No gold for Venice when it comes to the 2028 Summer Olympics?

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Santa Monica will host beach volleyball, surfing, skateboarding and 3×3 basketball, Long Beach will host handball, water polo and BMX racing!

Opinion of Nick Antonicello

Venice Beach, one of the state’s top tourist destinations, will be overlooked when it comes to the 2028 Summer Olympics starting July 21st and from August 6and in six years?

For the first time since 1996, the Summer Olympics will return to the United States and this will mark the ninth overall Olympiad for America and Los Angeles will host for the third time.

The last Olympiad held in the United States was the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, just months after 9/11and attacks in New York and Washington, DC.

The 17-day, $7 billion sports extravaganza is now under contract with the Los Angeles City Council by an 11-2 vote, with Councilman Mike Bonin opposing the deal.

With insurance and liability forming a large part of the overall agreement, LA will take out insurance clauses relating to communicable diseases, natural disasters, terrorism, civil disturbances, cyberattacks, event cancellations and reduction ticket sales.

LA28 (www.la28.org) is the organization responsible for creating and shaping this international sports spectacle that will draw the eyes of the world to Los Angeles in the summer of 2028.

LAPD is already asking for some $300,000 in next year’s budget to handle the issues of those Olympics and in this new contract the City of Los Angeles will be responsible for the first $270 million in cost overruns, the state of California being responsible for the following $270. million and LA on the hook for any cost overruns thereafter.

What makes the wording of these games interesting is that much of the infrastructure seems to be in place and issues such as transportation, job creation and homelessness management will be priorities. which will be addressed as venues and locations for these summer games are distributed. around LA County, making sprawl an added challenge.

Traditionally, many cities offer to host an Olympiad because of the residual investment in infrastructure that remains long after the Olympics have ended.

It is this capital investment that is truly a benefit to any city, not to mention the millions of dollars in earned media received and the positive press that increases travel and tourism for the host community long after hosting these games.

Some of the locations already announced for use and designation include:

  • Santa Monica Beach
  • Riviera Golf
  • The Honda Center
  • pink bowl
  • UCLA as the Athletes’ Olympic Village
  • Universal Studios
  • Valley Sports Park
  • Dodger Stadium
  • Sofia Stadium
  • The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  • USC
  • Long Beach Arena

SoFi and the LA Memorial Coliseum will be used for opening and closing venues according to LA28’s web address, but at the time of this writing, Venice apparently has no apparent role or presence in these Olympics. summer.

Venice’s boardwalk and waterfront promenade has long been a tourist destination for domestic and international tourism and the effects of rampant homelessness and homeless encampments have taken their toll as many retailers and businesses closed their doors and structurally the boardwalk is in desperate need of a facelift. and renovation in the wake of this homelessness epidemic as well as the ongoing effects of the pandemic and COVID-19.

It will be interesting to see whether local community leaders will weigh in on what Venice’s role, if any, will be in the wake of Councilman Bonin’s opposition to the current deal.

The money that will go to Los Angeles at some point should be partially allocated to Venice to improve and modernize Oceanfront Walk and many facilities that need upgrading.

The last time the boardwalk saw major improvements or alterations was the 2000 Democratic National Convention that nominated Al Gore and the pavement you see today is now over twenty years old.

The City of LA has spent more than two years renovating the Muscle Beach weight pit which is still closed and many other facilities like bathrooms, basketball and paddleball courts could benefit from further improvements as we emerge from this crippling pandemic.

It would be wise for the Venice Borough Council to contact the City of Los Angeles as soon as possible as well as LA28 to find out what these summer games have in store for Venice and this neighborhood in the future.

There are few times and opportunities like this when a wave of capital infusion hits a multi-billion dollar region, and Venice could certainly use that investment given its popularity with tourists around the world, and especially when an Olympiad takes place.

Our location to major event sites, proximity to LAX and the UCLA campus as well as SoFi and the Colosseum make Venice ideal for the volume of tourism that is sure to come our way.

There must be a place for Venice in these Olympics and I hope our community and neighborhood leaders will make it a priority moving forward.

The author is a member of the Oceanfront Walk and Outreach Committees of the Venice District Council (www.venicenc.org) and can be reached at [email protected] or (310) 621-3775.

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