Olympic Equestrian Venues Proposed for 2024 (2028?)–Los Angeles

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Rendering of the Los Angeles 2024 equestrian venue.

June 14, 2017

Equestrian venues at the final candidate cities of Los Angeles and Paris for the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games represent different worlds–a centuries’ old royal palace as part of a multi-billion dollar project or a temporary venue on a golf course in what could be the most cost-effective modern Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee next September will award both the 2024 and 2028 Games on the assumption that the city not selected for 2024 will get the Games in 2028. The IOC has already included dressage, eventing and jumping on the schedule for 2024 but has not yet decided  the sports lineup for 2028.

The equestrian venue in Los Angeles will be temporary, accommodating a total of 200 competition horses–60 for dressage–on the Woodley Golf Course in Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area, along with archery, shooting, modern pentathlon and canoe slalom.

LA2024 organizers describe the venue as having a “stunning sports backdrop of the Santa Monica Mountains.”

The competition venue would be a straight shot of 10 miles/16 km down the 405 Interstate highway to the athletes’ village at the University of California Los Angeles campus, a long established community with abundant long abundant trees, shrubs and green space as well as extensive sports and recreation facilities.

The UCLA campus.

With 85 per cent of the sports stadiums required for an Olympics already built for other uses in Los Angeles by 2024, adding temporary facilities for the handful of sports without permanent homes will hold down costs to about $5 billion. That’s about half the amount required for Paris and one-quarter the amount spent for Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and 2020 in Tokyo.

Many cities around the world that have proposed bidding for the Games in recent years have dropped out most often because of concerns over financing and taxpayer protests over costs.

Equestrian sports at the 1984 Games were staged at the beautiful Santa Anita race track, with a colorful history highlighted by the last race for Seabiscuit as well as attendance by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

Equestrian sports at the 2012 London Games in Greenwich Park was a hit, despite tent stabling and a competition arena built on a raised platform at enormous cost so as not to damage the grass. But television insisted on the venue for its spectacular backdrop of the city skyline.

If Los Angeles is awarded the Olympics in either 2024 or 2028, it will be the third Games in the city–the previous versions being 1932 and 1984. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum hosted both 1932 and 1984 Games, the first stadium to have done so twice. It is home to the University of Southern California football Trojans.

“Follow the Sun” logo of the Los Angeles bid for the 2024 Olympics.