SBD/July 24, 2014/Olympics

Casey Wasserman Assumes Leadership For L.A.'s Olympics Bid, Seen As Strong Addition

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Wasserman's connections could prove significant in L.A.'s '24 Olympic bid
Wasserman Media Group Chair & CEO Casey Wasserman over the past few weeks has "quietly -- in keeping with his style -- assumed leadership" of L.A.'s '24 Summer Games bid, according to Alan Abrahamson of 3 WIRE SPORTS. The 40-year-old Wasserman’s "arrival onto the public Olympic stage, in tandem" with 43-year-old L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, is a "strong signal on many levels." It also marks the "emergence of a new generation" of L.A. leadership that for '24 "could bring new energy and new thinking, one that can obviously pay homage to the power of the 1984 Games but would no longer be beholden to them." But those "strong signals guarantee no one and no city anything." S.F., Boston and DC "already had strong business leaders assigned with their bids," and moreover, it is "far from clear the USOC is even going to launch an American bid." Abrahamson noted the USOC is "due to make a 2024 go-or-no-go decision" in early '15. But the "list of potential international contenders is fluid," as Paris, Berlin, Doha and others "routinely surface on most rumor lists." Making matters "more complicated" for L.A. is that everyone "tied to the USOC process is well aware" that the city hosted the '32 and '84 Summer Games. But in the "Olympic sphere, relationships matter, and Wasserman's Rolodex ... is formidable" (3WIRESPORTS.com, 7/23).

LENDING A HAND? In Maine, William Hall noted the Boston '24 Organizing Committee has been "publicly cagey" about its bid, or Maine's "chance of being included in it." But the "logistics of staging so many events and accommodating so many athletes, spectators, officials, trainers, reporters, vendors and others can be overwhelming," so it is "no wonder that host cities typically turn to surrounding -- sometimes distant -- locales to handle some of the burden." Reports and social media already have "circulated Portland's name as a potential venue, along with those of cities such as" Providence, R.I. and Worcester, Mass. But it is "too early to say which sites might be included in a Boston bid." Maine Sports Commission Exec Dir Kerry Hoey said that to date, there have been "no talks between the organizing committee and the state," but she added that Maine "is ready and able to pitch in." Hoey said that she will be "meeting with her peers from other New England states in the next couple months, and a regional bid for the Olympics could be on the agenda." She said that ancillary events "such as mountain biking and sailing, are well-suited for a Maine venue" (BANGOR DAILY NEWS, 7/23). 

SEND IT IN: The AP reported leaders from the four U.S. cities in the running to bid for the '24 Games "will meet" with USOC leadership tomorrow in the "first gathering to include representatives from all the major interested parties." The USOC has asked the teams to "send up to four people each for what it is billing as a low-key informative session about the finances and other details about bidding for the Olympics." Though the USOC "wasn't gearing this toward city and state leaders," USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said that all the cities were "welcome to bring whoever they wanted" (AP, 7/23).
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Related Topics:

Olympics, Wasserman Media Group

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