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    Eight U.S. markets are competing to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. Each of the local groups coordinating these Olympic efforts was required to submit a bid for the Games to the U.S. Olympic Committee in December. Those bid documents subsequently were returned to the groups for revision. The final bid documents were due back to the USOC on Friday.

    The stories presented here provide a look at each market's ongoing effort to secure the Games, and what each organizing committee plans to do in the coming months in pursuit of the Olympics. Most notably, these efforts will include preparations for official USOC site visits to each market this summer.

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  • CINCINNATI: Light-rail line, civil unrest pose new wrinkles to bid

    The final document may be slightly smaller and technically tweaked, but the essential song behind the bid of Cincinnati 2012 Inc. to snag the 2012 Summer Olympics remains the same.

    The initiative still relies on a regional approach, touting Midwestern values and heavily reliant on cash from the private sector. Any modifications were slight and technical in nature, said Nick Vehr, president of the local bid organizing group.

    "We received input back on some very technical issues, in terms of the data and information that we have been providing," he said. "We've taken that as an opportunity to strengthen the bid, especially along the lines of environmental and transportation issues."

    Vehr declined to comment in detail on the alterations, but one area the U.S. Olympic Committee's site evaluation team is sure to investigate on its scheduled July 23-26 trip to the area is the possibility of a light-rail system. A preliminary design plots a 30-mile trek that begins at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, stops at a major intermodal transportation hub still on the drawing board for downtown Cincinnati, and proceeds throughout northeast Cincinnati into Warren County, one of the region's hot spots for residential and commercial development.

    At issue, like the bid of Cincinnati 2012, are how much public funding to commit to such a transportation system and the source of those dollars, according to officials with the lead agency to supervise the light-rail plan, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments. The group has held public meetings and conducted studies for years but still has not released any type of official groundbreaking for the system.

    The USOC site visit also will be a chance for the national group to assess whether the local bid has the type of government, private and corporate support necessary to win the Games. So far, financial support from the government sector has been nonexistent, as the city of Cincinnati, Hamilton County and the states of Ohio and Kentucky have offered only statements of support.

    Still, Vehr remains undeterred in his campaign that not only will no public dollars be spent to host the Games, but also that the net impact of the Games will be a positive effect on the local economy and the lives of local workers.

    At least one Cincinnati City Council member, however, said the area's push for the 2012 Games was dealt a fatal blow this spring, when Cincinnati made international headlines for rioting and outrage by the city's African-American community, citing numerous acts of alleged police brutality, racial profiling and the police shooting of an unarmed teen-ager wanted on misdemeanor warrants.

    "I can't see supporting anything having to do with the Olympics until we deal with what we've got in front of us now," said City Councilman Paul Booth.

    Vehr said two of the three chairmen named by Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken to lead a task force investigating the riots and their causes are board members of Cincinnati 2012: the Rev. Damon Lynch III and Ross Love. The third, Tom Cody, works for Federated Department Stores Inc., which has pledged its support and a financial contribution toward the local Olympic effort.

    Whether the strife and civil unrest will have any effect on the local Games effort, Vehr said, depends on how people react once the various legal proceedings conclude and fiery rhetoric is put aside.

    "There's so much history, so much support for the Olympics as a solution to social injustice, that after we get out of this intense period of raw emotions over what happened here a few months ago, people will come together," he said.   

    Andy Hemmer writes for the Business Courier in Cincinnati.

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  • DALLAS: Final meetings set stagefor mid-month site visit

    Since attending a meeting last month of representatives whose markets are bidding to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, one activity has consumed nearly all the time of officials leading the Dallas effort.


    Local organizers are preparing feverishly for the scheduled June 18-21 site visit by U.S. Olympic Committee representatives. Dallas 2012, the group coordinating the area's bid, requested a June date because it's relatively close to the time frame when they would like to host the Games. Though June is a hot month in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it's usually not as overbearing as July and August.

    Dallas 2012 officials will follow a structured framework provided by the USOC for the site visit that each of the eight competing markets will have to use.

    "At that meeting [in May, USOC officials] said, 'Here's what we'll do, here are the people coming through, here are our expectations, here is what we don't want to do,'" said Grady Hicks, who helped launch the Dallas bid effort in 1997.

