This Is What Long Beach Will Look Like for the 2028 Summer Olympics

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Fresh off the tail end of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea, this pack of renderings show off the role Long Beach will play in the upcoming 2028 Summer Olympic Games throughout the LA region.

Essentially, the Long Beach waterfront will become a waterfront sports park, hosting a variety of sports and events including BMX, water polo, sailing, marathon swimming, triathlon events, and the good ol’ nail-biter that is handball. Like the Valley Sports Park being proposed at the Sepulveda Basin Recreational Park, much of Long Beach will have temporary structures that are decorated with purple-pink-yellow spectrum of the Olympic bid’s branding.

Those temporary structures? They’re the most comforting part since they alleviate costs and avoid the infamous Olympic ruins that have plagued past hosts. This is not to mention that hosting the Games has become a critical focus amongst those weary of the Olympics invading their cities and countries.

There are, however, a few exceptions.

Infrastructural upgrades that are permanent were given a go by Long Beach City Council earlier this month. These are the massive projects being discussed, heading toward a grand total of $100M-plus should they become a reality:

  • The Belmont Veterans’ Pier, set to provide Olympic goers with views of the sailing competitions, is in vast need of an upgrade. Located at toward the Western end of Belmont Shore and serving visitors and residents alike since 1915, the pier has shifted from strolling place for the wealthy on vacation (during its original incarnation in 1915) to a staple for working class families enjoying fishing along its 1,800-foot stretch into the Pacific (since its rehab in 1967). The pier has been in dire need of support—long before the Olympics had a shimmering chance of appearing in 2028—and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia has noted that. Now, with the possibility of thousands invading the pier as the viewing platform for sailing come ’28, Garcia and City officials are wondering whether the $25 to $30M cost to retrofit should be replaced by an entirely new pier altogether.
  • The Belmont Beach and Aquatic Center is easily the most controversial project and one which hopes to replace the now-demolished Belmont Olympic Plaza Pool. The concern? Well, here’s how succinctly Long Beach journalist Jason Ruiz sums up the problems plaguing the replacement pool: the project has the possibility of “negatively impact[ing] local wildlife, [while the Environmental Impact Report] did not take into account the impacts of sea level rise and that the project served to only benefit one of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods.”
  • The Long Beach Arena [pictured above] will be refurbished and repainted—and we can only hope that the disastrous Wyland whale mural, confusing visitors that are told “It’s not the Aquarium” since the 1990s, will be more tastefully covered.
  • The completion of a massive—if not outright lofty in execution—36-story hotel at the southeast corner of Pine and Ocean that will have over 500 hotel rooms, 19,000 sq. ft. of prep space and meeting rooms, 8,000 sq. ft. of restaurant space and 28,000 sq. ft. of guest amenities, including a pool and sun deck.
  • The completion of new, sleek, and contemporary waterfront amenities and concession stands, approved by Council last year.
  • Other additions include improvements to the Long Beach Airport (new rental car area and baggage claims section).

On top of this, concerns about traffic and transit have prompted Metro to double-down on transit infrastructure, with 28 projects to complete by 2028.

Are you ready to get your Olympics on, Long Beach?

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food to politics to urban transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 12 nominations and an additional win for Best Political Commentary. Born in Big Bear, he has lived in Long Beach since college. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.
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