The 2028 Summer Olympic Games are coming to Los Angeles. The United States has not hosted the Olympics since 1996, so Team USA is excited to have the games return home after a unanimous vote for LA.
2028 seems like a long way ahead, but nine years will pass quickly, considering the planning that goes into the event. With an event that brings millions of visitors to one city over just a few weeks, locals of downtown LA are questioning how the city will be affected by the games.
There are many aspects to consider with potential positive and negative outcomes. For example, concerning economic impact, some people are excited about elevated tourism, but others are concerned that the city will go into debt to afford the event. The city will need proper infrastructure and venues for the Olympic village, and accommodations for event staff, athletes, teams, and visitors. With LA’s current traffic situation, the 110, 101, 10 and 5 freeways that surround downtown are already congested as they are. The city will need to find solutions to transportation for getting in and out of DTLA.
DTLA Preparing for the 2028 LA Olympic Games
LA already has many existing facilities, which makes it a great candidate to host the biggest sporting event in the world. Local colleges USC and UCLA have coliseums and arenas, and several pro-sports teams call Los Angeles home. The city of LA has already mapped out Olympic sports parks across LA county, with the largest area in downtown. Within DTLA alone, the Olympics will use the Staples Center arena, Los Angeles Convention Center, LA Memorial Coliseum, and LA Football Club Stadium. With limited space, it is hard to imagine new buildings added to the city. Fortunately, in contrast to previous host cities, the mayor claims that the city will make use of existing venues and transportation to avoid having to build impressive new facilities (wired.com).
For downtown locals who are planning to travel in and out of California, the nearest major airport is LAX (Los Angeles International Airport). It seems as though LAX is always under construction anyways, but the airport must more to prepare for the event. The development will need to be completed to sustain the number of visitors traveling in and out of the airport from every terminal and airline – domestic and international. Leading up to and during the event, it may be a better idea for those who live downtown to consider other nearby airports like Bob Hope in Burbank.
Besides air transportation, if you are an LA local or have visited Southern California, you already know that it is not easy to get around. Many tourists think that Hollywood and Disneyland are just a hop and a skip away, but traffic can make a day out of any quick trip. With venues spread across multiple locations throughout Los Angeles county, it is going to be a challenge to get athletes, teams, staff, and visitors around Los Angeles.
Handling the crowd during the Olympics
LA is one of the worst cities in the country when it comes to traffic, and the county has already added as many freeways as it can physically sustain. Unlike many other major cities around the world, public transportation is not very common or convenient for locals and tourists. The city will focus on extended transit lines, new bike paths, and highway alterations to keep traffic moving smoothly, according to the LA Metro’s Twenty-Eight by ’28 Project List.
The Olympic village will expand beyond downtown, so attendees will require busses and shuttles to move from one location to another. Los Angeles is one of the first city centers to welcome electric scooters as a form of transportation, so visitors will be able to rent the scooters as they need. Rideshare has also taken off within the past decade, so pick up, and dropoff locations will also need to be managed within the busy downtown area. The density of cars should reduce with rideshare, advanced public transportation, and shuttles, but locals know that it will not be enough. Traffic in and around the city will be mayhem and parking will be jam-packed. Fortunately, parking lots like Joe’s Auto Parks have been around for 60 years and have supported LA locals and visitors through decades of notable events. Joe’s has over 84 locations in downtown alone that will help with the parking craze. Visit joesautoparks.com/los-angeles to find the best parking locations in the city and follow Joe’s Auto Parks on Facebook to stay up-to-date on events in LA.
Downtown LA after the event
What happens after, once every one packs up and leaves LA? In the past, hosting the Olympics has left many cities with new sporting facilities, hotels, and transportation systems that create a ghost-town feel. Previous host cities have also faced a lot of debt. With concerns about the financial state of Los Angeles as an Olympic host city, LA actually was able to profit after hosting the games in 1984, so there is hope for success. Archpaper.com states that current plans propose LA to break even, mostly because the city requires so few new developments for sporting venues.
With regards to the new infrastructure, could it, perhaps, benefit Los Angeles? A lot of attention and action will be required to clean up the city before the event takes place, which would not have been addressed otherwise. In the long run, LA will also get to benefit from transportation solutions that were implemented just for the Olympics. In fact, when LA hosted the summer games back in 1984, the city built a transportation system for the event which is still used to this day.
Opportunity for DTLA and Beyond
The city faces concerns and challenges ahead. But proper planning over the next nine years can keep the city on track for success in all areas, resulting in sustainability for new developments. And although locals may have their concerns about the event, the 2028 Olympics pose an opportunity for downtown LA to make significant improvements.