The Best of LA in 2024: Sports

Shohei Ohtani at Dodger Stadium
Shohei Ohtani | Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles will add to its unparalleled sports legacy in 2024 with the dawn of the Dodgers' "Shotime" Era. Basketball fans will be in hoops heaven with the return of March Madness, the debut of the Clippers new arena, and honors for two LA sports legends.

For more of the Best of LA in 2024, check out our Ultimate Guide.

Shohei Ohtani at Dodger Stadium
Shohei Ohtani | Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers
“[Shohei Ohtani] is transcendental internationally and nationally, and Los Angeles was the best spot he could have landed.” ~ Mark Conrad

Shohei Ohtani

In December 2023, Shohei Ohtani announced that he had signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers - a record 10-year, $700 million contract. NBC News described Ohtani as "The New Face of MLB" with "a unique skill set unlike any other on the professional baseball diamond for 100 years. In all that time, MLB's top players have fallen into two distinct categories, pitchers and hitters, with no crossover. Ohtani, 29, has shattered that mold, performing as a high-level two-way player in a manner not seen since Babe Ruth."

"This guy is transcendental internationally and nationally," said Mark Conrad, director of the sports business concentration at the Fordham University Gabelli School of Business. "Los Angeles was the best spot he could have landed."

In his Instagram post that announced the signing, Ohtani said, "To all Dodgers fans, I pledge to always do what’s best for the team and always continue to give it my all to be the best version of myself. Until the last day of my playing career, I want to continue to strive forward not only for the Dodgers but for the baseball world."

The Dodgers will make history once again with a home-and-home series against the San Diego Padres on March 20 and 21 in Seoul, South Korea - the first-ever regular season Major League Baseball games in Korea.

Following the "Seoul Series," Ohtani will make his Dodger Stadium debut at the 2024 home opener against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, March 28. The matinee game will kick off a four-game series, followed by three games against the Dodgers longtime rivals, the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers will host the Washington Nationals on Jackie Robinson Day (April 15), the first of a three-game series.

Kobe Bryant “Legends Are Forever” mural by Royyal Dog at The Container Yard
“Legends Are Forever” by Royyal Dog at The Container Yard | Instagram: @thecontaineryard
John Wooden Forever Stamp
John Wooden Forever Stamp | Photo: USPS


Basketball fans will be in hoops heaven in 2024 with the return of March Madness, the debut of the Clippers new arena, and honors for two LA sports legends.

At 8:24am on Aug. 24, 2023 (aka Kobe Bryant Day), Vanessa Bryant announced that a statue honoring her late husband will be unveiled outside Arena before the Lakers-Nuggets game on Thursday, February 8. Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others tragically died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

The 2/28/24 date is significant: Kobe wore No. 8 and No. 24 during each half of his Lakers career; while Gianna wore No. 2 while playing youth basketball. Bryant joins fellow Lakers legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry West and Chick Hearn with statues at Star Plaza.

According to the Lakers, Kobe participated in the initial planning of the statue following his retirement. The statue was created by renowned sculptor Julie Rotblatt Amrany from the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt Amrany, which created the Lakers statues as well as the LA Kings 50th Anniversary Monument, Luc Robitaille and Bob Miller.

March Madness® returns to Los Angeles when Arena hosts the NCAA West Regional! Presented by Pepperdine University, two Sweet 16 games will take place on Thursday, March 28; and an Elite 8 game on Saturday, March 30. On Location is offering NCAA Fan Experience ticket packages that include the best selection of game tickets; and exclusive pregame and in-game hospitality access featuring tailgate-inspired snacks, drinks, NCAA National Championship trophy photo ops and more.

The U.S. Postal Service has announced that a Forever Stamp honoring legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden will be released in early 2024. Widely regarded as the greatest coach in the history of American sports, Wooden coached the Bruins to a record 10 national championships, 88 consecutive wins and four perfect (30-0) seasons. The stamp features a portrait of Wooden with two players in the background wearing No. 4 and No. 10 jerseys - honoring the four undefeated seasons and ten titles, respectively, during Wooden's tenure.

The future home of the LA Clippers, the $1.2-billion Intuit Dome is scheduled to open for the 2024-25 NBA season. Located in Inglewood south of SoFi Stadium, the state-of-the-art Intuit Dome will have five basketball courts (more than any other NBA arena), an 80,000 square-foot outdoor plaza, and the Halo Board - at almost a full acre, it's the largest-ever double-sided halo display in an arena setting. Clippers Chairman Steve Ballmer said, "You all, fans and players together, deserve the ultimate home court. You're going to have it and you're going to have it here in Inglewood."

Busch Light Clash 2024 at the LA Coliseum
Busch Light Clash 2024 at the LA Coliseum | Photo: NASCAR

Busch Light Clash - LA Coliseum (Feb. 4)

NASCAR will once again open its season with the Busch Light Clash, taking place for the third time at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Joey Logano won the inaugural event in 2022, while Martin Truex Jr. hoisted the 2023 trophy. In 2024, a NASCAR Mexico Series driver will have a chance to celebrate a win in the landmark stadium that’s hosted two Super Bowls, two Olympics, a World Series and countless other major events over the past 100 years.

Monster Jam World Finals XXIII (May 18)

Nicknamed the "Super Bowl of monster trucks," Monster Jam is coming to SoFi Stadium for the first time - an apropos location, since the world-class venue hosted Super Bowl LVI in 2022 and will host Super Bowl LXI on Valentine's Day 2027. The whole family will enjoy pulse-pounding stunts, tricks and thrills as the world’s top drivers compete for four World Championships. At the biggest Pit Party of the year, get up-close to fan-favorite trucks like the legendary Grave Digger, Max-D and the mighty Megalodon!

LA Galaxy vs LAFC at Rose Bowl Stadium on July 4, 2024
LA Galaxy vs LAFC 2024 | Photo: Rose Bowl Stadium

LA Galaxy vs LAFC - Rose Bowl Stadium (July 4)

LAFC and the LA Galaxy will renew their crosstown rivalry with a marquee match at Rose Bowl Stadium on July 4, featuring the West Coast's longest-running fireworks display, tributes to Veterans and pre-match tailgating. The 20th all-time edition of "El Tráfico," held at Rose Bowl Stadium on July 4, 2023, set the Major League Soccer stand-alone attendance record of 82,110 fans, with the Galaxy earning a 2-1 victory over LAFC.