SBD/September 25, 2012/Olympics

USOC Calls For Support From Federal Government With Potential Olympics Bids

Blackmun supports a national Olympic bid rather than a bid from one city
USOC CEO Scott Blackmun on Friday at the governing body’s annual assembly said that Olympic leaders “need to reach out to politicians in the nation's capital to shore up support for a possible bid for the 2024 or 2026 Olympics,” according to Eddie Pells of the AP. Blackmun said, "We believe the next bid needs to be not only the bid of a city but a bid of a nation. We want to have the White House and the Hill on board with us. We can't wait two or four years to have them get on board.” The AP noted the USOC has “put together a committee to explore a bid; it will report to the board of directors at its next meeting in December.” Among the issues the USOC will explore in DC would be “getting a federal financial guarantee, the likes of which almost every country brings to the table when they bid.” Recent U.S. bids have been “backed by state and local guarantees, but not federal.” USOC Chair Larry Probst said, "I'm not sure they would do that in the future, but we'd certainly appreciate that sort of support. We plan to spend some time in Washington to see if that opportunity exists." Probst said that the atmosphere for bidding is "better both internationally, now that the USOC and International Olympic Committee have reached a deal on revenue sharing, and domestically, where dysfunction that rocked the USOC has largely been resolved” (AP, 9/21).

NEEDING THE DOUGH: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Tripp Mickle notes the USOC is “hoping to double its Olympic-year fundraising haul” in an effort to “increase revenue over the next four years.” Blackmun said that fundraising is the “area where the organization has the most room for improvement.” The USOC increased its fundraising “from $28.9 million during the 2005-08 quadrennium to $50.7 million during the 2009-12 quadrennium.” Blackmun has “set a goal of increasing fundraising to $50 million in 2016, more than doubling the $17 million the organization raised this year and bringing its fundraising total to more than $75 million.” He said,“That’s a huge jump for us. The only way to raise that money is to ramp up the program, and that will take time” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/24 issue).
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