For Santa Monica to Host the World’s Top Volleyball Players Feels Like a Homecoming for the Sport.
By Zach Armstrong
Santa Monica City Council has committed to a Beach Volleyball venue on Santa Monica State Beach during the 2028 Summer Olympics.
A temporary 12,000-seat stadium on the beach, north of the Santa Monica Pier, along with practice courts and broadcast components, are included in the concept plan. From April to August 2028, as many as 800 parking spaces will be occupied for the project. A previously estimated rental fee was estimated at around $3.7 million for the venue, although that will be updated with future market rates.
For Santa Monica to host the world’s top volleyball players feels like a homecoming for the sport. A variation of sand volleyball first occurred on Santa Monica beaches, with the first beach volleyball tournament taking place in 1947 and the first circuit launched in the 1950s, involving hundreds of players on California beaches, according to the Paris 2024 Olympic website.
The sport made its 1996 Olympic debut at the Atlanta Games. The U.S. and Brazil have stood out as strong Olympic contenders in the sport, with a shared 24 medals (10 golds) from a potential of just 42. In the 2020 Tokyo games, gold medalist volleyball players were U.S. player Alexandra Klineman for women’s and Anders Berntsen Mol of Norway for men’s.
The guarantee letter updates a previous commitment for a Santa Monica venue, when Los Angeles was one of four cities bidding to host the 2024 games. Paris was chosen then, but L.A. was chosen as the subsequent host. The letter includes City commitments to protect marketing rights of the Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, provide public services and collaborate with the U.S. Homeland Security on public safety.
According to a council agenda item, City staff will negotiate the Venue City Games Agreement, including terms and conditions vetted through community outreach, then brought to Council’s approval in early 2024.