Los Angeles’s bid for the 2024 Olympics has changed a lot since the initial proposal came out last year. That’s partly because it had to: city analysts noted that some of the dreams in the original plan (getting an Olympic Village at Piggyback Yard on the LA River, for example) were based on some very wishful thinking. So the plan’s pivoted a little, changing up some troublesome elements, and now there’s a brand new bid book outlining it all. Gone is Piggyback Yard, and in its place is UCLA, where the athletes will shack up in existing campus housing, and where there have been some changes to the lineup where Olympic venues are concerned, says the Daily Bruin.
UCLA’s Drake Stadium will be used as a training facility for Olympians instead of as a field hockey venue. Field hockey will happen at UCLA’s North Athletic Field. Pauley Pavilion will still be used, but as a venue for volleyball, not basketball, as initially planned. And the water polo would happen in the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
As far as housing all those Olympians, the bid book estimates it will have about 16,500 to 17,000 beds available in time for the Games. Right now, UCLA only has about 14,000 on campus, but has pre-existing plans to add 2,000 to 2,500 more. There’s also the increasingly likely possibility that the buildout of the Purple Line extension could be sped up so that UCLA would be connected to Downtown via subway in time for the Olympics.
Image via updated bid book.
The new bid book also reveals some plans to use the Olympics as a way to transform at least one major city street and add green space everywhere—it says that the Games are going to be “a catalyst for connecting the City of LA through new community green spaces.” This likely refers to the “Live Sites” the book mentions around the four main clusters of action in Downtown, the South Bay, the Valley, and on the Westside. These public green spaces will host Olympic-focused events and entertainment and, after the Games, will become “reimagined parks” and public green space.
The biggest Live Site will be Olympic Way, “a central pedestrian corridor along Figueroa Street linking all the Downtown LA venues (possibly related to the long-gestating MyFigueroa streetscape overhaul), and creating an unparalleled zone of fan excitement.” Unparalleled zone of fan excitement? More “excitement” than when the Lakers win a championship? Can LA even handle that much fan-thusiasm? Something to ponder between now and September 2017, when the International Olympic Committee will decide who the host city will be.
· LA 2024 releases new bid book with updates on proposed UCLA venues