The organizing committee for the 2028 Olympic Games that will be held in Los Angeles, California has presented one of the most innovative and cost-effective plans in recent Olympic memory: rather than throwing together a new temporary or purpose-built housing complex for the 11,000+ Olympic and 4,000+ Paralympic athletes (2016 counts), they will instead take advantage of pre-existing campuses that are already designed to hold tens-of-thousands of young people, and just so happen to be mostly empty every summer.
The athlete village for the 2028 Games will be the campus of UCLA, which has an enrollment of almost 45,000 students, with 11,000 undergraduates currently living on campus (a number that continues to expand to meet the growing school’s needs). That includes 5 dining halls and 5 casual eating areas, 9 of UCLA’s athletics facilities for training (which will allow 51% of Olympians and 62% of Paralympians to train in the village). For swimmers, divers, artistic swimmers, and water polo players, that training will include use of the 50-meter pool at the Spieker Aquatics Center – the headliner of 6 aquatic facilities of varying sizes on campus.
USC, with its enrollment of 44,000 (19,000 undergrad) will serve as housing for media, taking advantage of more pre-existing, but seasonally-underutilized, facilities.
Some of UCLA’s facilities will be used for actual competition – including the Pauley Pavillion that will host wrestling and judo with a capacity of 12,500.
Open water swimming will be held on the Long Beach Waterfront, while USC’s Dedeaux Field (a baseball stadium) will have a temporary pool installed for swimming, diving, and synchronized swimming with its capacity expanded from 2,500 to 20,000 for the event.
This is not an entirely new concept: the 1984 Olympic Games used a similar strategy, with the Olympic village (athlete housing) being on USC’s campus and the Athletes Village on UCLA’s campus. Since then, however, organizing committee have inexplicably strayed from this obvious synergy.
See a tour of the campus that will serve as the Olympic village below: