July 18, 2017 - From the July, 2017 issue

Los Angeles All But Certain to Play Host to Upcoming Summer Olympics: Diving into LA 2024’s Successful Bid

Although the date will be determined in September, Los Angeles has been assured that it will be a host of the Olympic Games for the third time. In an unprecedented announcement, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said both Los Angeles and Paris have put together outstanding bids that will redefine how cities will plan and submit applications to host the Olympics. Los Angeles 2024’s bid, led by Mayor Eric Garcetti, Casey Wasserman, Gene Sykes, and Janet Evans (among many others), has integrated advancements in technology, modularity and sustainability with the sports and international-loving culture of Los Angeles that has embraced two previous Olympic Games. Below, TPR presents an excerpt of the IOC Evaluation Committee’s Report on the Los Angeles bid to host the XXXII Olympiad. 


"Utilizing an increased focus on transparency, sustainability, and legacy, the candidate cities are low-risk and high-reward for both the cities and the IOC."

"Los Angeles will build upon the unprecedented successful legacy of the previous 1984 Olympics, promoting social inclusion and sport participation for all Angelenos."

Introduction

Members of the IOC evaluation committee describe the Los Angeles application as forward-looking, innovative, vibrant, and cool.  Both the Los Angeles and Paris 2024 teams put together outstanding applications, which contained numerous aspects from the Olympic Agenda 2020 report. The Olympic Agenda 2020 report seeks to incorporate reforms into the IOC’s strategic roadmap for improvement and sustainability.

Both Los Angeles and Paris developed proposals that are aligned with existing city and regional sports, economic, social, and environmental development plans. By incorporating a record number of existing venues and structures into their plans, the candidate cities will reduce the costs and achieve a simplified delivery model.  

Utilizing an increased focus on transparency, sustainability, and legacy, the candidate cities are low-risk and high-reward for both the cities and the IOC.  The Agenda 2020 reforms also changed the evaluation of the candidate cities, and increased the amount of interaction time with the two cities. This has allowed for greater communication and cooperation, which will lead to much greater success.

The Los Angeles Vision

Dynamic and futuristic summarize the Los Angeles bid for the 2024 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The proposal has exemplified Los Angeles’ storytelling ability and creative energy to integrate cutting-edge technologies into what will be a transformative Olympics.  Just as some Hollywood masterpieces thrill and inspire generations to come; the Los Angeles Olympics will reimagine the future. The city is blessed with world-class sports venues, expertise in hosting major sports events (including the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics).

Los Angeles will build upon the unprecedented successful legacy of the previous 1984 Olympics, promoting social inclusion and sport participation for all Angelenos. Creating even more youth sport opportunities through the Olympic legacy fund will benefit youth for years to come, as the 1984 legacy fund continues to support.  Los Angeles is also in the middle of a transportation revolution. The Olympics will help increase the number of citizens who use public transportation, by accelerating planned expansions and actively promoting their use during the games.

As for the concept of the Los Angeles 2024 bid, inclusion is the key word. The proposal has included four key self-contained sports parks (in the San Fernando Valley, Downtown area, South Bay, and Long Beach, along with the Olympic Village at UCLA) that would extend the celebrations throughout the region. Each of the sports parks will include multiple venues, live sites, common domains, hospitality zones, and sponsor showcase areas. Yet, they would all have their own unique focus. The themes of the sports parks would be: family-friendly, sustainability, the ocean, and downtown entertainment.  

Los Angeles would have very little to do in terms of venue construction. Existing world-class structures are already spread through the region, and new structures are already under construction.  Existing and temporary structures make up almost every venue as outlined in the proposal.

The Opening Ceremony would be hosted in the new stadium at Hollywood Park currently under construction to house two American football teams [Los Angeles Rams and Chargers] irrespective of the games. While the opening ceremony takes place, a Hollywood-produced celebration of the history of the Olympic games would take place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a heritage venue from the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games.  For the closing ceremonies, the venues would reverse roles.  The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is also scheduled to undergo privately funded upgrades to provide a 21st century experience for attendees of Olympic and non-Olympic sporting events.

