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Athletics to move to 1st week of 2028 Olympics, swimming to 2nd week, plus some venues changed – Metro US

Athletics to move to 1st week of 2028 Olympics, swimming to 2nd week, plus some venues changed

US Swimming Olympic Trials
Swimmer participate in the Women’s 100 Butterfly Saturday, June 15, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The 2028 Los Angeles Olympics on Friday announced changes to its venue plan that it says will create an estimated $156 million in combined savings and revenue increases.

Swimming will be held in a temporary pool at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, with its 38,000 seats creating the largest swimming venue in Olympic history; basketball will be played at Intuit Dome, which opens this August in Inglewood; and gymnastics will be held at Crypto.com Arena in downtown Los Angeles. Athletics will remain at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The Los Angeles Olympics — the third games to be hosted by the city — will be held from July 14-30, 2028. More than 10,000 athletes from over 200 countries will compete in 35 sports currently on the program.

The plans for the opening and closing ceremonies remain unchanged, with parts hosted at both the Coliseum and SoFi Stadium. As a result, the traditional schedule for athletics and swimming will be adjusted. Athletics will move to the first week of the games, while swimming will be held during the second week.

The temporary competition and warmup pools will be already built and covered during the opening ceremony. Afterward, a temporary stand will be constructed while athletes train in the leadup to the start of swimming.

“World Aquatics feels very comfortable that any impact will be minimal, notably when compared against the great opportunity we have been given to showcase our sport,” the governing body said in a statement.

Swimming was originally set for the baseball stadium on the University of Southern California campus, which is undergoing major renovations to its athletic facilities.

“When it became clear that a temporary pool there wasn’t going to be an option, we started to think about other places and had this big fun idea to see if we could make it work at Sofi,” LA28 chairman Casey Wasserman said on a teleconference.

USA Swimming is currently holding its trials for the Paris Games in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, home to the NFL’s Colts. Wasserman isn’t worried about filling the seats at SoFi, home to the NFL’s Rams and Chargers.

“I have no doubt, if we had more seats to sell that could see the competition pool, we could sell them,” he said. “We’re very confident that this is going to be really a swimming competition for the ages.”

Athletics’ marathon events will remain over the final weekend, with medals presented during the closing ceremony.

“We are excited to support this visionary timetable change for LA28,” World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said in a statement. “This change underscores our commitment to innovation in athletics and elevating the global profile of our athletes.”

Softball and canoe slalom events will be held in Oklahoma City, with medal ceremonies taking place there. Athletes in those sports will have the chance to attend opening and/or closing ceremonies in Los Angeles, Wasserman said.

LA28 says the largest softball venue in Southern California seats under 2,000 people and it expects robust attendance, so it will be played at 13,000-seat Devon Park, which hosts the annual Women’s College World Series.

There is no canoe slalom venue that exists in the Western U.S., so Riversport OKC, which hosted this year’s Olympic trials, will be the site in 2028.

Moving the competitions will avoid building temporary venues and help LA28 align with the International Olympic Committee’s emphasis on sustainability that encourages the use of existing venues outside the host city.

LA28 says the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area in the San Fernando Valley will host BMX freestyle and BMX racing, along with skateboarding park and street competitions and archery.

Diving will be in the same pool that hosted the aquatics events at the 1932 Olympics in Exposition Park south of downtown Los Angeles. Long Beach will host the artistic and para swimming competitions, as well as marathon swimming and water polo.

The equestrian and para equestrian competitions will move from the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area to an existing facility in Temecula, located 1 1/2 hours from Los Angeles, that is big enough to accommodate all disciplines in one location.

Shooting and shooting para sport competitions also will move from the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area to one of two possible sport shooting clubs to be determined outside Los Angeles.

LA28 says each venue shift will achieve at least a $10 million estimated economic improvement, cutting the cost and complexity of temporary stadium builds, overlays and operations.

The organizing committee submitted the updated venue assignments to the city of Los Angeles, which must approve competitions that move outside of the city’s boundaries from the original venue plan.

The previous venue plan was developed in 2017 during the city’s bid process. Since then, several new stadiums and arenas have become available.


AP Sports Writer Cliff Brunt in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.


AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games