    Two days of the Dallas site visit, June 18 and 21, are set aside for arrivals and departures. The other two, June 19 and 20, will feature the eight presentations of 30 minutes apiece in the areas of interest to the USOC, said Richard Greene, president and chief executive of Dallas 2012.

    Because four presentations will be done each day, time will be tight for visiting athletic facilities. Still, Dallas 2012 officials plan to show off their proposed venues for an Olympic stadium and for the Games' various athletic competitions. Among those facilities are Reunion Arena, the new American Airlines Center (due to open this fall), Texas Stadium, Lone Star Park and soccer and tennis facilities at Texas Christian University. Also on the tour will be a review of the planned layout for the Games' modern pentathlon event at the University of Texas at Arlington.

    Greene said Dallas 2012 officials made only minor revisions to their bid document for its final submission last week. As for fund-raising, Greene said the $4 million raised from private sources to date should last the organization for the rest of this year. He said additional funds will be raised for next year once Dallas 2012 better knows its future expenses.   

    Jeff Bounds writes for the Dallas Business Journal.

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  • HOUSTON: First-time financial details promise profit of $257M

    Houston will bring in at least $2.2 billion in revenue and turn a $257 million profit if it is selected to host the 2012 Summer Games, according to projections by the Houston 2012 Foundation.

    The projections mark the first time the local bid organizing group has publicly discussed the financial details of its effort to host the event. Susan Bandy, the foundation's executive director, said the revenue projection is lower than that of other markets bidding for the Games, such as New York and Tampa Bay-Orlando, each of which has projected revenue of $3 billion. Bandy said the Houston group purposely chose to be conservative on its predictions in hopes of gaining U.S. Olympic Committee favor for hosting the Games.

    "We believe that we make a very good partner because we are conservative," Bandy said, "and because we can show that we can stage spectacular Games without having to raise more money than any city's raised in the history of the Olympics."

    Of the $2.2 billion in expected revenue, $1.5 billion in corporate sponsorships would be given to the city by the USOC from its work in hosting the Games in the United States, Bandy said. The balance would be generated locally from ticket sales, sponsorships and merchandise sales.

    Projected expenses for hosting the Games include contingency costs of $70 million and legacy costs of $60 million. The legacy expenses account for items that are intended to serve the community after the Games are complete, such as statues created for the planned Olympic Park or development of sports programs for local youth.

    The $257 million projected profit is in addition to the expected prolonged economic impact of the event and the capital improvements that would remain after the Games. Houston would have to split its windfall with the USOC and the International Olympic Committee, but the size of shares has yet to be determined. Bandy said Houston's take would probably be earmarked for youth sports programs.

    George DeMontrond, chairman of the Houston 2012 Foundation, said the group has developed a video presentation as part of its bid effort to show off the city's strengths. He said the local group is trying to emphasize the number of existing facilities available for use compared to facilities that would have to be built.

    "We have so much building that's coming out of the ground right now," DeMontrond said. "A picture is worth a thousand words. It gives us a compelling format to present some of our attributes."

    The local group did make some venue changes from the original bid it submitted to the USOC in December in hopes of boosting its proposal. Boxing was moved from the George R. Brown Convention Center to Reliant Center at Reliant Park, which the foundation calls Olympic Park. Weightlifting was shifted to Texas Southern University. Beach volleyball will be served up at Olympic Park property as well.   

    Jennifer Darwin writes for the Houston Business Journal.

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  • LOS ANGELES: Bid riding on efficiency,confidence of organizers

    Efficient and confident sum up the standing of the group looking to bring the Olympics to Los Angeles for what would be a third time.

    Efficient, because the Los Angeles 2012 organizing committee finished revising its bid for the U.S. Olympic Committee a month ahead of last Friday's deadline, with most of the revisions purely cosmetic, according to David Simon, the group's president.

    "The adjustments, the revisions, whatever you want to call it, weren't huge," Simon said. "They were along the lines of, 'Fit this on two pages, not three.' One was, 'You've given us the commute times from the [Olympic] Village to the venue, but you did it in today's time, not for what it will take in 2012.'"

