Long Beach will officially be hosting athletic competitions and will serve as a venue for the 2028 Olympic Games.

Leaders on Tuesday approved a general governing agreement with the Los Angeles Organizing Committee — the first of several agreements that will need to be worked out in the next four years leading up to the Games.

It is still unclear exactly what sporting events Long Beach will host, but possibilities include handball, the triathlon, marathon swimming, rowing, BMX racing, water polo and sailing. Officials said they hope to confirm these events sometime this year.

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The events would be staged in a “Long Beach Sports Park” that would include Downtown and coastal areas.

The agreement approved Tuesday established general commitments related to what public services Long Beach will provide and what costs will be paid for by other agencies.

“Our priority is to achieve full cost recovery on all the services we provide,” Mayor Rex Richardson said.

The LA 2028 Olympics logo.

He said the economic benefit of participating in the Games will be immense, “like hosting seven Superbowls for two weeks.”

Some of the provisions in the agreement approved Tuesday include:

  • Long Beach will pay for public services it would normally provide during the Games. The details of these services will be worked out in a separate agreement to be signed by October 2025.
  • Long Beach will provide enhanced services related to the Games, at the expense of the Organizing Committee. Details around these services will be spelled out in an agreement signed by October 2026.
  • The city and Organizing Committee will sign detailed venue agreements for each location where events will be held, including security and logistics, by October 2027.
  • Because Los Angeles is the financial guarantor of the Games, it is entitled to direct financial community benefit support. If other cities receive some of that money, Long Beach will, too.
  • The city agreed to work with the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to ensure a safe event.
  • If the city provides any incentives to new hotel developers, it will require them to allow the Organizing Committee to purchase up to 90% of the hotel’s inventory for use during the Games.
  • The city, at its own cost, can implement a branding plan in connection with the Olympics.
  • The city will not subject the Games to any excess taxes or increase taxes specifically for the event.

The city has already begun preparing for the Olympic Games, including launching a $758 million local investment plan that has $187 million dedicated to Olympic “legacy” projects that will enhance public spaces for sports, recreation, arts and culture. That funding will come from federal grants, the city’s share of state and county taxes and the city’s own local taxes like the Measure A sales tax.

The “Elevate 28” plan approved last year includes 64 new initiatives ranging from park improvements to water quality projects the city hopes to complete by 2028.

Richardson said the city — the second largest Olympic venue behind Los Angeles — will be on display to the world, with the potential to enhance its brand and attract new business, tourism and investment.

“This is pretty big for our city,” he said.

Melissa Evans is the Chief Executive Officer of the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal. Reach her at [email protected], @melissaevansLBP or 562-512-6354.