“We have the facilities. Our fans are here. Our volunteers are just waiting for the moment to volunteer,” LA28 Chief Athlete Officer Janet Evans tells Boardroom.
The Tokyo Summer Olympics mark their opening ceremonies Friday, but at this point, perhaps the Games shouldn’t be taking place at all.
According to Reuters, more than 15,000 have died from COVID-19 in Japan since the coronavirus pandemic began. Japan has administered just over 70 million vaccine doses to date, which would account for just 27.7% of the country’s population. A state of emergency was declared in Tokyo and will remain throughout the duration of the Games, with no spectators allowed at the game due to COVID fears. More than 60 Olympic athletes are COVID positive already, and we’re still three days from the opening ceremony.
The people of Japan don’t even want the Olympics there. An Ipsos poll conducted last week showed that a whopping 78% of Japanese residents don’t think the summer Olympics in Tokyo should proceed. And on Tuesday, the head of Tokyo 2020’s organizing committee didn’t rule canceling Games entirely at the last minute.
Luckily, we at Boardroom have the perfect solution:
Move the Games to Los Angeles, which is already preparing to host the Summer Games in 2028.
“I think we in Los Angeles can host an incredible Olympics and Paralympic Games at any moment,” Janet Evans, the chief athlete officer for LA28, told Boardroom.
Take a look for yourself:
“We have the facilities. We’re not having any new builds,” Evans said. “It’s woven through the fabric of our community. Our fans are here, a diverse group of fans from all over the world. Our volunteers are just waiting for the moment to volunteer. So we could host an Olympics and a Paralympics and do a great job.”
Since LA28 doesn’t actually need to build a single new venue, the infrastructure is already in place to host an Olympic Games. All they need are enough volunteers — and contingencies for dealing with Los Angeles’ absolutely insane traffic — and the 2020 Games could be rescued from the terrible situation it’s in right now.
Don’t overthink it: The most reliable choice for a venue is one that’s already built.
Los Angeles’ Olympic Games will use venues like SoFi Stadium, LA Memorial Coliseum, Dignity Health Sports Park, the Forum, and the Rose Bowl, as well as downtown areas like LA Live and the USC campus. The Long Beach Arena and waterfront and Santa Monica beach are able to host additional events, with the UCLA campus serving as the Athletes’ Village.
2028 feels like ages and ages away. But at a dangerous, perilous moment in time for Tokyo, Los Angeles is ready to host the Olympic Games this year, right now.
And if things continue to trend on their current course out in Japan, Southern California will only get more attractive.