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Old Posted Nov 14, 2006, 5:49 AM
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San Francisco Reluctantly Withdraws 2016 Olympic Bid
Posted 2:48 pm ET (GamesBids.com)

San Francisco 2016 Bid Committee Managing Director Scott Givens has announced that his bid will be withdrawn from the national nomination process against Chicago and Los Angeles.

"We've damaged our reputation...the damage has been done and the damage can't be pulled back" he explained at a press conference today.

"We were all shocked" Givens said as he described how his bid committee was caught off-guard by the 49ers stadium announcement and how it has already caused a "perceptual gap" to the rest of the world.

He said that the bid committee made the decision based on feedback from others in the industry even though there were a couple of remaining viable back-up plans.

San Francisco previously competed for the US nomination to bid for the 2012 Olympic Games but lost to New York - a bid that went on to suffer a similar fate when its stadium plans fell throught only weeks before the final vote by the International Olympic Committee. In reaction to that, the USOC has changed its site selection process in order to avoid more embarassment in the future.

The San Francisco 2016 bid committee already had well-developed plans and $23.25 million - more than required by the USOC - and had established itself as the bid to beat. But while Chicago and Los Angeles are also fighting for the nomination, the USOC still hasn't committed to bidding for 2016 and could shut down the process before the end of the year.

There is no telling what impact San Francisco's demise might have on the USOC, and by extension the other two bids, that may be carried into the international campaign.

Check GamesBids.com shortly for more news on this rapidly developing story.

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Old Posted Jan 21, 2007, 7:24 PM
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Good work ReDSPork02:

I posted your article here:

Governor Schwarzenegger Adds California Voice to Chorus of Support for Los Angeles' 2016 Olympic BidFriday January 19, 2:00 pm ET
Standing With L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa, Elected Officials From Across the Region, and Olympians, the Governor Commits to Creating 'A Winning Bid and the Best Games Ever'
USC and UCLA Put Rivalry Aside to Team Up and Support the Bid as Olympic Villages

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today joined with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games (SCCOG) and Olympians at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to voice his overwhelming support and that of all of California for Los Angeles' bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

Flanked by city and county officials from across the region and children from Vermont Elementary School who participate in the SCCOG's Ready, Set, Gold! fitness program, Gov. Schwarzenegger said California and Los Angeles will welcome the world if chosen.

"I could not be more proud of the great bid Los Angeles has put together to host the 2016 Games," said Gov. Schwarzenegger. "Los Angeles has all the facilities the Olympic Games need. It also has incredible tradition and a Gold Medal record when it comes to hosting these great summer Games. Los Angeles embodies the Olympic spirit. It is a city built on dreams, where anything is possible."

Los Angeles is one of just two U.S. cities remaining in competition to be the United States Olympic Committee's (USOC) candidate to the International Olympic Committee to host the 2016 Games. The SCCOG's bid plans are now being finalized for submission to the USOC on January 22. The USOC has said that it will make a final decision on April 14, 2007.

"Today we celebrate," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "Working hand in hand with our Governor, we can now bring the power of all of California to Los Angeles' 2016 Olympic bid."

Along with the Governor's support, the SCCOG announced today that the Los Angeles bid now includes the participation of both University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Southern California (USC). UCLA will house thousands of athletes in the official "Olympic Village" and USC will serve as the "Media/Family Village," playing host to the world-wide media, Games officials and other dignitaries. In recognition for its excellence, UCLA Housing and Hospitality Services recently received the Eureka Silver Level CAPE Award as one of only ten organizations so honored statewide in 2006 by the California Council of Excellence.

"The Games are not something the Olympic Committee does for a city; they are something a city does for the Olympic Movement and for the athletes of the world," said Barry Sanders, SCCOG Chairman. "Today, Los Angeles' great institutions, including USC and UCLA, join with our Governor, our Mayor, our Olympians, our children and the people of California with a commitment to honor that promise."

"The support we have from our elected officials across the city, region and state matches the high level of enthusiasm from Olympians like me," said Olympian Peter Vidmar, who earned his two gold medals in gymnastics during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. "A total of 1,147 Californians have been U.S. Olympians and Paralympians since 1896, and we will carry their spirit forward, to honor our Olympian tradition by making the 2016 Games all about the athletes."