    As for confidence, that comes from the fact that, unlike some of the other contenders, Los Angeles has almost all the infrastructure to host the Games already in place, including the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (built for the 1932 Games), Staples Center (opened in 1999) and Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim (opened in 1993). That means less worry about securing the financial backing needed in other bid cities for construction of Games venues.

    All candidate cities are required to come up with financial assurances for the costs related to hosting the Games, whether from local governments or private parties. But the nature of the assurances — for example, whether a specific amount of money needs to be pledged — has yet to be worked out. In a May meeting between the USOC and representatives of each U.S. group bidding for the Games, the issue was put off until December.

    Simon declined to say exactly what kind of guarantee Los Angeles was prepared to offer, but he made it clear it wouldn't involve the use of public funds, an anathema in Los Angeles that two years ago played a part in costing the city an NFL expansion team. A group of wealthy private citizens securing the money isn't out of the question.

    "It certainly won't be government money in L.A.," Simon said. "That just won't fly."

    In addition to the 1932 Games, Los Angeles was host to the Summer Olympics in 1984. While organizers of the 2012 Games effort are careful not to rank their chances above the other seven markets seeking the Games, the people behind the local effort believe their bid will merit a long look from the USOC when its representatives travel to the city for a site inspection, starting Aug. 23.

    Organizers added that the fact that their bid revision required no more than replacing pages in the 10 copies of the bid held in three-ring binders at USOC headquarters in Colorado speaks well for Los Angeles.

    "While it's a small thing, it's kind of a metaphor for the kind of efficiency L.A. brings to the process," said Rich Perelman, technical director of Los Angeles 2012 and, like Simon and committee chairman John Argue, a veteran of the 1984 Games. "We think it will carry us all the way to the [2012] Games."  

    John Brinsley is a writer living in Los Angeles.

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  • NEW YORK: Venue plans get a tweak,financial pledge on hold

    Site reconfigurations were the biggest changes in NYC2012's revised bid, as the group trying to bring the Olympics to New York redrew its plans for the Olympic Village and Stadium.

    While the locations did not change, the stadium now is designed more as part of a new convention center, so when not in use for athletics, the sports facility could be used by conventioneers. The village, located in Queens, was altered to improve sight lines for the local neighborhood.

    "While our bid is fundamentally the same ... we provided greater detail for certain events, and a new plan for the southern extension of the [Jacob K.] Javits [Convention] Center that would serve as the Olympic Stadium, and some site modifications to the Olympic Village," said Dan Doctoroff, president of NYC2012.

    The village is in the center of what's been dubbed the "Olympic X" plan. The plan puts the majority of the venues that would be used for the Games along ferry and rail lines in an X shape.

    Perhaps the biggest omission from the original bid remains blank in the revised one: a financial guarantee from the local government, as required by the U.S. Olympic Committee. NYC2012 Executive Director Jay Kriegel said the group is still working with the city and state governments to obtain the guarantee, which would cover cost overruns. Resolution of the matter is expected later this year.

    Other venue adjustments include providing additional details about the planned site of the Games' rowing competition in Queens, and some physical plan changes for Baker Field in Manhattan, where field hockey would be played. Greater detail is provided for the road races, like cycling and mountain biking, Kriegel said.

    "Before, we just had route maps," he said.

    The group is moving forward on planning several events this year, including the world wrestling championships in September at Madison Square Garden. NYC2012 hired sports marketer Scott Lange, the former marketing officer for the New York City Marathon, to sell sponsorships for the event, and promoter John Korff to sell tickets.

    NYC2012 will host archery and triathlon championships this summer, as the group looks to build support for the Olympic effort through hosting other amateur sporting events.   

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  • SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA: Organizers keep tight rein on specifics of Bay bid

    Specifics are hard to come by in the San Francisco area's bid for the 2012 Olympics.

    Financial guarantees? Backing by insurance companies?

    "We're in the process of developing guarantees," said Anne Cribbs, executive director of the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee (BASOC), the group organizing the local bid for the Games.

    Fund raising?

    "We continue to make progress," Cribbs said.

    The bid document?

    A press conference is scheduled for Wednesday, though the bid became public last Friday.

    The information control — bordering on paranoia — springs from BASOC's fear of stepping on the toes of the U.S. Olympic Committee and its site-selection committee, scheduled to visit the area Aug. 20-23.

