On Wednesday Los Angeles broke ground for L.A. Football Club’s (LAFC) 22,000-seat Banc of California Stadium located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, giving the city’s bid for the 2024 Olympics a significant boost.
The stadium, located in LA 2024’s proposed downtown cluster, is set to open in 2018 and will accommodate the city’s newest Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise. It will be located next to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at the site of the former LA Sports Arena.
The stadium will host football if L.A is chosen as site of the Games. More than 40 per cent of the Olympic competition in venues such as the LA Memorial Coliseum, Staples Center, Galen Center, Microsoft Theater and USC’s Dedeaux Field will be part of the cluster. They are all downtown venues served by Los Angeles’ growing light rail system, which, according to LA 2024, will allow the fans to avoid traffic to get to the Games.
LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said, “on behalf of LA 2024 we are thrilled to welcome the newest addition of LA’s already existing abundance of world-class sports venues. It’s thanks to projects like Banc of California Stadium that we would only need to build one new permanent venue should LA be awarded the honor of hosting the Games in 2024. LAFC’s new stadium will surely bolster downtown LA’s status as a destination for passionate sports fans, while offering LA2024 a great venue for soccer and our plans to return the Games to Los Angeles”.
Banc of California stadium is one of two new, major professional sporting venues announced this year, the other being the Los Angeles Rams stadium to be completed by 2019 that will accommodate 100,000 fans and could be the most expensive stadium ever built. USC also recently announced a privately funded $270 million refurbishment of the LA Memorial Coliseum.
Los Angeles is competing against Budapest, Paris and Rome for the 2024 Olympics. The host city will be announced in September 2017.