OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — On Thursday, the United States Olympic Committee could decide between the Bay Area and three other finalists as the nation’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. A newly-announced stadium plan, which would later be a home for the Oakland Raiders, could improve chances for a local bid.
“We were on the phone with the U.S. Olympic Committee just an hour ago,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee told KPIX 5. “We have in play the possibility of an arena option in Oakland.”
New Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf was in on the call as well. “I’m excited,” she said.
For years, the Raiders have hit a financial wall when it comes to building a new stadium. At the same time, the Bay Area Olympic bid has needed a stadium big enough to host the opening and closing ceremonies
“The Olympic committee is interested in supporting a stadium project that would be a permanent facility, a legacy facility,” Schaaf said.
“We believe the idea of a major track and field arena stadium being built in Oakland that could accommodate the Raiders, that is a good combination,” Lee said.
Schaaf also said the original idea of building a temporary stadium in Brisbane did not make a lot of sense.
When asked who would pay for the new stadium, Schaaf said, “I’ve been very clear that the City of Oakland does not want to put money into hosting an event.”
Meanwhile, Olympic opponents shot off a letter to the selection committee, listing their objections.
A KPIX 5 / SurveyUSA poll found overwhelming support for a Bay Area Olympic bid. In a survey of 500 adults across the Bay Area, 70 percent said they would like the games to be held here. Seven out of 10 also said hosting the 2024 games would be a huge boost for the local economy.
The margin of error was 4.1 percent.