The World Rowing Council is considering a proposal that would move the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic rowing competition from Lake Perris to Long Beach’s Marine Stadium, according to a report from insidethegames.biz. Long Beach hosted the Olympic rowing event in 1932, the first time Los Angeles hosted the Games.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia confirmed that he was aware of the talks and that the city is open to hosting more than the seven events it’s already scheduled to host.
“We’ve been very open since day one that we welcome as many events in Long Beach as possible,” he said Tuesday afternoon. “We obviously are really pleased with our partnership and with our current events that we have. We would love to have rowing in the city. It’s part of our history, it’s part of Long Beach.
“But we know, at the end of the day, that’s a decision that will be made by the rowing federation and the Olympics. We’ll support any decision they make and it’s important to us to get the community involved. We know it would be a very exciting event.”
Long Beach is already scheduled to host men’s and women’s water polo, the triathlon, BMX biking, handball, open water swimming and sailing as part of a downtown waterfront Long Beach sports park, the largest grouping of Olympic events outside of the main Olympic sports park in downtown Los Angeles.
The local rowing community expressed excitement at the idea of bringing Olympic rowing back to the city and Marine Stadium which was built specifically to host the 1932 Olympic rowing competition.
“It would be fantastic, it would be great for the sport and we have a much better venue than the one they’ve been considering,” said John Van Blom, a Long Beach native and three-time Olympic rower. “It would draw attention to the incredible tradition that we’ve had here. It would be a big boost.”
There are some hurdles to overcome, including the configuration of the course and bridge over Marine Stadium connecting Marina Pacifica to Naples Island. Hosting the event in Long Beach as opposed to Riverside County’s Lake Perris reservoir would cut down on the costs of building a separate athlete’s village in the Inland Empire.
L.A. 2028 organizers told the Los Angeles Times that no changes have yet been made.
“There are no changes to our plan. We’re aware the World Rowing Council is considering other possibilities, but at this time our plan remains the same.”
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