LA 2024 mulls temporary Olympic facilities — a raised Coliseum track, maybe?
With an array of stadiums and arenas already in place across Los Angeles, officials bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympics have turned their focus to temporary facilities that might be needed.
Current plans include an elevated track built over the football field at the Coliseum and a proposal to temporarily convert Figueroa Street into a miles-long promenade for pedestrians and bicyclists.
LA 2024 released more details about the bid in a meeting with reporters at the private committee’s offices overlooking Westwood on Thursday.
Even with the Rams planning to build an NFL stadium in Inglewood, track and field would be held at the Coliseum, where there would not be enough room for a 400-meter track in the narrow space between the field and the stands.
Organizers could solve that problem by erecting a raised floor inside the stadium — a platform on columns that would extend outward over the first 13 or so rows of seats.
“Our 60-meter warmup sprint track would be underneath there,” Bill Hanway, who is overseeing the bid’s technical aspects, said of the elevated floor. “We might be able to do some really cool things like have hydraulic lifts and have athletes rise up from underneath the platform to receive their awards.”
The technology was recently used with success at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
Beside the Coliseum, a planned soccer stadium for the Los Angeles Football Club would house a temporary pool much like the ones that have been used for the U.S. Olympic trials in Long Beach and Omaha, Neb.
The pool would be placed close to the stands on one sideline, with temporary bleachers constructed on the opposite side, allowing for 20,000 to 25,000 seats.
“The key to offsetting the pool and using half of the existing [stands] and half new is we’ll have the crowds right on top of the swimmers,” said Hanway, who also serves as head of global sport for AECOM, an engineering and design firm.
With the bid’s downtown cluster centered around Staples Center and Exposition Park, the committee is looking for a way to connect the two neighborhoods.
That could be done by shutting off Figueroa Street to automobile traffic for the 17 days of the competition. Food trucks, displays and technology exhibits would line the promenade.
Officials said this part of the plan is still conceptual and has yet to be negotiated with businesses along the street.
Additional temporary venues would be required for archery on Bunker Hill and various events at the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area. A rowing venue has yet to be confirmed.
Los Angeles is competing against Paris, Rome and Budapest, Hungary, for the 2024 Games. The International Olympic Committee is scheduled to select a host in the summer of 2017.
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