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Let the Games Begin...LA 2028 Olympic Update

At his State of the City Address on March 29, 2018, Mayor Ted Hoffman challenged the community to open its doors to the Summer Olympic Games, which will be hosted in Los Angeles in 2028. Although the Olympic torch will not be lit for another decade, it is not too early to plan Norco’s participation.

The Mayor previously made a presentation to the Economic Development Advisory Council (EDAC), which enthusiastically voted to pursue a role in the Games, whether providing practice facilities for athletes or hosting one or more cultural exchange events. Visiting athletes from around the world, along with their coaches and fans, would surely appreciate a cowboy barbecue paired with Country & Western music and served up with some Horsetown USA hospitality.

Economic Development staff has already entered into discussions with the LA 2028 Committee to explore opportunities for the City to participate in the Games. Although they are officially hosted in L.A., the 2028 Summer Olympic Games will be a regional event—just like the very successful 1984 Summer Olympics—and will include communities throughout Southern California. Athletes are already scheduled to compete for medals at two Inland Empire venues: Lake Perris for rowing and canoe sprint, and San Dimas’ Frank G. Bonelli Park for mountain biking. The economic impact to the entire Southern California region is estimated to be $11.2 billion.

LA 2028 has indicated that there are three possible roles for Norco to play during the Olympic Games. First, there will be large numbers of broadcast and print journalists, as well as contract workers, assigned to venues in Perris, San Dimas and Anaheim, all convenient to Norco. Second, some nations’ soccer teams may be seeking quality practice fields to use as they acclimate themselves to Southern California well ahead of the Opening Ceremony. And third, there may be significant interest in Western-themed cultural heritage events that Norco is so well-suited for. Unfortunately, because of strict quarantine regulations for horses entered into Olympic competition, Norco’s equestrian facilities cannot be used for practice.

The City has anticipated the Summer Olympics for some time, and last year the Norco City Council adopted a resolution supporting the City of Los Angeles’ bid to host the Games, recognizing its economic implications and the opportunity to showcase Horsetown USA to the world. With state-of-the-art facilities, Norco has much to offer athletes from around the world, and the community’s unique Western character is certain to be popular among athletes from every corner of the globe.

Visitors generated by the Olympics would contribute sales tax and transient occupancy tax (TOT) to the local economy, while any participation by Norco would heighten the City’s international exposure and enhance its status as a visitors’ destination. Staff is working with the LA 2028 Committee to explore opportunities to promote Norco at Olympic venues throughout the region and creating a calendar for cultural exchange events. Community residents, nonprofit organizations and local schools will have an opportunity to participate in any events scheduled during the Summer Olympic Games in 2028.

For more information, contact the City of Norco Economic Development Department at (951) 270-5644 or econdev@ci.norco.ca.us.

Let the Games begin!