The Vermont Elementary School is one of 50 Los Angeles Unified School District schools participating in the SCCOG's Ready, Set, Gold! (RSG!) program, which draws upon United States Olympians and Paralympians and matches them with schools in a campaign designed to help youth set and meet fitness and health goals. The RSG! program is a legacy of the Los Angeles bid for the 2016 Olympic Games.

About the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games (SCCOG)

Formed in 1939, the SCCOG is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the Olympic movement in Southern California. Since its inception, the SCCOG has bid for the Olympic Games on behalf of and in conjunction with the City of Los Angeles, garnering the award of the Games for 1984. Hailed world- wide for their near-flawless organization, the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles generated an operating surplus of $235 million (in 1984 dollars). Further information about the SCCOG can be found on their website at www.sccog.org.

Emily Hallford/Burson-Marsteller
Phone: (310) 309-6600
David Simon/President SCCOG
Phone: (213) 482-6333
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2007, 5:09 PM
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Stadium design set for showing
Olympic plan calls for improvements to park

By Blair Kamin
Tribune architecture critic
Published January 23, 2007, 6:13 AM CST

Chicago's Olympic bid organizers on Tuesday are expected to unveil their vision for a massive temporary stadium in Washington Park, a plan that also calls for major improvements to the historic park, according to open space and historic preservation advocates who have been briefed on the plan in recent weeks.

But some open space advocates argue that a key feature of the plan--which calls for converting the stadium into an in-ground amphitheater after the 2016 Summer Games--would disrupt the park's protected landscape and obstruct the sports activities that currently take place there.

"They're trying to leave behind something that the community has not called for," said Erma Tranter, president of Friends of the Parks. "It is a counter use of what the park is used for right now in that area--baseball fields, soccer field and cricket. A depression would remove space that is needed right now."

The 350-acre Washington Park was designed in 1871 by legendary landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and his partner Calvert Vaux. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which means any changes to the park using federal dollars would require a public hearing.

Other open space and historic preservation advocates, however, were more positive, pointing out that the plan calls for land bridges that would extend over busy roads in Washington Park. According to the advocates, the bridges would improve pedestrian access to the Du Sable Museum of African-American History, located on the park's east side, and a pool and locker building on the park's west side designed by the firm of renowned Chicago architect Daniel Burnham.

Gerald Adelmann, executive director of the Openlands Project, a non-profit group, said the proposed amphitheater would likely have stone ledges rather than fixed wooden or metal seating, making it "very naturalistic."

It remained unclear Monday if the amphitheater would contain a track, as initial plans suggested.

"It's still pretty conceptual," Adelmann said.

"We are guardedly optimistic that they can build a stadium and remove it without destroying Olmsted features," said David Bahlman, president of Landmarks Illinois and co-chair of the National Association for Olmsted Parks. "It would have to be an invisible landscape feature that didn't compromise the Olmsted plan."

Tuesday's news conference is expected to provide the first glimpse of architects' plans for the stadium. In September organizers said the cost of the temporary facility had risen by 50 percent, to $300 million. The stadium would seat 95,000 spectators, organizers said, with the amphitheater's seating pegged at 10,000 people.

Historic preservationists initially expressed skepticism that the multimillion-dollar stadium would be dismantled, fearing it would mar Washington Park for decades. The issue is now less pressing, Bahlman indicated.

"Pat Ryan explained to us that whatever is funded by the Olympics itself--revenue from tickets, concessions, etc.--has to be temporary," Bahlman said. Ryan, chairman of Aon Corp., is Mayor Richard Daley's point man for Chicago's bid.

Chicago is vying with Los Angeles to be named the American city that competes for the 2016 Summer Games. The U.S. Olympic Committee is scheduled to choose between Chicago and Los Angeles on April 14.



Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2007, 5:24 PM
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Committee Submits L.A. Bid For 2016 Summer OlympicsLOS ANGELES, January 22, 2007 - A plan for Los Angeles to host the 2016 Summer Olympics was submitted Monday to the United States Olympic Committee, just days after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his support for the bid.

The Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games submitted a plan that emphasizes the city's existing sporting facilities, travel and tourism infrastructure, and its position as a major media center.
The committee will choose either Los Angeles or Chicago as its choice to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. The International Olympics Committee will select a host city in 2009.

"We offer the United States Olympic Committee a very compelling bid submission for Los Angeles to host the 2016 Olympic Games," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

"Los Angeles is where the whole world comes together, and if chosen, we will bring all that is California to the athletes, to the Olympic Movement and to the world."

The city's plan includes use of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum home of the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics Staples Center, and the Home Depot Center in Carson. UCLA would likely serve as the Olympic Village for the athletes, and USC would serve as the Media/Family Village, according to the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games.

"Because we can stage the Games with almost no construction of permanent facilities, we can turn our attention to building human spirit, human achievement and joy the fundamental Olympic values," said SCCOG chairman Barry Sanders.

Schwarzenegger joined Villaraigosa last Friday at the Memorial Coliseum to lend his support to the Olympic bid.

Los Angeles made a bid to host the 2012 Olympics, but was passed over as a U.S. candidate in favor of New York City. The Big Apple garnered only 13 votes from the IOC in its bid to host the 2012 Olympics, eventually losing out to London.

The last American city to host the Summer Olympics was Atlanta in 1996.
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2007, 5:30 PM
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L.A. 2016 Games – Compact And Ready
Posted 8:38 am ET (GamesBids.com)

Los Angeles 2016 officials said Friday that the city is already equipped to stage the 2016 Summer Games with only one venue needed to be built, and a more compact area than during the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.

Barry Sanders, chairman of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games said, “we can stage these Games with almost no construction of permanent facilities. We can turn our attention to building human spirit, building human achievement and joy---fundamental Olympic visions”.

Sanders said the only new venue to be built would be for shooting at the country fairgrounds in suburban Pomona. A refurbished Los Angeles Coliseum near the downtown area would be used for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and for track and field.

Residence halls at UCLA would house the Athlete’s Village, while the media and Olympic family would stay at residence halls on the University of Southern California campus.

Gymnastics would be at the Staples Center, swimming in a temporary pool built on the same Long Beach parking lot where the 2004 U.S. Olympic trials were held, and diving would take place at an indoor pool in Long Beach.

Basketball would be played at Honda Center in Anaheim, home of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks.

Other venues include the Galen Center, USC’s basketball area; Home Depot Center in suburban Carson; and the Pyramid arena on the Long Beach State campus.

Preliminary soccer would be played in San Diego and San Francisco.

On Monday Los Angeles and its rival Chicago will submit their bid books and five weeks after that a USOC evaluation team will conduct two-day technical evaluations in each city.

The USOC evaluation team will present its findings to its board of directors on April 14, the two bid cities will make their final presentations, and the candidate city will be chosen. Submissions will be made to the International Olympic Committee on September 15 and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games host city will be chosen in 2009.

Referring to Chicago, Los Angeles’ competitor for the USOC candidacy, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, “we don’t want to compare to any other city. We just want to extol the virtues (of Los Angeles)”.

Earlier the Mayor told a rally of supporters, “we’re here as one team – the city, the county and the state. We’ve got the beaches, the glitz and the glamour, and now we even have David Beckham”.

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Old Posted Jan 23, 2007, 5:39 PM
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San Francisco's Deja Vu Could Quash America's Dreams For 2016

A Blog ENTRY from GAMESBids.com

I wasn't there, but I could practically hear the frustrated sighs emanating from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) headquarters in Colorado Springs last week. The deja vu of disappointment was unmistakable when the San Francisco 49ers decided to pull out of any possible deal with an Olympic bid and take its business to Santa Clara instead.

Less than two years ago, New York 2012 - perhaps the most high profile bid ever presented by the USOC - lost its marquee venue, a West-end Manhattan Olympic Stadium and future home to the New York Jets football team just weeks before the International Olympic Committee was to choose a host city. This effectively killed any chances the city may have had to win the bid, but with nothing further to lose the bid committee concocted a backup plan that saw the Olympic Stadium move to Queens and what would be the eventual new home of the New York Mets baseball team. Unfortunately this did nothing to save face on the international scene and the bid went down with a whimper.

