Southern California has been a hotbed of college and professional sports since the 1960s, thanks to championship runs by the Dodgers, Lakers, Angels, Kings, Ducks, UCLA basketball and USC football. Venues like the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Rose Bowl, Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium have hosted some of the biggest events in sports history, from NBA championship series and World Series games to World Cup soccer title matches and the Olympic Games.

After a bit of a dry spell in the '90s and early 2000s, chiefly because L.A. lacked a pro football franchise after the Rams and Raiders left town after the 1994 season, Southern Californians saw the region begin to slip a bit in the national sports consciousness. The L.A. area last hosted a Super Bowl in 1993, when the Cowboys and Bills played at the Rose Bowl. The last time the NCAA men's basketball Final Four was in L.A. was in 1972, when the Sports Arena served as host. And, of course, the Olympics haven't been here since 1984, 33 years ago.

But the big-time sports landscape is rapidly changing in Southern California. The Dodgers are riding a hot streak seldom seen in Major League Baseball. The Lakers have new-found energy and hope after landing Chino Hills and UCLA product Lonzo Ball in the draft. The Rams came home last year and work already has begun on their new stadium in Inglewood, which is scheduled to host the Super Bowl in 2022. The Chargers departed San Diego and are getting ready to play their first NFL season as the L.A. Chargers.

According to ESPN, L.A. area venues also are in the running for the NCAA Final Four in 2024 and soccer's World Cup in 2026.

And Monday we learned that Los Angeles (really venues throughout Southern California) will be the host of the 2028 Summer Olympics. Paris will get the 2024 Games, but in exchange for waiting a bit longer the International Olympic Committee will advance funds to the Los Angeles organizing committee to recognize the extended planning period and to increase youth sports programs leading up to the Games. The IOC contribution could exceed $2 billion, according to LA officials, the Associated Press reported.

Clearly, Southern California is back on the big-time sports map and the next 10 years will be full of thrills, chills and exhilarating performances.

With a little luck, the same will be true for the High Desert. Our semi-pro baseball team, the High Desert Yardbirds, were trying to wrap up their playoff series against Bakersfield in Adelanto on Monday night. Next year, Adelanto Stadium also will be home to two soccer teams, courtesy of the Ontario Fury.

Clearly, the High Desert sports scene is expanding too, just as the rest of Southern California's. And that's a good thing for everyone.