An Olympic Victory Bigger Than a Month in 2028

Gary Toebben

September 19, 2017

In the summer of 2028, the world will flock to Los Angeles to celebrate sports, share cultures and inspire the youth of our world to run faster, reach higher and grow stronger in all aspects of life. The Games will also leave a legacy for L.A., as they have in the past.  Many athletes, coaches and fans will travel Olympic Blvd. to visit the Los Angeles Convention Center and Staples Center for events like fencing, taekwondo, boxing, table tennis and basketball. In 1932, 10th Street was renamed Olympic Blvd. for the 10th modern Olympiad.  It was the first of many legacies the Olympic movement would leave on our City.

Much of the success of the ‘32 and ‘84 Games can be attributed to the fact that L.A. only needed to construct a few new venues. The ’32 Games made use of 15 existing venues, building only a rowing facility and swimming pool. That pool still exists today and is open to the public. It was restored in 2004 with funds generated from the ’84 Olympics. The ’84 Games only needed two new venues - a velodrome and new swimming stadium, the latter of which is still being used by USC Trojan athletes.

It’s a point of local pride that the ’84 Games were the most financially successful Olympic Games ever, with a $223 million profit. $93 million of that profit was used to create the LA84 Foundation to support youth sports programs. That initial money was invested and managed wisely, and in the last three decades, has helped build more than 100 sports facilities in Southern California and impacted the lives of more than 3 million youth in eight Southern California counties. In agreeing to accept the 2028 Games instead of 2024, Mayor Eric Garcetti received a commitment from the International Olympic Committee to advance $160 million for new investments in youth sports.

Angelenos were concerned about the traffic impacts of the ‘84 Games in our car-centric city. And yet, it’s become legendary how creativity and flexibility led to carpooling, shuttling and alternative work schedules, making traffic jams non-existent. With the massive additions to our rail system that are planned to open by 2028, like the Westside Subway, the Crenshaw Line and the Automated People Mover at LAX, we hope to have a repeat performance in 2028. These infrastructure investments will benefit us during the Olympics and for years beyond.

Los Angeles International Airport underwent a $700 million makeover for the ’84 Games.  The new upper roadway was constructed, as was Terminal 1 and the original Tom Bradley International Terminal. We now have another incentive to complete $15 billion worth of improvements at LAX by 2028.

While 2028 will be our third hosting of the Olympics, it will be the first time for L.A. to host the Paralympic Games. If the 2015 Special Olympics World Games were any indication, the ability of our region to take the Paralympic Games to new heights is limitless.

The Olympic movement has often turned to L.A. in challenging times -- during the depth of the Great Depression in 1932 and when no other cities willing to host the Games in 1984.  Today, many cities are questioning whether the Games are economically feasible to host, but not L.A. Our city and region are proud to be hosting the 2028 Games, and we will be a role model for other cities in the future. Beyond a month in the summer of 2028, we envision creating another legacy that will benefit Angelenos for decades beyond.

And that's The Business Perspective.



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