Date for Demolition of Old Belmont Set; Wrangling Over New Facility Specs, Capacity Continues

The final details have been set for the demolition of the historic Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool, which will happen in late September.

The Long Beach City Council voted last week to approve a $206,400 increase to the demolition budget, increasing the total for demolition from the originally budgeted $2.4 million to $3.1 million, mostly due to an unexpectedly high level of hazardous materials at the site. Both asbestos and lead materials have been found in the building, which further enhances, post-facto, the need for its demolition and replacement, though the original demolition had to do with safety concerns in the event of an earthquake.

While those details have been set, the details over the features of the new replacement facility have not been. The old Belmont Plaza pool opened in 1968 and hosted two Olympic Trials meets.  It sat 2,500, and local aquatics organizers originally asked for the same so that Long Beach could re-enter the rotation for major meet hosting.

Many options have emerged, though none have been formally advanced for approval by City Council. While all plans include a separate deep-water diving well, a contentious issue early on has been the seating capacities. One plan has 650 seats, one has 900 seats, and one has 1,250 seats. The NCAA has said that they would like to see at least 1,200 seats available to host future NCAA Championships at, so if Belmont wants to at least be available for those duties, only one of the three options is viable.

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Even of they could commit the money to meet standards unless their flowing in extra money it is not worth it for the number of times they would host a National level meet. It is not worth it if you have to extend yourself to be able to. Something that would handle conferences and regional meets would do it. The numbers attending to benifit the community would still be the same. The present facility was out of this by. 1980.

CoachGB – The funds to build the new complex come from oil revenues (“Tidelands”) that can only be spent in the Tidelands area. While not unlimited, there is a significant amount of money available for the project. The key question is whether or not the city will have the political will to step up and add those few final details, such as adequate seating, to attract the major events. As for the number of times Long Beach could host a major event, there are many to bid for: USA Swimming Senior and Junior Nationals, US Masters Nationals and regional championships, NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships (Div I Men and Div I Women, Div II, and Div III), NAIA, , USA… Read more »

Lane Four

Excellent response, Lucy. This sums it all up in a nutshell. There is plenty to go around to keep Long Beach as the “capital of aquatics”. I would like to see the city come together and support the aquatics world as its own. There should be no difference in attitudes between 1968 and 2014. Long Beach is a sport town and this would be a great opportunity to show off the city to the rest of the world along with the Grand Prix of auto racing and the world beach volleyball tournament.


You forgot the big question – does it have a roof?

Please insert Up On The Roof here .( Marvin Gaye version thanks ) .


That was to have been my final night song for PPs but pleas for a wrooff had calmed.

Lane Four

If Long Beach wants to remain as the so-called “aquatics capital”, they need to have enough seating to host a national-level competition. I am hoping that the city can work this out. It would be a shame to not have a new facility that would do its predecessor proud. Fingers crossed.

Lane Four

*I forgot to mention that seeing the old Belmont Pool practically every day on the beach, I am hoping that the new facility will have large windows (yes, and a roof) to show off its prime location. This was one of the cool things about the Plaza – the large windows with all of the natural light streaming in.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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