Boston, L.A., S.F., D.C. leaders meet with USOC to talk 2024 Olympics
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — City leaders from Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington met Friday with top executives at the U.S. Olympic Committee to hear about the nuts and bolts of bidding for the 2024 Olympics.
Among those attending were Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. Giants owner Larry Baer helped represent San Francisco, and bid chairman Russ Ramsey was there for Washington.
These were low-key meetings, in keeping with the USOC’s overall strategy as it decides whether to bid for 2024 and, if so, which city would have the best chance of winning.
The USOC will decide whether to bid by early next year. If it goes forward, the domestic selection process will be mostly done behind the scenes, in an effort to tamp down costs and potential embarrassment for cities that aren’t chosen.
The Olympics will be awarded in 2017, with Paris, Rome, Istanbul and Doha among the other possible bidders.
"There is a great deal of work left to do before we can make a decision, but I’m more optimistic than ever that a U.S. bid for the 2024 Games can be successful," USOC chairman Larry Probst said.
What an Olympics might look like in each of the four cities:
Venues: The only city of the four to have hosted an Olympics (1932, 1984), Los Angeles hopes to renovate the Coliseum. (A new NFL stadium might be in place by then, too.) Downtown Los Angeles would host about half the events, and the organizing committee says it can transport about 80 percent of spectators via an expanded metro rail system and other public transportation.
Climate: Temperatures in July and August hover between 75 and 85, depending on how close to the water you are. After Beijing, it will be hard to complain about smog, but it does exist in Los Angeles.
Advantages: They’ve done this before and those in the IOC with long memories certainly credit Los Angeles for reviving the Olympic movement with its successful 1984 Games.
Obstacles: The chance that it could feel like 40 separate events being held over a sprawling cityscape. Though London set the precedent by hosting three Olympics, the IOC might not want to make that a habit.
Venues: Gillette Stadium, Boston Garden, Fenway Park, the Boston Marathon course. These games would almost certainly be spread around New England. But where in Boston does the main stadium go?
Climate: Average high around 80 degrees in July and August. It rains and can get muggy, but nothing here that would prevent the Olympics from taking place.
Advantages: Hard to find a city with a better sense of sports than Boston. Mitt Romney, largely credited for saving the Salt Lake City Games, will probably be involved.
Obstacles: Times have changed, but those looking to pick on Boston’s ability to deliver on a big project (and yes, negative campaigning is part of this game) will find the city to be an easy target. Just go back to "The Big Dig" — that disorganized, delayed and massively over-budget tunnel project through the middle of the city.
Venues: Including Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore and FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, the D.C. area claims to have the most venues in a 40-mile range in America. A new stadium could be built on the site of the old RFK Stadium.
Climate: The average high in July is 87 — 2 degrees cooler than Atlanta.
Advantages: Many venues are built and ready to go. Hard to question Washington’s ability to put on a big show.
Obstacles: Q: What’s the capital of Brazil? (Hint: It’s not Rio). A: Brasilia. The point: Just because it’s a capital city doesn’t mean it resonates worldwide the way, say, Rome or Paris might.
Venues: Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara), AT&T Park (San Francisco), SAP Center (San Jose), the San Francisco Bay. (And maybe Pebble Beach?)
Climate: Summer doesn’t necessarily feel very summer-like in San Francisco, where the average high in July is 70.
Advantage: With its sparkle and international cache, San Francisco, unlike Chicago in the 2016 race, wouldn’t have to be "introduced" to the world.
Obstacle: Though San Francisco itself is compact — or maybe because it’s compact — these games have the potential to sprawl to Oakland, Santa Clara, San Jose and beyond. These are not quick trips.