Los Angeles Proposes UCLA for Olympic Village in 2024
10 Feb, 2016By: Tracey Schelmetic
As the world edges closer to learning who will host the 2024 Olympic Games, it’s time to bring out all the details. And one of those is the location of, and design of, the Olympic Village. Only for Los Angeles, there’s no need to manufacture an ersatz global environment for the athletes – it has something better: the UCLA campus.
It’s an ingenious marketing move that comes at a time when many cities are decrying the high cost of building such structures. Using UCLA would shave about a billion dollars off the construction costs for the games, according to the LA Times’ David Wharton.
The new plans supersede a previous plan to house athletes at the LA Transportation Center, which would have required extensive modification to accommodate roughly 16,500 athletes, coaches and team officials. The construction of an Olympic Village that meets international sporting standards is typically the most expensive single cost for any city hosting an Olympic Games.
"This is the right answer for the city," LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said. "It's the right answer for the bid."
LA officials say the quality of the existing UCLA housing will be an attractive benefit to IOC officials, as will the campus’ high quality dining and athletic facilities.
"Everything looks great," Gene Sykes, the LA 2024 chief executive, said of UCLA's facilities. "If you took a tour now, even though you might find some messy rooms where the kids may not have put away their laundry, what you would find is this place looks really fresh."
Interestingly, the UCLA campus was also the site of the Olympic Village for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. LA 2024 officials have also proposed that media members and some Olympic officials could be housed in a 15-acre residential complex USC intends to build.
Additionally, the likelihood of a new NFL stadium to be built in Inglewood for the (now) Los Angeles Rams will also attract the IOC’s attention, though Wasserman noted that the future “City of Champions” stadium, as it’s to be called, would not be part of documents submitted to the IOC next month.
The International Olympic Committee plans to announce the host city at its meeting in Lima, Peru in 2017.