Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia announced today a new initiative focused on completing eight projects deemed critical for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics and Paralympics.
Called 8 by 28, the initiative is scheduled to be an agenda item at the February 6 City Council meeting. Garcia and Councilmembers Lena Gonzalez, Jeannine Pearce, Suzie Price and Stacy Mungo have submitted the item which will request that the city manager and staff prepare a plan, a needs assessment and project timeline for the projects. It will also prioritize and brand the projects as Olympic-priority development projects to seek additional funding opportunities, according to the mayor’s office.
“Long Beach has a proud Olympic history. We need to start planning today to ensure our city is ready when visitors from across the world visit our beaches and our sports facilities,” Garcia said in a statement. “We also need to ensure our transit and transportation options are ready for primetime.”
Garcia took a cue from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s 28 by 2028 initiative for LA County Metro, he stated.
Long Beach will be a huge part of the 2028 Olympics. Water polo, open water swimming, triathlon, handball, sailing and BMX racing will all take place in the city. The Long Beach Sports Park will be the second largest sports park outside downtown Los Angeles, according to the mayor’s office.
The projects include:
- Belmont/Veterans Pier Rebuild – project will be rebuilt as the centerpiece and viewing center for sailing.
- Belmont Pool – new Belmont Pool would showcase Olympic history and is expected to be widely used for city exhibitions and events.
- Lifeguard Towers – rebuild and construct new lifeguard towers across the Long Beach coast to ensure safety and beach accessibility.
- Beach Concession Stands – reconstruction of three beach concession areas for use by visitors and residents traveling between pier and downtown events.
- Arena Rebuild – refurbishment and needed investment of the structure to improve functionality for handball events.
- Convention Center Hotel – construction of new Pine & Ocean Convention Center hotel that would provide needed rooms for Olympic events.
- Airport Improvements – completion of Airport improvements including reconstruction of rental car area, baggage claim, and amenities for Olympic travelers.
- Metro Blue Line Improvements – infrastructure improvements along the Metro Blue Line to ensure connection between other sports parks across the county.
“These projects will better prepare Long Beach for Olympic events, but will also continue to build on Long Beach’s role as a destination to live, work and visit,” according to the mayor’s office.