I got lost on the USC campus the other day, looking for a conference on what’s happened to Ahnold’s infrastructure bonds a year later, when I saw a tiny plaque that marked “Site of 1984 Summer Ollympics.” Then I recalled one of the best LA experiences I’ve ever had. It was more than just the celebrations of athleticism and the peace and security of the event, but it was also witnessing international sports, from rhythmic gymnastics at Pauley to team handball at Cal State Fullerton.
I got to thinking about Ed Roski’s idea to build a future football stadium shaped like a “salad bowl” into the Industry hills north of the 60 Freeway. Sure, it would be fine to have an NFL team in the SGV. But why stop at football?
Wouldn’t it be better if, along with an NFL draw, Roski’s $1 billion complex would include a gymnasium for professional and collegiate volleyball matches, badmitton, even table tennis. These sports are growing at many SGV high schools and colleges.
For example, what a draw it would be to schedule a table tennis exhibition featuring Deng Yaping, the female, Chinese champion who won four Olympic gold medals? It is reported that 300 million Chinese play table tennis, or what many call ping pong, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica..
And for the Olympic-files like myself, I’d love to see a volleyball match (the real kind,not the beach kind) or even a team handball tournament.
Or, if alternative sports are too, well, out there, why not add a minor league baseball team or minor league soccer team. Soccer is popular, but with our region’s gridlock, getting to Carson from the SGV or Inland Empire is not easy.
I’d settle for a nice tennis stadium. I used to go watch Andre Agassi at that tournament in Westwood once in a while. But again, the traffic just getting to UCLA on a weeknight is horrendous. There are plenty of tennis (and raquet) aficionados in our neck of the woods who would pay to see professionals bash overheads and drop spin shots.
Whadya say, Ed?