To make the most of this embarrassment, the USOC went through a "lessons learned" process and totally revamped the internal site selection process for a possible 2016 bid. Rather than a competition, it was to be a consultative process where the USOC would work closely with the bidding cities to prepare a proposal worthy of international competition. If one was found, the USOC would take it under its wing and move forward.

Surely a critical element was a locked-down venue plan, including the Olympic Stadium, and several other guarantees.

But San Francisco's bid leaders claimed they were "in shock" when the 49ers made their surprise announcement and denied the bid their marquee venue - one that apparently was only a possible solution at best according to a letter released by team officials last week.

"There is still a significant hurdle to overcome", John York, co-owner of the 49ers wrote to the San Francisco Mayor in a letter written September 14.

With the facts in place, back-up plan or not, the San Francisco bid leaders made the correct political decision to withdraw which could spare the USOC further headaches on the matter. But is the damage already done? Has the USOC gained a reputation that it may not be able to deliver on its promises, and will they now insist that venues already be in place?

Enter Chicago and Los Angeles, the remaining bid hopefuls.

Los Angeles already has an Olympic Stadium. In fact, it has already been used for the Olympics twice so they can pretty much guarantee a stadium without risk. Chicago has planned a new stadium in Washington Park, and while nobody can be sure that it is guaranteed at this point, at least we can be certain that there is no football team prerequisite.

So now you're thinking Los Angeles has to be the safe bet for the USOC. Well, think again. This stadium battle has already been played out on the international scene when Paris faced London in the bid for 2012.

Flashback to 2012:

Paris presented a pre-existing venue, the Stade de France - an economical, guaranteed facility that was already a legacy of the 1998 Soccer World Cup.

London boasted a brand new stadium plan that was to become the centrepiece of an entirely new Olympic venue complex in London's Lower Lea Valley. The stadium is to be scaled back after the Games to become a more manageable and useful legacy - similar to Chicago's current plan.

London won the battle and will host the 2012 Games after IOC members applauded the exciting new venue concept, preferring it to the second-hand Paris offering. It's clear that IOC members want guarantees without sacrificing the glamour of the Olympic Games - they want it all.

During that 2012 campaign Paris followed the rules, played it safe and gave the IOC what they asked for. London tested the rules, worked aggressively and gave the IOC what they really wanted. In 18 months the London bid managed to erode a perceptually huge Paris lead. USOC - take note.

Back to 2016:

I've been reading reports this morning that Los Angeles is the new favorite in the U.S. race, contradicting the observations above. L.A. boasts completed venues and guarantees - but lacks the Hollywood sizzle and excitement that the IOC wants. The USOC really needs to work with Chicago to produce a compelling, innovative bid that not only instills confidence but also spoils the IOC in a way they've become accustomed to. If they don't accomplish this they might as well pass on 2016 and regroup for a later bid.

San Francisco 2016 - Part 2?

I still get this odd feeling that the San Francisco bid hasn't completely given up. While they've officially announced that they've withdrawn - they still haven't wrapped up their media machine. The new Website is still being updated with press releases; the press releases continue to boast how great the plan is, and how much money has been raised; and this morning they've posted all of their bid documentation for the world to inspect. To me, it seems like the kind of damage control that happens when a bid is still in the works.

Yesterday SF2016 Managing Director Scott Givens announced the bid's demise, but also suggested a couple of feasible backup plans that included a scaled-down venue for Candlestick Point without the 49ers or possibly continuing negotiations with the team in order to lure it back to San Francisco.

He stressed that the bid's cancellation was due to a "perceptual gap" - that the bid was caught off-guard and couldn't effectively respond to the events as they unfolded.

