LA 2024 To Leverage UCLA, USC Facilities for Athletes’ and Media Villages

UCLA Being Proposed as LA 2024 Olympic Bid Athletes' Village (LA 2024 Rendering)

UCLA Being Proposed as LA 2024 Olympic Bid Athletes’ Village (LA 2024 Rendering)

Should Los Angeles host the 2024 Olympic Games, the city will leverage existing facilities to accommodate athletes and the media.

During an announcement at UCLA in Los Angeles Monday Mayor Eric Garcetti said that the city will propose athletes stay at an Olympic Village at the world class facilities and state-of-the-art residences of the University.  The facilities either already exist and set to be renovated or are planned to be built prior to the Games, and is strategically located for easy access to many competition venues.

UCLA also offers many existing training facilities nearby as well as medical and other services necessary for athletes.

Additionally, the Mayor said another nearby university, USC, will be set to host the Media Village.  USC is constructing a new 15-acre residential and retail village, which will house 2,700, and offers a grocery, drugstore, fitness center, restaurants and retail stores as part of an overall existing $650 million project

The USC Media Village will be located in the Downtown Games Cluster, within walking distance of events proposed to be held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, USC Galen Center, Staples Center, Microsoft Theater and the renovated Convention Center.

The use of these existing facilities ensures that much of the costs of two of the largest infrastructure budget items of a typical Games stays off the books, and guarantees a valuable, lasting legacy.

“…the most athlete-centered bid this world has ever seen.” – Mayor Eric Garcetti

Last year LA 2024 was considering the “piggyback yards”, a near-downtown location along a revitalized LA river as home to the Olympic Village but doubts were cast when it was revealed that the land cost could reach $2 billion and the landowner may not even be willing to sell the property.  Later planners said that two-dozen other sites were also being considered.

LA 2024 Chair Casey Wasserman said that the Piggyback yards were just a placeholder when the bid was originally put together, but the UCLA site is ultimately a better option where more support facilities are readily available.

LA 2024 Chair Casey Wasserman Announces Venue Plans a UCLA January 25, 2015 (LA 2024 Photo)

LA 2024 Chair Casey Wasserman Announces Venue Plans at UCLA January 25, 2015 (LA 2024 Photo)

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said UCLA is clearly a “cost conscious” option since much of it is ready-built, but it was chosen because it was the better athlete-centered option for the bid.  He also downplayed the previously announced revitalization benefits of the piggyback yard project by explaining that the UCLA plans can offer revitalized sport opportunities over a greater region.

He went on to say that LA 2024 is “the most athlete-centered bid this world has ever seen.”

Garcetti said “we have carefully chosen facilities that are sustainable, fiscally responsible and athlete-friendly. Both universities offer world-class facilities and occupy a special place in our city’s rich Olympic history. Today’s announcement reaffirms that their Olympic legacy lives on.”

The Mayor explained that the Athletes’ and Media Villages are well-suited to International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Thomas Bach’s Agenda 2020 due to the solid sustainability and legacy plans as well as the low environmental impact.

Both facilities are “tried and tested” and are used by thousands of students daily according to the bid committee.

Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson, Jr. said “the final piece to Los Angeles’ Olympic puzzle has been secured.”

“The LA 2024 bid is bringing together a diverse group of determined stakeholders and this partnership with our prestigious universities is just the latest example of our city’s collective effort to host the Games.”

Los Angeles is competing against Budapest, Paris and Rome to host the 2024 Olympic Games.  The International Olympic Committee will elect a winner September 2017 in Lima, Peru.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil