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ORLANDO LOOKS TO LURE CORPORATE DOLLARS WITH OLYMPIC EVENTS
Published September 8, 1995
There are over 150 sports commissions in the U.S. which face the everyday challenge of luring sporting events to their community. The Orlando Area Sports Commission recently made a bold bid to lure the Buccaneers from Tampa as a way to boost the area's sports persona. Although that bid may fail, the OASC has been busy securing events for the future. Commission President Randy Johnson told THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY that one of their strategies "is to create the feel that we are on the doorstep of the Olympics, because in fact, we are." Johnson said Orlando is "one of five cities that will actually have Olympic games held within their city" -- soccer in July '96. Other Olympic-related events planned for the Orlando area include the Handball National Junior Olympics in December and the USA Olympic Boxing team in June for a 10-day training camp. Johnson said they may also bid to bring Dream Team III to train and play an exhibition game in Orlando. PRIVATE MONEY: Johnson also addressed the challenges in attracting private and corporate financing. Johnson: "One of the tests or quantifiers of success in the eyes of public funders is if we have ignited the interest of our private, corporate community. ... What they are asking us to do is to get our private corporations more and more involved, and it is a great concept, even though our operating cost will always need to be publicly funded. ... I have made the commitment that within five years we will have spending parity with private vs. public funding. I think that is a very reachable and reasonable goal" (THE DAILY).