Is it possible that the USOC and SF2016 have engineered the withdrawal to give time for the bid to regroup, re-plan and then re-emerge stronger than ever? I doubt it, but the USOC is often full of surprises. After all, the purpose of the internal site selection process is to create a winning bid, not run a fair competition.
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2007, 5:45 PM
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USOC Receives 2016 Candidate Cities Documents
Posted 5:38 pm ET (GamesBids.com)

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) received the bid books Monday from Chicago and Los Angeles, the two cities under consideration to be selected as the U.S. Applicant City for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

USOC Vice President, International, Bob Ctvrtlik, who is overseeing the bid process for the USOC, said, “the submission of the Domestic Bid Books is another important milestone in our process and the cities are to be commended for the outstanding work they have done.

“There are three things that are immediately apparent when reviewing the Bid Books. First is the passion and enthusiasm that each city has for the Olympic Games and Olympic Sport. Second is the strong desire of each city to work with the USOC in building long-term, meaningful partnerships with the worldwide Olympic Movement, and third is their recognition of the universal importance of the Olympic Ideals in our world today.

“These are critical factors in the success of any bid and it is clear our two U.S. Candidate Cities understand this”, he said.

The USOC announced Monday the dates the USOC Evaluation Commission will conduct inspections of the two cities. The commission will visit Los Angeles February 28 to March 2 and Chicago March 5 to 7.

The members of the USOC Evaluation Commission will be announced in early February and the USOC will select and announce its Applicant City for the 2016 Summer Games on April 14.
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2007, 8:42 PM
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City unveils Olympics plans

By Kathy Bergen
Tribune staff reporter
Published January 23, 2007, 6:17 PM CST

Chicago sought to portray its push for the 2016 Olympics as eminently doable Tuesday, saying 80 percent of the cost to build a stadium and other sports venues will be paid for with Olympics revenues, and the remainder with private donations.

The city's ability to present an ironclad plan is crucial as it vies against Los Angeles to represent the United States in the international competition to be the host city. Los Angeles, which has mounted two previous Olympics, has most facilities already in place.

In a press conference Tuesday morning, the day after the two cities filed bid books with the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Chicago 2016 Bid Committee revealed a host of fresh details:

--A temporary stadium at Washington Park, the linchpin for the Games, has reduced in size, while cost estimates have risen. The plan now calls for 80,000 seats, rather than 95,000, to trim costs. This is estimated to cost $316 million.

-- After the stadium is dismantled, another $50 million will be spent to construct a lasting amphitheater in Washington Park. The facility, for cultural and sporting events, will seat 5,000, down from the 10,000 originally planned.

-- The combined cost of the temporary stadium and the amphitheater, $366 million, is up from earlier estimates of $300 million to $320 million. A nationally known contractor has committed to build it for that amount, adjusted for inflation, though ultimately the project will go out for bid.

--The stadium design was unveiled, showing a bowl-shape arena, with a partial roof over seating for Olympics officials and the media. An outer skin will display dramatic images of Olympic athletics, and live coverage of the events will be projected on huge screens, at Washington Park and in other city parks, including Grant Park.

--The overall plan, which concentrates most venues downtown, by the lakefront or in city parks, becomes even more downtown-centric, with a decision to move the rowing competition from the South Side lakefront to Monroe Harbor. The cost of adapting the harbor is estimated at $60 million.

--Six private developers have signed letters of intent to bid on construction of a $1.1 billion Olympic Village, to be erected on a platform above the truck parking lot at McCormick Place. This project, too, will go out for bid. Officials said the city is committed to seeing an Olympic Village complex, even if Chicago does not get the Games. The goal is to transform and create a new community that will be very much like the high-rise communities along North Lake Shore Drive.

Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune


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Old Posted Jan 26, 2007, 4:50 PM
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The 2016 Olympics -- they will be held in Chicago or Los Angeles

Thursday, January 25 2007

Monday, the United States Olympic Committee received the Domestic Bid Books from the two U.S. Candidate Cities under consideration to be selected as the U.S. Applicant City for the 2016 Olympic Games – Chicago and Los Angeles. The good news, one of the two cites in all likelihood will host the 2016 Summer Olympics. The best news, whichever city isn’t selected by the USOC. The bad news, the city that is selected by the USOC faces a $20 billion bill once they are selected by the International Olympic Committee in October 2009. The IOC vote will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“The submission of the Domestic Bid Books is another important milestone in our process and the cities are to be commended for the outstanding work they have done,” said USOC Vice President, International Bob Ctvrtlik, who is overseeing the bid process for the USOC. “There are three things that are immediately apparent when reviewing the Bid Books. First is the passion and enthusiasm that each city has for the Olympic Games and Olympic Sport. Second is the strong desire of each city to work with the USOC in building long-term, meaningful partnerships with the worldwide Olympic Movement. And third is their recognition of the universal importance of the Olympic Ideals in our world today.

