USOC has decided to put forward a U.S. city for 2024
SAN FRANCISCO – A group of Bay Area business, sports and civic leaders has put together a preliminary proposal for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), which has decided to put forward a U.S. city to host the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2024.
The USOC board of directors announced on Tuesday, December 16, that it has unanimously approved a U.S. bid to host the 2024 Games. San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., remain under consideration, with the selection of a U.S. bid city to be made in early 2015.
The decision came after representatives from each of the four cities presented plans to the USOC board of directors following six months of collaborative discussions regarding the technical elements required to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Those discussions will continue in the weeks ahead as the USOC moves toward announcing a candidate city.
“We are excited to announce our plans to put forth a bid for the 2024 Games and look forward to taking the next step of selecting from a group of four world-class cities to present a compelling and successful bid,” said USOC Chairman Larry Probst. “We’re grateful to the civic and political leaders in each of the four cities for the partnership that’s been demonstrated thus far, and confident that the deliberative process we’ve put in place is going to result in a strong U.S. bid that can truly serve the athletes and the Olympic and Paralympic movements.”
The IOC will select the host of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2017.
For the past several months, a group of local boosters has been laying the groundwork for a San Francisco bid, led by San Francisco Giants President & CEO Larry Baer, U.S. Olympian Anne Warner Cribbs, and entrepreneur and non-profit leader Steve Strandberg.
“We believe a San Francisco Bay Area Olympic and Paralympic Games would be an enormous success, and would benefit the region, the nation and the Games themselves, well beyond 2024,” Baer said. “Our region is renowned for connecting the world in new ways every day and we are ready to put that spirit and ingenuity to work for the Games.”
Infrastructure for large-scale sporting events and public gatherings has increased in the Bay Area in recent years, with new facilities at Cal and Stanford, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, an expanding Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco, the San Jose Earthquakes Stadium currently being constructed, and a new arena planned for the Golden State Warriors in the city’s Mission Bay neighborhood.
These and many other facilities around the Bay Area would be considered for the Games, Baer said, but organizers have not yet released a venue plan.Baer, Cribbs and Strandberg have put together a team of volunteer organizers and are meeting with community leaders around the region, building support and making a case for why the Bay Area is a perfect showcase for the Olympic and Paralympic Games – and vice versa.
“With cultural values and a welcoming environment that embody the global mission of the Games, San Francisco is uniquely positioned to show the Olympics, the nation, and the region in the best possible light,” said Cribbs, a gold-medalist swimmer in the 1960 Olympics and CEO of the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee (BASOC). “We have the opportunity to put our unique stamp on the Games and inspire a new generation of American youth to pursue sports and fitness, while embracing the Olympic spirit of international friendship and cross-cultural exchange.”
The San Francisco organizers point to the enduring legacies of previous games in international destination cites like Barcelona, Sydney and London, and pledge that the Bay Area would enjoy lasting infrastructure and financial benefits as well.
“Hosting the Games would galvanize the Bay Area around some of our most pressing challenges,” Strandberg said. “In preparing for the Olympics, we would pull together to produce thousands of units of new affordable housing, improve our transportation systems, create new jobs, and establish new parks and recreational facilities – all of which will remain long after the Closing Ceremony.”
Cribbs, a native of Menlo Park, who earned her gold as a member of a relay team, emphasized teamwork.
“The region’s large and active family of Olympians and Paralympians will be involved in all aspects of the Bay Area’s efforts to host the 2024 Games,” she said. “When we get the entire Bay Area community pulling together in the same direction, we can do great things.”
The International Olympic Committee’s deadline for 2024 bid submissions is Sept. 15, 2015, with the host city to be determined in 2017. The timeline for the 2024 bidding process was announced during the IOC Extraordinary Session in early December, during which time the Olympic Agenda 2020 was finalized. Among the 40 recommendations – which were all unanimously approved – the reform package allows for a more flexible and cost-effective bidding process.
“All four cities have presented plans that are part of the long-term visions for their communities,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “At our request, and because of the preliminary nature of our discussions, the cities have not spoken about their bids publicly in great detail. That will be an important part of the process after we make our selection in January.”
The U.S. has not hosted the summer edition of the Olympic and Paralympic Games since 1996 (Atlanta). St. Louis hosted in 1904 and Los Angeles held the Games in both 1932 and 1984.