SBD/May 28, 2014/Olympics

Apple Dump Cake: De Blasio Rules Out N.Y. Bidding For '24 Summer Games

Officials fear an Olympic bid distracts from de Blasio's economic-development agenda
N.Y. Mayor Bill de Blasio has "ruled out any possibility" that the city will submit a bid to host the '24 Games, according to Michael Howard Saul of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. N.Y. Deputy Mayor for Housing & Economic Development Alicia Glen said that the de Blasio administration "decided not to pursue the Games after looking at the pros and cons of bidding for and hosting the event." Glen said the mayor, along with other top city officials, recently reviewed the possibility of a bid for '24 and decided it "doesn't make sense." She added that officials also "feared an Olympic bid would distract from the mayor's economic-development agenda." Glen said that if the city "focused on particular sporting venues, or particular neighborhoods where events would be held, other parts of the city could be neglected." She added that de Blasio would "re-evaluate in four years whether to bid for a subsequent Summer Games -- those for 2028 -- if the U.S. Olympic Committee was then seeking an American host city." Officials said that the committee is "unlikely to choose a city without strong local political support." N.Y. was the U.S. bid city for the '12 Games, which were awarded to London (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/28).

GETTING COLD FEET? YAHOO SPORTS' Jay Busbee noted residents of Krakow, Poland, "overwhelmingly rejected the idea of hosting the 2022 Games," leading city officials to withdraw the bid Monday. This follows three other potential hosts -- Stockholm; Munich; and Davos/St. Moritz, Switzerland -- that have decided not to bid for the event. Two more cities' bids, while "not technically dead, may as well be." Lviv, Ukraine, is "having real military issues and can't afford to waste time thinking about the Olympics," while Oslo's bid is "floundering politically." Busbee: "Why the sudden mass exodus from hosting? Because cities with an eye for financial reality have seen the results." It is "no surprise" that the only two cities seriously still in the running for '22 are Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Beijing, China -- "two locales where the people don't get a choice in whether the Games come or not" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/27). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Matthew Futterman wrote what "once looked like a very competitive race" for the '22 Games is "looking more and more like a devil's choice" between Almaty and Beijing, neither of which "tops anyone's list of leading winter sports destinations." If the USOC had "decided to go ahead with a 2022 bid, it likely would have won in a walk" (WSJ.com, 5/27). SLATE.com's Joshua Keating wrote, "If we do end up watching slopestyle from the Central Asia steppes in 2022, it will likely be because it’s becoming clear that nobody in Europe wants to host the Winter Olympics anymore" (SLATE.com, 5/27).
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