Los Angeles to host Olympics in summer 2028

Saugus High graduate Abbey Weitzeil swims during a workout at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center in June in preparation for the Rio Olympics. Weitzel won several medals as part of relay teams in Rio. Dan Watson/Signal

Southern Californians won’t have to travel far to watch the 2028 Olympics after officials agreed on Monday to let Los Angeles host the Summer Games.

The city struck a deal with the International Olympic Committee to allow Paris to host the Olympics in 2024.

“With a wide array of world-class sports facilities, solid infrastructure and tourist venues, Los Angeles County is an ideal host for the 2028 games,” Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger said in a statement to The Signal.

This will be the third time L.A. has held the Games, having hosted before in 1984 and 1932.

“I’m excited about the opportunity of welcoming athletes, staff and spectators from around the world to appreciate everything that our county has to offer,” Barger said.

Santa Clarita will be able to play a part in the Olympic games, according to city Economic Development Associate Evan Thomason.

Specifically, he anticipates local hotels to be filled and visitors to spend time at Six Flags Magic Mountain and local restaurants and businesses.

“It is going to be great for Santa Clarita,” Thomason said. “The city will be impacted with a surge of tourism, I imagine. Santa Clarita is uniquely situated geographically to be a great jumping off point in the Greater Los Angeles Area.”

While he said it is too premature to say for certain, Thomason said it could be possible that some of Santa Clarita’s parks and recreation spaces could be used for training facilities during the course of the Olympics.

This could even include the use of Castaic Lake for the triathlon or other water events, he said.

As part of the Santa Clarita 2020 master plan, the city is expected to get a BMX track within the next few years. Thomason said it is too early to say if the track would be “Olympic caliber.”

The last time the Olympics were in Los Angeles, Santa Clarita had not yet been incorporated as a city. The valley is more sophisticated and has grown in multiple ways since then, Thomason said.

“We’re a much different place than we were in 1984,” he said. “The things we have going for us in Santa Clarita as a community have shown we can host people from around the world.”

Thomason points to the Wings for Life World Run, the PGA Tour and the Amgen Tour of California as examples of other times the city has hosted large-scale events.

“The city has a good reputation as a great attraction destination city and the Olympics will be a way to show that,” he said.

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