L.A. Olympics Could Include Two Opening Ceremonies That Span The City
We're entering the home stretch in the race to win the Olympics. It's down to L.A., Paris and Budapest, with the International Olympic Committee set to make a decision in September.
As such, the cities are getting more detailed as they outline their plans to the IOC. In one of the more intriguing bits of news to crop up in L.A., officials are proposing not just one opening ceremony, but two, happening at the same time, reports the L.A. Times.
If this idea comes to fruition, the ceremony will take place in both the Memorial Coliseum and the upcoming Inglewood stadium that will be completed in 2019 (it's being built for the Rams and, oh yeah, the Los Angeles Chargers). This gambit isn't just about quantity; it also presents a unique way for L.A. to honor both the past and the future. As noted in a teaser trailer that was released today on LA 2024's Instagram, this mega-opening ceremony will be an "unprecedented city-wide celebration" where the Coliseum will give a nod to the 1932 and 1984 Games (which both touched ground at the Coliseum), as the Inglewood stadium will serve as a symbol of the city's forward march. As the trailer voice-over says, one ceremony will be "honoring the city's great olympic past" and the other will "represent our city's fascination with what's next." So, if the 2024 Olympics were The Color of Money, the Inglewood stadium would be like the young, bratty Tom Cruise to the Coliseum's weathered and stately Paul Newman.
It was also announced today that, in this configuration, the ceremony would start at the Coliseum, where the torch will begin its journey to Inglewood. Once in Inglewood, the torch will be used to light the cauldron, which also sparks the iconic torch that looms above the Coliseum. Planners also say that the procession of the athletes will take place at the Inglewood stadium, while spectators at the Coliseum will watch this remotely, and will be regaled by musical acts.
This proposal, in spite of its magnitude, is a compromise of sorts. While the Coliseum has long been considered as the site of the opening ceremony, there were rumblings that committee officials preferred the upcoming, $2.8 billion Inglewood stadium (which, as the Times reports, is slated to be known as LA Stadium at Hollywood Park). In December, L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian said that “If anybody ever lets the thought creep into their head that the Opening Ceremony or the Closing Ceremony of these Games will take place anywhere other than the city of Los Angeles, if anybody gets it in mind that it might move to Inglewood or some other place, that’s going to be a very important factor for this City Council to take into account,” reports the OC Register. It was a measured comment, but also one that made it clear that the council wasn't all that jazzed about moving things to the Inglewood stadium.
As such, the current proposal is a splits-the-middle-between-both-sides, though you could argue that the Inglewood site seems to get the bigger share of the festivities (unless, I don't know, Fleetwood Mac or Kendrick Lamar ends up being one of the musical acts at the Coliseum).
If you're starting to get excited about the prospects of an L.A. Olympics, you should be, because it could boost L.A.'s economic output by $11.2 billion, according to a recent report.