    "We're being very careful," Cribbs said.

    Yet BASOC continues to work quietly with potential sponsors, government agencies and sports associations.

    The U.S. Open Track & Field Championships, scheduled for this Saturday at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. — one of many events that BASOC hopes will showcase the area's Olympic potential — picked up San Diego-based Peregrine Systems as title sponsor late last month.

    BASOC also is keeping an eye on Sacramento plans for an Olympic-caliber cycling facility. The Sacramento Cycling Park Association hopes to host the 2003 Masters National Championships and the 2004 U.S. Olympic trials. Schuermann Architects of Germany — which drew plans for Olympic tracks in Barcelona, Mexico City, Munich and Seoul — is designing the track. HOK Sport is working on a roof design for the facility.

    On the public relations front, an ad campaign developed by DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc. will be unveiled in late July or early August. It's aimed at generating excitement about a relatively low-key bid just before the site-selection committee's visit.

    Meanwhile, monthly auctions on eBay — which Cribbs said could raise up to $5,000 a month — also are intended to boost awareness of the bid effort locally. The elements being auctioned include experiences with Olympians, athletes and local sports teams. Plus, Cribbs said, BASOC is working with Grassroots Enterprise, a San Francisco-based communications start-up led by former Clinton administration press secretary Mike McCurry that aims to help organizations mobilize its members.

    "This really is a political campaign," Cribbs said. "This will help spread the word through the Bay Area."   

    Ron Leuty writes for the San Francisco Business Times.

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    The U.S. Olympic Committee has created an eight-member site evaluation team that will travel this summer to each of the eight U.S. markets bidding to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. The following is a look at the members of that team, their site visit schedule and their planned areas of focus.

    Team members

    Charles H. Moore: Chairman, USOC Bid Evaluation Task Force

    Sandy Knapp: Former chairman, USA Gymnastics

    Evie Dennis: Former USOC vice president

    Christopher Cole: Athlete representative, racketball

    Greg Harney: USOC managing director, Games and organizational support, and site evaluation manager

    Keith Ferguson: USOC bid administration associate director

    Anthony Basile: USOC chief information officer and bid city program manager

    Frank Aires: USOC Games logistics manager

    Travel plans
    Dates Market
    June 10-13 Washington, D.C.- Baltimore
    June 18-21 Dallas
    July 16-19 Houston
    July 23-26 Cincinnati
    July 30-Aug. 2 New York
    Aug. 2-5 Tampa/St. Petersburg-Orlando
    Aug. 20-23 San Francisco
    Aug. 23-26 Los Angeles

    Areas of focus

    General infrastructure

    Sports infrastructure

    Sports event experience

    Housing plans

    Transportation strategies

    Government support and publicopinion

    Financial plan and guarantees

    International bid competition strategies

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  • TAMPA/ST. PETERSBURG·ORLANDO: Site committee's late visit lets bid group tailor pitch

    For Florida 2012 officials, the next few months are going to be spent getting ready for eight visitors coming in August to see what Tampa/St. Petersburg and Orlando can offer for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

    Ed Turanchik, president and CEO of the local bid group, said little work has been done on the Florida 2012 bid document since its first draft was filed in December. What work has been done Turanchik characterized as fine-tuning.

    That won't be the case when the U.S. Olympic Committee sends its site selection committee to central Florida to explore the details of the area. During the early August visit, the group will hear presentations on topics ranging from accommodations and community support for the Games to the local organizers' plans for competing with other cities internationally to host the Olympics.

    The group also will tour the area, including the approximately 90-mile corridor from Orlando to St. Petersburg. An advantage for the local group: With the scheduled bus tour of the area falling on a Saturday, the USOC representatives will not likely experience the local traffic concerns that are driving plans for a high-speed rail system.

    Work related to the site visit is expected to cost Florida 2012 up to $20,000.

    "Our strength is our brand," said state Rep. Randy Johnson, who is president of the Central Florida Sports Commission. "We know how to entertain, we know how to move people around and we can give people the experience of their lives. That's the essence of the Olympics."

    That's not to say that the site visit will be a party-driven affair. The only planned social function is a small cocktail party at the end of the visit.

    "They want it to be a fact-driven, low-frills, low-fanfare trip," Turanchik said.

