POSTED: April 10th 2017

Technological and innovation central to LA2024 Olympic Bid

THE DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ COLUMN in MELBOURNE / An authoritative and exclusive series from Sports Features Communications

About 350 miles north of Los Angeles is the Silicon Valley, widely viewed as one of the global leaders in innovation and technology in the world.  In addition, Los Angeles is leading a movement to be a world leading city in the areas of innovation, technology, and green initiatives. 

As stated by LA2024 Chair Casey Wasserman on numerous occasions, innovation and technology will be central to the bid for hosting the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Let take a look how...

One area is with the significant growth of eSports.  In October 2016, the League of Legends World Championships was held at the Staples Center in front of a sold-out crowd of nearly 20,000 people, with over 43 million unique online viewers, and a peak online viewership of close to 15 million.  LA2024 Chair Casey Wasserman believes "esports' immense global popularity and continued advances in digital technologies as tremendous tools for reconnecting millennials with the Olympic movement."  He hopes that technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality will make the Olympics more accessible and interesting to a younger demographics, and "to promote healthy lifestyles [as] a key objective... to create a new Games for a new era in 2024."

Last weekend, LA2024 sponsored for the second consecutive year the LA Hacks Hackathon event at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion.  The event brings together the brightest young student programmer minds to work intensively around the clock on hardware and software issues and solutions, including some that will be integrated into the Olympics.  According to   LA Hacks President and current UCLA student Luke Chui "LA 2024's involvement with LA Hacks... is proof of young people's love for the Olympic and Paralympic Games - participants jumped at the opportunity to contribute to creating the most innovative Games experience in history." 

Then there are the major advances by California-based company NextVR into the realm of live, immersive sports broadcasting.  Partnering with leagues such as the NBA and Major League Baseball, fans can experience the games through virtual reality via the NextVR app.  The broadcasts feature multiple camera views, replay, graphics, and even dedicated commentator and analysts.   Already partnering with FoxSports on other sport projects, it is anticipated that by 2024 virtual reality will be one of the main ways for people 'get into the games' with a front seat like never before!

And this does not even yet touch on LA2024 seeking to be the greenest, and most smart (via technology) Olympics in history.  According to LA 2024 Sustainability Director Brence Culp ""under the leadership of the venue's owner, AEG, StubHub Center will be the location of LA 2024's Green Sports Park, highlighting the best in sport and green innovation."

But yet there will be more to come, as LA2024 will seek to be an early innovator of new technologies that have not even been created yet, hence staying at the forefront of being the most innovative, technological advanced Olympics in history, should they be chosen to be the host in 2024. 

Los Angeles is competing with Paris, France to host the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.  The final vote and announcement of the host will take place at the 130th Olympic Session later this year in Lima, Peru on September 13.

**DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ is a tenured Senior Lecturer of Sport Management at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. He has been an academician for 15 years in the areas of sport business management, international tourism, and hospitality management - with special focus on the areas of sport marketing, sport finance, tourism, and facility/event management. He speaks globally and is the author of numerous publications in these areas, as well as been actively involved in consulting projects working with a multitude of sport and community organizations ranging from grassroots efforts to hallmark events.  

Keywords · LA2024 · Olympics · Virtual Reality · Augmented Reality · Technology · Innvoation

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