Los Angeles 2028 organisers announce schedule, venue shake-up

By AFP
June 23, 2024
Chairman of LA 2028 Olympic Games Casey Wasserman speaks during the second day of the 141st International Olympic Committee (IOC) session in Mumbai on October 16, 2023. — AFP

LOS ANGELES: Organisers of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics announced a slew of venue and scheduling changes on Friday which include switching athletics to the first week of the Games while other sports will be staged more than 1,300 miles away in Oklahoma City.

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Traditionally held in the second week of the Olympics after the swimming competition, track and field will now be staged in the opening week of the Games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which hosted athletics events at both the 1932 and 1984 Olympics.

Swimming will take place in the second week of the Olympics and be held at the 70,000-capacity SoFi Stadium, the futuristic $5 billion home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers NFL teams.

Seating for around 38,000 spectators will be available for the swimming competition in a move which mirrors this week´s US Olympic swimming trials in Indianapolis, which have taken place in a pool constructed at the home of the Indianapolis Colts.

The move to switch athletics to the opening week was welcomed by the sport´s global governing body, with World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe hailing it as a "visionary" change.

"This change underscores our commitment to innovation in athletics and elevating the global profile of our athletes," Coe said in a statement.

The men´s and women´s marathons meanwhile will continue to be held on the final weekend of the games, with medals handed out at the closing ceremony.

Other notable venue changes announced on Friday included moving the sports of canoe slalom and softball to Oklahoma City.

An LA28 statement said the decision was taken to avoid building temporary venues for the two sports, instead taking advantage of "world-class" existing venues in Oklahoma City.

LA28 president Casey Wasserman said the venue changes, which also include basketball being held at the future home of the Los Angeles Clippers in Inglewood, rather than the downtown arena which hosts the Los Angeles Lakers, would achieve more than $150 million in savings and new revenue.

"LA28´s updated venue plan will provide the ideal Hollywood stage for the world´s top athletes, and choosing from spectacular existing venues.

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