    Turanchik is particularly pleased with the timing of the trip. Central Florida will be the third to last among the eight U.S. markets bidding for the Games, and the trip will be after the International Olympic Committee has picked the site of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

    If Toronto is selected to host the 2008 Games, it is widely assumed the United States will not have a chance to host the 2012 Games. The IOC historically hasn't put consecutive Summer Games on the same continent.

    "We have the benefit of knowing what city is hosting 2008's Games and tailoring our presentations with that in mind," Turanchik said. He said details of that tailoring are still being determined.

    Aside from preparing for the site visit, Florida 2012 is continuing its fund-raising work in hopes of raising another $2 million. The group has raised approximately $200,000 since April, bringing the total raised for the bid effort to $10.2 million. Florida 2012 also is continuing its Get Your Number campaign, in which people can reserve spots for tickets to the Games.

    And there are several smaller agreements to work out, including deals related to development of the planned Olympic Village and agreements with local corporations for internal promotion of the Games and the bid effort.

    "We're just sprucing up the finer details of the bid," Turanchik said.   

    Alan Byrd writes for the Orlando Business Journal.

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  • WASHINGTON, D.C.·BALTIMORE: Hosts of first site visit promise a capital show

    Washington-area organizers of the bid for the 2012 Olympics want to set the standard when they host the eight-member U.S. Olympic Committee site evaluation team June 10-13.

    Washington/Baltimore is the first stop on the committee's eight-market tour this summer.

    "We are happy to go early," said Dan Knise, CEO of the local organizing group. "We think a certain amount of fatigue will set in for the site evaluation team."

    RFK Stadium in Washington is one of the key venues the site evaluation team will visit during its brief analysis of the area. The local Games bid calls for a rebuilt RFK to be the site for track and field competition, as well as potentially hosting the opening and closing ceremonies.

    Knise is working on the Games' venues plans with facility veteran Bobby Goldwater, president and executive director of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission, the organization that operates RFK Stadium and the D.C. Armory. The Armory is the proposed site for boxing competition. The parking lots and grounds surrounding the stadium are being discussed as possible Olympic park sites.

    "We will only have 45 minutes to show the entire facility," Goldwater said. "It's not a lot of time. We will set up the Armory for boxing. Dave Matthews performs in RFK June 9. We will have a quick change, but it will be spotless for the visit."

    Lisa Delpy Neirotti, professor of sports management at George Washington University, said the area's U.S. significance also should be stressed to the USOC representatives. Neirotti has studied the Games extensively and has been involved in consulting work for each Olympics since 1984.

    "Remind them we are an international city," she said. "Bring them down Embassy Row. It will be a subtle hint. And don't let them forget it is the nation's capital. They need to highlight the scenery and backdrop we have."

    In addition to preparing for the committee visit, organizers are taking care of a variety of issues relating to the effort to get the Games.

    Officials recently dropped the Washington/Baltimore Regional 2012 Coalition moniker they had been using in favor of Chesapeake Region 2012 Coalition. The actual bid being submitted for the Games is now called Washington, D.C. 2012, complying with the USOC's request that all bidding organizations use a single-city designation.

    Legislation providing financial guarantees on costs related to the Games has been passed in Virginia and in Maryland. A comparable bill was introduced to the D.C. City Council and is expected to pass. The first hearing was scheduled for last Wednesday.

    "It's just a slower process in D.C.," said Knise. "We feel we have broad support and expect it to move smoothly."

    The group also recently settled a lawsuit filed against it by Elizabeth Ganzi and her company, the Greater Washington Exploratory Committee. Ganzi sought compensation for the role she played in initiating the efforts of Washington to be one of U.S. cities bidding for the 2012 Games. When Washington and Baltimore created a regional bid, the group then known as WBRC 2012 was selected over Ganzi's group to lead the effort.

    As part of the settlement, Ganzi agreed to dismiss the lawsuit and forgo any further legal action. All other terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

    "We are happy to get the distraction behind us," Knise said. "We have a lot of business to do. We didn't need it hanging over our heads. We're both getting on with our lives."

    Ganzi, who was unavailable for comment, will have no future role with the bid coalition.   

    Cynthia Hobgood writes for the Washington Business Journal.

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