennis Center and BMX would have taken place in South Bay.
Judo and wrestling’s potential location has been switched to the UCLA Pauley Pavilion, a 13,800-seater facility which was set to be the venue for volleyball.
The proposed Long Beach Sports Park is 40 minutes from UCLA’s Olympic and Paralympic Villages, according to Los Angeles 2024.
Anaheim’s Honda Center would host volleyball under the new plans, which will be included in Los Angeles 2024’s second bid file, due to be submitted to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on October 7.
Los Angeles’ Riviera Country Club, which staged the 1983 and 1995 PGA Championship and the US Open in 1998, has also been added as the prospective golf venue should the sport retain its Olympic status post Tokyo 2020.
As a result of the extensive changes, four unique Sports Parks – in Downtown Los Angeles, the South Bay, the Valley and Long Beach – would be created, to “bring the Games experience to more areas of Southern California than ever before”.
The Paralympic Games would also be affected, with wheelchair basketball now at Staples Center, wheelchair rugby at the LA Convention Center, Para-triathlon at the Long Beach waterfront and football five-a-side at South Bay Sports Park, while sitting volleyball would remain at the Pauley Pavilion.
“We’re very pleased to add more world-class existing venues to our fiscally responsible and innovative Games Plan for 2024,” Los Angeles 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman said. “By relying on Southern California’s wealth of top sports, housing and transportation infrastructure, LA 2024 will minimize construction risk, operational struggles and costs, and can focus on providing athletes with the perfect stage to perform their best, without distraction.
“The IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms encourage cities to be sustainable, efficient and go where our existing venues are, and that is what we have done with this enhanced Games Plan,” Wasserman said. “Every time we have identified an opportunity to enhance our plan in line with the principles of Olympic Agenda 2020, we have taken it. And just like the stunning Rio 2016 Games, LA 2024 will stage events that feature our scenic coastline, diverse topography and iconic landmarks, creating a vibrant backdrop for a citywide celebration that engages the community and inspires the world.”
The IOC will elect its chosen 2024 host city at its 130th Session in Lima on September 13, 2017.
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz