In a nice reminder of how this little corner of the world will captivate the attention of the planet’s population in just short of five years, in Tuesday’s meeting, staff will recommend the Council authorize the City to submit a venue guarantee letter that confirms the use of the vast beach during the 2028 Summer Olympic Games.

The vast swathes of Santa Monica sand will be used to host the beach volleyball competition. The concept plan includes a temporary 12,000-seat stadium north of the Pier, plus warm-up and practice courts and operational and broadcast components in Beach Lot 1 North. The plan also outlines security measures, transportation solutions and construction schedules.

In 2016, the rental fee for the venue was estimated to be approximately $3.7 million, based on established formulas and current rates, the rental fee would be updated to 2028 market rates. The preliminary construction plan would phase the closure of Beach Lot 1 North and the beach area as follows:

• April and May 2028: Approximately 400 spaces in Beach Lot 1 North would be occupied.

• June 2028: 800 spaces in Beach Lot 1 North would be occupied as well as the beach construction area.

• July 14 – 30, 2028: LA28 Summer Olympic Games.

• July and August 2028 (dates TBD): Entire Beach Lot 1 North and beach venue area would be fenced.

• August 2028 (dates TBD): tear down; approximately 800 parking spaces would be occupied in Beach Lot 1 North.

The closure of Beach Lot 1 North and reduced parking capacity during the Games would have significant impacts. Alternative parking and transportation options, as well as a communication plan for residents and visitors, will be developed during the negotiation of the Venue Use Agreement. There is no immediate financial impact or budget action necessary as a result of the recommended action. Staff will return to Council in the future with specific budget actions upon approval of the Venue City Games and Enhanced City Master Agreements.

“It’s so exciting that the Olympics are coming to town! It’s been over four decades since the Olympic torch was last in Santa Monica, back in 1984 [not including relay participation in 1996 and 2002]. And then we hosted the marathon, the beach wasn’t even used and the volleyball was held in Long Beach,” Councilmember Christine Parra said, speaking to the Daily Press. “To be able to showcase to the world how stunning our coastline, the sandy beaches and of course the city itself, is amazing and we should make the most of this opportunity.”

Los Angeles had originally bid for the 2024 event. However, after multiple withdrawals that left only Los Angeles and Paris in contention, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved a process to concurrently award the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics to the two remaining candidates, with Los Angeles preferred as the 2028 host.

The city was formally awarded the Games at the 131st IOC Session in Lima, Peru, in September 2017. And this will mark the third time Los Angeles has hosted the games (1932, 1984 and 2028), putting the city in a tied first place spot with London (1908, 1948 and 2012).

In June of 2019, former mayor Eric Garcetti said that the 2028 Summer Games will generate a profit of at least $1 billion.

“We made a million dollars in 1932, we made $250 million in 1984. I think we will make at least a billion dollars in 2028. We’ve had cities scared to bid for the Olympics because they cost so much and because people build so much infrastructure for two and a half weeks. It wasn’t a very sustainable model … we created a different model,” Garcetti said.

Speaking to the Daily Press, Mayor Gleam Davis said, “”I look forward to welcoming the world to Santa Monica when it is the venue for beach volleyball in the 2028 Olympics. I’m thrilled that the LA 28 Host Committee recognizes Santa Monica’s role in the history of the sport and the amenities that Santa Monica offers to participants and spectators alike. It’s going to be spectacularly fun for everyone.”

Scott fell in love with Santa Monica when he was much younger and now, after living and working in five different countries, he has returned. He's written for the likes of the FT, NBC, the BBC and CNN.