First look at Long Beach’s “8 by ’28” projects, coming as Los Angeles prepares to host the 2028 Olym
During Los Angeles’ 2028 Olympics, Long Beach is set to host water polo, handball, triathlon (Olympic and Paralympic), marathon swimming, BMX racing and sailing, with the potential of more events being added as venues develop. A Long Beach Sports Park at and near the Long Beach Convention Center will be the focal point here, but the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier will host sailing, and other events run down the coast.
Last February, after it had been announced that Long Beach is a large part of plans for Los Angeles to host the 2028 Olympic Games, Mayor Robert Garcia unveiled his “8 by 28” plan for capital improvements, and the City Council approved it.
Long Beach is set to host water polo, handball, triathlon (Olympic and Paralympic), marathon swimming, BMX racing and sailing, with the potential of more events being added as venues develop. A Long Beach Sports Park at and near the Long Beach Convention Center will be the focal point here, but the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier will host sailing, and other events run down the coast.
Beyond sports venues, some of the projects are on the list to handle transportation for the expected large crowds and/or amenities for them once they get to Long Beach. And not all of the work need be paid for by Long Beach, either.
The Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier will host sailing, and other events during the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
Last week, City Manager Pat West provided the first six-month update on progress to the City Council. Almost all of the projects still are in early planning stages, but some progress has been made.
The eight projects are Belmont Veterans Pier rebuild, Belmont Pool, lifeguard towers, beach concession stands, Long Beach Arena improvements, a Pine and Ocean hotel, airport improvements and Metro Blue Line improvements.
The Metro Blue Line will be a primary transportation tool from events in and around Los Angeles to those in Long Beach. It is the oldest light rail line in the system, and the Metropolitan Transportation District already has announced plans to extensively refurbish and upgrade the tracks. A schedule for the $1.2 billion project already has been announced, with the south half of the line closed for four months early in 2019 and the north half closed the next four months. Buses will be used to close the gap during construction.
Long Beach will do its part with a traffic signal synchronization project, paid for with grants from Metro. The goal is to reduce the trip from downtown Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles by five to 10 minutes.
Staying with transportation, the Long Beach Airport already has begun the second phase of improvements with a design/build contract in place. Work includes a new consolidated car rental area, new baggage handling and claim facilities, a new ticketing lobby building next to the historic Terminal building, improvements to traffic circulation and infrastructure upgrades. The work, $65 million to $75 million and paid for primarily through grants and airport income, is scheduled to be done in fall of 2021.
An artist rendering of how Long Beach Arena will look for the 2028 Games.
New hotels are on the horizon, with the hotel at Pine Avenue and Ocean Boulevard considered to be part of the Olympics build. The 30-story hotel is slated to have 419 hotel rooms and all the amenities. A bed tax sharing agreement already has been completed with the developer, and the project currently is in site plan review.
Handball is expected to be in the Long Beach Arena, and plans are to continue upgrades already started. Another $24 million or more will be spent to upgrade the arena’s infrastructure. The arena will be at the core of the Long Beach Sports Park, but exterior improvements (BMX tracks, pools for water polo, etc.) are not part of the 8 by 28 program.
At the other end of the coast, the Belmont Beach and Aquatics Center is one of the major projects, even though it currently isn’t slated to host a specific event. The 125,000-square-foot facility will replace the demolished Belmont Olympic Plaza Pool. Current cost estimate is $103 million, with about $60 million already set aside. Plans currently are in state Coastal Commission staff hands.
As Los Angeles earned the right to host the 2028 Olympic Games, Mayor Robert Garcia unveiled his “8 by 28” plan for capital improvements.
Next door is the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier. The pier long has been a primary viewing venue for major sailing regattas, including the annual Congressional Cup. However, the 1967-era pier was damaged two years ago in a storm, and a complete rebuild is being contemplated. Proposals for a feasibility study could be considered soon, with a rebuild costing $25 million to $35 million.
The last three projects are designed to upgrade Long Beach’s beach area for fans and competitors, specifically of the triathlon and marathon swimming events. Plans include a rebuild of the Alamitos Beach Concession Stands to create a focal point of activity on the western end of the beach. That project is in design now, with a contract expected to be offered as early as this December and could cost up to $12 million.
Concession stands at Junipero Beach and Granada Launch Ramp also are on the list for improvements. Smaller projects, those improvements have a combined price-tag near $3 million, and are in design phase now.
Finally, the lifeguard towers all along the beach need major upgrades. There are more than 20 lifeguard towers, and all are expected to be essentially replaced. This project is in early planning stages.
Update reports are expected to continue approximately every six months until all the work is completed — or until the Olympics, whichever comes first.