Los Angeles Bids for 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games

This week, the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games (SCCOG) published its comprehensive plan for LA to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The process began on February 19, 2013 with a letter from United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun to then-mayor Antonio Villaraigosa inviting Los Angeles to submit a bid to become host city for 2024. On March 4, 2013 Villaraigosa responded, confirming the city’s “enthusiastic interest in bidding to host the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

On his first day in office, July 1, 2013, newly-elected mayor Eric Garcetti wrote a letter to USOC Chairman Larry Probst and CEO Blackmun, enclosing a unanimous Los Angeles City Council resolution of support for the project.

The SCCOG participated in two working sessions with the United States Olympic Committee in the fall of 2013 and submitted their plan this week. Seven cities (Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington DC) are in the running for 2024. The USOC hasn’t hosted the Summer Games since Atlanta in 1996.

2024 olympic bid p12_0001

The SCCOG plan calls for a primary cluster in Downtown L.A. and three satellite clusters: the Westside, Avalon, and the Harbor.

  • Downtown L.A. – With 12 venues hosting 19 sporting events, the Olympic Village and potentially the International Broadcast Center, DTLA is the heart of the plan. The Olympic Park would be situated in Exposition Park, just south of USC, and home to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Science Centre. The centerpiece of Olympic Park would be a transformed and covered Los Angeles Coliseum that would accommodate 80,000 spectators. The SCCOG envisages building a 20,000-seat soccer stadium on the site which would be used as a temporary aquatics venue for swimming and synchronized swimming. Diving would take place at USC’s Uytengsu Aquatics Center, while water polo would be contested at the LA84 Foundation/John C. Argue Swim Stadium, originally constructed for the 1932 Olympics. Santa Monica beach is the proposed venue for open water swimming.
  • The Westside – Comprising 5 venues and 7 sports, the Westside Cluster centers around Santa Monica and Westwood.
  • Avalon – The Avalon Cluster proposes 4 venues and 5 sports, using venues in the vicinity of the StubHub Stadium.
  • Harbor – With 5 venues and 8 sports, the Harbor Cluster uses existing facilities in Long Beach.

The SCCOG expects to connect all of the venues by an ongoing expansion of the LA metro rail system and is “committed to delivering up to 80 percent of the spectators by public transit.”

In addition to the new temporary aquatics venue in the DTLA cluster, the plan calls for the use of “Belmont Pool,” “Spieker Aquatics” (UCLA’s pool), and “8 more.”

The temporary pool at Belmont Plaza is a ten-lane 50-meter outdoor facility. Photo courtesy of Rebuild Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool on Facebook.

The temporary pool at Belmont Plaza is a ten-lane 50-meter outdoor facility. Photo courtesy of Rebuild Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool on Facebook.

Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool has been the subject of much controversy over the last several years (see our most recent reports here and here). The replacement pool, a 10-lane 50-meter outdoor Myrtha facility, was never meant to be permanent. However, the latest plan is to keep it, even after the construction of the new indoor facility. This should give Long Beach a state-of-the-art facility that would be a boost to the aquatics part of the 2024 plan.

As for the eight other facilities, it is unclear what the committee had in mind. There are no other Olympic-ready swim stadia in the Los Angeles area that come to mind. Most of Southern California’s pools are outdoor facilities that would need to be covered. If Los Angeles gets the bid, though, they will have seven years to work on either bringing existing pools up to Olympic standards or to build new accommodations.


The USOC is responsible for selecting a candidate city whenever the U.S. bids for the Games. For 2024, the USOC would have to submit a candidate to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by a yet-to-be-determined date in 2015. By tradition, the IOC will select the 2024 host city in 2017, seven years in advance.


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7 years ago

As a German I would love to see the Games in the US again. I am absolutely convinced that Southern Cal. would host perfect Games again. Good luck, L.A.!

8 years ago

Walt Disney Hall as a sports venue is ridiculous. Alongside the games would be an arts festival. One would assume the concert hall would serve for the purpose it was intended

Brian S
Reply to  Jeremy
8 years ago

Almost as ridiculous as the mythical Farmers Field (outdoor football venue) for basketball. And L.A. doesn’t really need another 20,000 seat soccer stadium. We have one less than 10 miles from the Coliseum that’s a decade old.

Reply to  Brian S
7 years ago

A new soccer stadium is actually going to be built next to the Coliseum. It will house the new expansion Major League Soccer team that is party owned by Magic Johnson. The old Los Angeles Sports Arena is going to be demolished. The soccer team will begin play in 2017.

And if the Rams/Raiders/Chargers are ever successful in moving to back to LA, then the new football stadium will also be an extra venue that can be used.

8 years ago

It would be nice to see L.A. actually win a bid in an open competition among other nations and not win it by default.


8 years ago

Kirk Nelson, I kind of did the same thing!
Your post cracked me up!

8 years ago

They might want to start by extending the public transportation to the int’l airport. The metrorail veers to the south a couple miles before. From there you’re expected to take elevators/escalators down to the street level and scramble in taxis, shuttle buses, etc.

Reply to  jiggs
8 years ago

The LAX/Crenshaw line is under construction. It will be done in time. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crenshaw/LAX_Line

Kirk Nelson
8 years ago

My first reaction: “No way. LA just had the Games!” Then I realized if LA gets the 2024 bid that’s 40 years since they last hosted.

My second reaction was “I’m old.” 🙂

Reply to  Kirk Nelson
8 years ago

my thoughts exactly

8 years ago

I thought California is going bankrupt?

And I cannot imagine how the security will be implemented when the main location is downtown and venues are so spread out.

But good luck!

As a little child, one of my first memory was that I was watching on tv in awe when the astronauts were jetting down into the stadium during the opening ceremony.

Reply to  aswimfan
8 years ago

California is not going bankrupt.

Security in LA is pretty much guaranteed to be easier that security in many of the recent Olympic venues, much less Rio. One of the most dangerous cities in the world.

Reply to  aswimfan
7 years ago

where did you get the idea that california was going bankrupt? the state actually has a budget surplus. it recovered from the recession quite nicely.

i agree security will be a monster…probably the most expensive part of the olympic bid.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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