New Soccer Stadium Proposed As Swimming Venue For 2024 Olympics In Los Angeles

Photo courtesy: LA 2024

The $4.1 billion budget proposed by the organizers of the bid to bring the 2024 Olympics to Los Angeles would include putting a temporary pool inside a new soccer stadium. The pool would be located next to the iconic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which would also get a major facelift if the International Olympic Committee votes to bring the Games back to southern California.

The LA 2024 organizers released the budget for the bid today, a day before the City Council meeting that is expected to officially approve the bid to make Los Angeles the official bid city for the United States. The IOC deadline for countries to submit their bid cities is next month. So far, four other countries have formally expressed interest, with no city currently having an advantage.

As far as the Los Angeles bid goes, the budget is set for $4.1 billion against $4.6 billion in revenues. After factoring insurance premiums and other “contingency” costs, the organizers expect a $161 million profit for the city. Sponsorships and ticket sales, the organizers believe, will help contribute to the surplus income.

LA 2024 logo

Photo Courtesy: LA2024

Many of the venues proposed by the organizers already exist in Los Angeles, with the exception of the venue that would host swimming, diving and synchronized swimming in 2024. A new stadium for the planned Major League Soccer team will begin construction soon for an estimated 2020 completion. Whether or not Los Angeles gets the 2024 Olympics, the stadium will be built for the new soccer team.

An estimated 20,000 spectators and media will be able to watch the action inside the unnamed facility, the largest seating capacity for Olympic swimming in history. This would mark the first time a temporary pool will be constructed for Olympic swimming in more than 100 years, though it continues a tradition of holding a major meet in an arena-style facility that began with the 2003 world championships and continued through this month’s world championships.

The funds to construct the $300 million facility is largely in the hands of Major League Soccer, but the L.A. organizers will pay for the costs to install the temporary pools and any structures that will be used specifically for the Olympics.

The stadium is located on the east side of the Memorial Coliseum, a stone’s throw from where the Olympic Flame will be lit for two weeks of competition. Though the Downtown Cluster – which includes the Staples Center and Shrine Auditorium – will receive a major facelift, the organizers do not plan to close the pool that hosted aquatics competitions at the 1932 Olympics. The LA1984 Foundation/John C. Argue Swim Stadium, located on the southwest side of the Memorial Coliseum, remains in the blueprint for the proposed Olympic Park, which received its own renovation in 2003.

Blueprint of Olympic Stadium/Olympic pool placement (location of pool circled in red)

LA 2024 blueprint of Olympic stadium and Olympic pool

Photo Courtesy: LA2024

Open water swimming is likely to take place at the Santa Monica Pier, giving athletes a truly open water swimming experience in the Pacific Ocean.

Los Angeles got the opportunity to submit a bid after Boston bowed out due to lack of support from the mayor, who did not want taxpayers to foot most of the bill. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Carcetti has said he will fully stand behind the bid if the City Council approves it.


  1. Gabriela Morales 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 (si esto sucede, sabemos quiénes van a estar en la inauguración como famosos atletas del país… :3 )

    • avatar
      Jeff Commings

      The pool at USC, formerly known as the “McDonald’s Swim Stadium” and now called the “Uytengsu Aquatics Center,” remains the premier pool in the Los Angeles area. It recently got a major makeover and could hold some pretty big meets, though it might not have the seating capacity for nationals or junior nationals.

    • avatar
      Jeff Commings

      Soccer will take place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, about 10 miles from downtown LA.

  2. avatar

    It may rekindle the argument about what is a major meet, but the “tradition” of holding major meets in “an arena-style facility that began with the 2003 world championships,” actually began about a decade earlier by my reckoning, whether you reference simply a provisional pool or a temporary pool built in an arena built for another sport.. The 1995 FINA Short Course World Championships were held in a provisional pool built on Cococabana beach in Rio and the 1997 FINA Short Course World Championships were held in a temporary pool built inside an arena built for another sport (hockey? Soccer? basketball?) in Gothenberg, Sweden. It is a concept that has proved its worth for “major” competitons world-wide.

    Good luck, LA.

    • avatar
      Jeff Commings

      I was referring to long course meets in my description of “major meets” in the article, though it is true that FINA did start holding short course worlds in temporary venues earlier than 2003.

  3. Kristine Murphy Grim

    Waste of money. Plenty of pool options, just add seating for cheaper.

    • avatar
      Jeff Commings

      Kristine, as mentioned above in the article, the soccer stadium is going to built even if Los Angeles does not host the Olympics. They are actually saving money by using what will be an existing facility that will be paid for by Major League Soccer. True, there is always a need for more pool space, especially in southern California, but from a cost perspective, this seems like a good option for the Olympics. Also, none of the existing pools in the area conform to FINA’s new guidelines for Olympic pools in terms of dimensions. So, those pools would have to be retrofitted and that costs more money than the price to use a temporary pool.

  4. avatar

    Who’s the architects?