“These are critical factors in the success of any bid, and it is clear our two U.S. Candidate Cities understand this,” added Ctvrtlik.

The 1996 Summer Games were held in Atlanta, the 2000 Games in Sydney, the 2004 Games in Athens, the 2008 will be in Beijing and the 2012 Games are scheduled for London. Geographically that’s North America, Australia, Europe, Asia and back to Europe. That leaves the IOC with little if any choice except for North or South America for the right to host the Summer Olympics in 2016.

As is the usually the case with the IOC’s decision more than two years away there are more that 20 cities that have expressed interest. However, if one follows the geographical location of previous cities where the Olympics have been held, considers historical factors it is almost inevitable the 2016 Summer Games host will be from either North or South America.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in South America, likely in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro expressed an interested in hosting the 2016 Olympics in September. However with Brazil and Columbia vying for the right to host the 2014 World Cup (and rest assured Brazil will be selected) Rio will be eliminated as a host city for the 2016 Olympics. An Olympic Games have never been held in South America. Both Argentina and Chile have indicated their interest in hosting the 2016 Summer Games. However, neither country offers what Rio might have. At the same time both Argentina and Chile have little if any infrastructure capable of hosting an Olympic Games. Those factors make it next to impossible for a South American city to be awarded the 2016 Olympic Games.

That leaves Mexico, Canada and the United States. Mexico City the host of the 1968 Olympics has shown any interest. Interestingly Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay announced the city that hosted the debt ridden 1976 Olympics was interested in hosting the 2016 Games. Nice to see Montreal’s interest, never say never but it’s a pretty safe bet the IOC won’t ever be interested in returning to a city whose lasting Olympic legacy was its debt. For all the right or wrong reasons that leaves either Chicago or Los Angeles as the host of the 2016 Games.

There is a belief among many Olympic pundits the International Olympic Committee remains a European centric group with strong anti-American sentiments.

President Jacques Rogge speaking with NBCsports.com’s Alan Abrahamson earlier this week made it clear the IOC was ready to seriously consider a Summer Games bid for the United States.

“I think there is absolutely no negative anti-Americanism. I think that is a wrong perception."
To those who might suggest otherwise, Rogge said, "It may be that you are seeing the situation through too-dark glasses."

Abrahamson raised a number of important issues. The International Olympic Committee's policy-making executive board is made up of 15 IOC members, none from the United States. Abrahamson also suggested the IOC’s decision to eliminate baseball and softball and New York’s dismal fourth place finish (out of the final finalists) in the bidding for the 2012 host city are symptomatic of anti-American feelings on the IOC.

Before anyone gets too excited as to why baseball and softball were not included in London’s 2012 Olympic program consider these financial numbers. According to The London Telegraph, London Olympic organizers stand to save $86.9 million with baseball and softball off their Olympic menu. In a country with no grassroots baseball and softball programs, the building of baseball and softball stadiums in a country where baseball and softball aren’t on the sports landscape, it makes perfect sense to not have a baseball and softball event(s).

As for New York’s fourth place finish, it may have surprised some the 2004 and 2012 Games are both being held in European cities. Yes the IOC’s current 108 members include 56 Europeans. Madrid who nearly stole the 2012 Games from London is expected to bid again for the 2016 Games, but three of four Summer Games being held in European cities – just not going to happen. And suggestions Tokyo will bid for the 2016 Games, there may not be a great many American IOC members but let’s remember the economic engine that drives the Olympic Games – American corporations who have led the way in the Olympic sponsorship program. And then consider the financial commitment American television has made to the IOC.

