The historic Belmont Olympic Pool in Long Beach, California has been closed for the second-straight year, which means another likely reroute of the 2012 Pac 12 Championships meet.
On Thursday, January 10th, the City of Long Beach closed the pool indefinitely after a structural analysis found that the pool was “seismically unsafe,” meaning that even a moderate earthquake would cause severe damage to the facility.
The indoor pool is now closed temporarily for at least three weeks, meaning that the March 6th-9th Pac 12 Men’s Championship meet is in serious danger. After a three week closure, only affecting Belmont’s indoor course, the city will decide what the future of the facility will be in both the near-term or short-term.
This is the second-straight year that has seen a Belmont closure affect the Pac-12 Championship meet. Last year, the event was moved to East Los Angeles College, which while indoors and another mecca of the sport in California, upset some swim fans as it’s two boxed-in 25-yard courses, as compared to the behemoth 50-yard, bulkhead pools that fans have become accustomed to for big meets.
Those within the conference have hinted that UCLA, Stanford, and Arizona State are the front-runners to take over the new hosting, and that Federal Way is probably not an option, once again, because of scheduling conflicts, though there’s a chance of shifting the meet schedule to a different date and having it there. We reached out to the Pac 12 Conference for an official statement, but as of yet have not received a response. A conference call is scheduled for later this week to make the final decision.
The full statement from the City of Long Beach about the closure is below.
The Belmont Pool will be temporarily closed, effective today, due to a draft structural analysis that concludes the facility is seismically unsafe in the event of a moderate earthquake.
The City is acting in an abundance of caution for patrons and staff while City engineers review the draft analysis and inspect the facility to confirm the extent of its structural safety.
The temporary closure is expected to last approximately three weeks, and will only affect the indoor pool facility. After the review and inspections are complete, a decision will be made to reopen or keep the pool closed. The outdoor pools, locker rooms, and adjacent La Palapa Del-Mar restaurant will remain open at this time.
City staff is working with the aquatics community to minimize disruptions and help to identify alternative options and facilities.
The seismic issue recently came to light as a result of the analysis currently underway related to the revitalization plan for the entire pool complex, which opened in August 1968. The City Council authorized staff to develop options to modernize the existing pool complex.
Within 30 days, City staff will present the City Council with long-term revitalization options that may include temporary solutions to restore pool access.