The Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach, California has been closed for repairs through at least March, which will force the Pac 12 Championships to find a new host site at the last minute.
The facility was closed for two months in the fall while nearly 100 pipes (installed in the 60’s) were replaced to the tune of $300,000. At the time, the pool was leaking nearly 40,000 gallons of water per day. But these replacements cropped up a new problem on the pool’s main drain, and has forced the pool to close again to begin major repairs.
In the meantime, the meet will be moved to the East Los Angeles College facility, which was once a frequent host of the meet. The meet is still expected to be held from February 29th-March 3rd.
The East Los Angeles pool, while without the same national acclaim and history as the Belmont pool, is still seen as a fast facility. It is home to two indoor, 25-yard, 8-lane pools. The competition pool runs from 9-13 feet deep, with the seaparate warmup pool about 4-feet deep.
This shouldn’t throw off too many travel plans – the two pools are only about 25 miles apart (East Los Angeles College is a straight-short north from Belmont). This gives USC an even decidedly greater home-field advantage, though, as it is located only 10 miles from the new host site.
The women’s meet, along with men’s diving, will be held as planned at the King Aquatic Center in Seattle. Last week’s California/Nevada Winter Championships meet, held in mid-December, had to be moved to Golden West College (which, as an outdoor pool, was not an ideal option for Pac 12’s).