Consider the rights NBC has paid the IOC for last year’s Torino Games. At the same time, why not factor in the commitments NBC has made to the Olympics through the 2012 London Games. NBC has the rights through the 2012 Games; the Games beyond 2012 have yet to be offered for broadcast tender:

$614 million for the 2006 Torino Winter Games.
$894 million for the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.
$820 million for the 2010 Vancouver, B.C. Winter Games.
$1.181 billion for the 2012 Summer Games.
The IOC generated $833 million in broadcast rights from the Torino Games. The latest IOC Olympic broadcast revenue chart indicates, the IOC is projecting broadcast revenues of $1.706 billion in world wide rights from the Beijing Games. In total the IOC expects broadcast revenues of $2.539 billion from this quadrennial (the four year period that includes both the Torino and Beijing Games), with NBC contributing $1.508 billion, more then 60 percent of the total broadcast revenues the IOC will realize.

According to the IOC, during the four-year Olympiad, that includes the Turin Games and the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, the IOC believes sponsors and broadcasters will pay more than $4 billion in fees for the quadrennial up from the $3.6 billion in similar revenues the IOC collected for the 2002 Salt Lake City and 2004 Athens games. The IOC keeps 51 percent of the broadcasting and marketing dollars each Olympic Games generate, with the host organizing committee receiving the other 49 percent.

Of the eleven IOC Top sponsors, a designation given to the select group of companies who each invest tens of millions of dollars in the Olympic ‘ideal’, six are companies with their world-wide headquarters based in the United States: Coca-Cola, General Electric, Kodak, Manulife Financial, McDonald’s, and Visa.

Rogge made it clear he has tremendous respect for USOC chairman Peter Ueberroth. After Montreal’s disasters debt ridden 1976 debacle the only city interested in bidding for the 1984 Olympics was Los Angeles. After a United States boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics nearly ended the modern Olympic movement, Los Angeles agreed to move forward with their 1984 selection only if the Games wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime.

Organizers turned to Peter Ueberroth, who stood and delivered. The Montreal Olympics had more than 600 sponsors, the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games more than 350 sponsors. Ueberroth believed fewer sponsors (exclusivity) would bring bigger dollars. It was Peter Ueberroth who conceived the Olympic TOP program, it was Peter Ueberroth’s vision that saved the Olympic Games and turned the debt ridden Games into a money making machine. The 1984 Games, eight years after Montreal lost more than $1 billion generated a profit of $250 million. That is the man at the helm of the USOC today, the man who save the Olympic Games.
Rogge said of Ueberroth, is a "very, very capable man" who has "brought peace and stability and prestige to the United States Olympic Committee.

"Definitely," Rogge went on. "I think he is also preparing for the future by hiring new people, by empowering new people." Among them: Jim Scherr, the USOC's chief executive; Norm Bellingham, the chief operating officer; Bob Ctvrtlik, the USOC's vice president for international relations, and Robert Fasulo, an American who had for years been based in Lausanne, now the USOC's staff director for international affairs.

"That is very wise from his point of view," Rogge said.

Soon after the 1984 Games (Ueberroth was selected as Times Man of the Year in 1984), then IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch reportedly wanted to honor Ueberroth by appointing him to the IOC. That never happened, but you can believe Ueberroth who went from running the 1984 Games to becoming Major League Baseball commissioner hasn’t forgotten that he was snubbed by the IOC. Men like Peter Ueberroth have long memories, and while Ueberroth has never suggested he even cared about being appointed to the IOC, a man as proud and successful as Peter Ueberroth has to have thought about the insult sent to him by the IOC more than 20-years ago.

70 percent of the revenues the International Olympic Committee generates are from American based companies. The economic engine that drives the Olympic movement is the United States of America. Another issue that has upset the European centric is the United States being the only country that gets its own cut of Olympic broadcast and marketing revenues. Worldwide there are 203 National Olympic Committees. When one country is generating 70 percent of all the revenues common sense dictates that country will receive the biggest share of the pie.

The 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in the United States of America for both economic and geographical reasons. There is no other rationale choice for the IOC to make, and Peter Ueberroth is the man who will deliver the Games back to an American city.

For Sports Business News this is Howard Bloom. Sources citied in this Insider Report: NBCsports.com

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