LOS ANGELES — This is a great city for sports. It has the weather, the stadiums, the teams and the stars — everything a sports fan would require.
That’s why it is no surprise that Mayor Eric Garcetti was quick to say he would like another chance at becoming the U.S. Olympic Committee’s bidder to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, following the announcement July 27 that Boston has been dropped as the USOC bid city.
Los Angeles already has hosted two Olympics — in 1932 and 1984. Only London has hosted more.
The 1984 Olympics came off without a hitch, despite the predictions that the traffic and air pollution would wreak havoc on the games.
Surprisingly, traffic problems never matched the predictions and the city had great weather during those two weeks and everyone had a good time.
Even better, the games made a profit, a profit that the LA 84 Foundation is still spending on youth sports programs throughout the Southland. The foundation recently gave $1 million to the World Special Olympics Games that are being held here through Aug. 2.
Los Angeles lost out to Boston earlier this year when the U.S. Olympic Committee picked a U.S. city to apply to host the 2024 Olympics. Now that Boston has changed its mind, Los Angeles moves back into the picture, along with Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.
With two major league franchises in baseball, basketball and ice hockey already here, along with two major colleges with athletic facilities and a professional football stadium or two on the drawing board, Los Angeles has the venues already.
It would be wonderful to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1984 Olympics by hosting the 2024 Games.
AND THEN THERE’S GOLF: Despite some of the finer golf courses anywhere, Los Angeles rarely gets a chance to host any of the big golf tournaments.
The L.A. Open has been played in one form or another since 1926. For years it was the Glen Campbell Open and then it was the Toyota Open. Since 2008, it has been known as the Northern Trust Open. Is is played every February at the Riviera Country Club in the Pacific Palisades, one of the more picturesque country clubs in the region.
But Riviera is too small to host a U.S. Open or a PGA Championship tournament, because there isn’t enough room on the grounds for all the sponsors tents that now accompany one of the four major golf tournaments of the year.
Nevertheless, the U.S. Golf Association recently announced that Los Angeles would host the 2023 U.S. Open, the first time since 1948 that the country’s championship tournament has been held here. The 1948 U.S. Open was held at Riviera, but the 2023 Open will be at the Los Angeles Country Club, off Wilshire Boulevard in West Los Angeles.
The L.A. Country Club is notoriously private, but country club officials and the USGA worked out a deal that satisfied club members.
Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA, said: “It will be a wider U.S. Open — the course will have generous fairways, and it will be firm and fast. It’s going to give the players a lot of options.
“And it will be great to take the U.S. Open to the second-largest city in the country.”
The U.S. Open in 2023 and the Olympics in 2024. It could happen.
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