Phil Matier: Do We Really Want The Olympics?
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Earlier this week, buzz surfaced that the U.S. Olympic Committee had sent letters to the mayors of nearly 3 dozen cities, including San Francisco and San Jose, to gauge their interest in forming a bid for the 2024 Games.
The list of 25 cities was based, in part, on the size of cities – coupled with some cities having expressed past interest in hosting the Olympics.
The U.S. Olympic Committee hasn’t even formally declared whether it would pursue a 2024 bid for any American city; but time is of the essence because the American bid would have to be ready in just two years. The International Olympic Committee will ultimately select the 2024 host city in 2017.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed gave an emphatic “thanks but no thanks” right away.
“San Jose cannot afford to put in a bid for the Olympic games,” he said. “It takes billions of dollars to pay for an Olympic games and that’s way beyond our price.”
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s office would only say that the USOC letter was under review, and cautioned that it was simply too early to determine whether a bid for the 2024 games would make sense. San Francisco has previously bid on Olympic hosting opportunities – ultimately coming up short for the 2012 and 2016 games. Some boosters hope San Francisco will go for the gold again.
“Look outside today. We’ve got great weather,” enthused Anne Warner Cribbs, Chief Executive of the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee earlier this week. “We have just a fabulous city, great venues, a bunch of Olympians who live, work and train here.”
However, the cost for San Francisco’s bid alone would be prohibitive – not to mention what it would cost to hire sufficient security and transit. San Francisco is also knee-deep in planning and fundraising for the America’s Cup, as well as a Super Bowl bid.
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