Both the venues would play host to numerous sporting events during the games. The LA Stadium will host archery, while the Coliseum will host athletics and track and field.  In addition, the Staples Center, Honda Center, and LA Galaxy Stadium (Stubhub Center) are all state-of-the-art venues would play integral roles hosting events.

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The student housing at the University of California, Los Angeles would act as the Olympic Village, just as it did in 1984. During the Commission’s visit to UCLA, they found the village proposal to be outstanding in all aspects, including: accommodations, nutrition options, training facilities, experienced workforce, and a beautiful setting. Currently, 17,000 beds at the Main Village on UCLA’s campus meet the IOC requirements. 1,359 beds for rowing and canoe sprint will be provided at the UC Riverside campus. There would be 10 dining facilities and the intimate campus environment will allow for the all nations to celebrate their culture and athletes, regardless of size. The accommodations and housing would be nothing short of the best for the best athletes in the world.  

Taking the athletes experience into higher consideration was one of the top recommendations of the Olympic Agenda 2020 report. Therefore, 23 out of the 31 scheduled competition venues are within 30 minutes of the Olympic Village at UCLA.  There will also be a friends and families village using local universities and hotels near the sport parks, and two free tickets for every athlete for each of their competition. Technology will enhance their experience as well, as a digital concierge speaking their native language will be able to assist them with schedules, maps, and other information to assist them with their competition and recreational plans.

The delivery model of LA 2024 also included plans to address the city’s well-known issues. To address traffic, the games will provide new transport options for spectators and workforce, optimizing technology. Just as utilized in 1984, the city plans to enact strategies to reduce non-Olympics traffic through working with the business community and incentivizing public transport options, including first and last-mile solutions and a coordinated traffic management system. Los Angeles currently ranks 12th on the global traffic congestion index, and priority lanes would need to be established to ensure athletes arrival at their competitions.

Aligned with the city and region’s development plan, the LA 2024 Olympic proposal would benefit from $88 billion in transportation projects scheduled for completion by 2024, irrespective of the games as part of the region’s municipal transportation plan. Public transport enhancements planned will add 32 kilometers of rail lines and 24 additional metro stations by 2024. The LA 2024 proposal states there will be free public transportation usage for ticketholders on the day of their ticketed competition. However, challenges included limited public transportation capacity and network coverage to the South Bay Sports Park and Valley Sports Park.

All new and upgraded venues and infrastructure would comply with green building standards, as required by the LA Sustainability City Plan (pLAn). LA 2024 will also be an important driver for accelerating development of recreational and green spaces across the city.  LA 2024 sustainability approach aims to succeed on an “Energy Positive Games” initiative, whereby additional new renewable energy sources generated by the community would exceed the energy required for the Games. To manage water use, there will be a 100 percent water accountability target to minimize unnecessary usage. Additionally, all venues would aim for zero-waste targets and overlay reuse strategies.  The South Bay Sports Park would be the showcase for sustainable sports venue, highlighted by newly constructed green stadiums and arenas.

The International Broadcast Center would be housed in a new NBCUniversal facility at the company’s studio complex in Universal City. The Main Press Center would be conveniently located next to the Media Village at the University of Southern California, within the secure perimeter of the Downtown Sports Park.

One venue challenge for the Los Angeles proposal is track cycling. There will need to be massive upgrades to the existing Velodrome to remove inside pillars and increase seating capacity. This will require further discussion s between all relevant parties to find the most cost-effective solution with the best legacy outcome.

The funding and governance models for LA 2024 have a strong reliance on private stadiums that will reduce the public costs dramatically. This is a tried-and-true model for United States host cities.

LA 2024 has also given careful consideration to the needs of hosting the 2024 Paralympic Games, scheduled from August 18-August 29 in 2024. 17 out of 19 competition venues would be within 30 minutes of the Paralympic Village, and all public transport in Los Angeles is accessible due to compliance with the Americans with Disability Act. LA 2024 hopes to raise awareness of Paralympic sports and their benefits, and build on the growing participation in Paralympic sports in the United States.

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© 2017 The Planning Report | David Abel, Publisher, ABL, Inc.