With the Olympic Games that New York lost to London just weeks away, a quiet buzz is building around the potential for another Gotham bid.
The U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee resolved a revenue-sharing dispute in May that helped sink New York’s 2012 bid. On Tuesday, the USOC said it is mulling a submission for the 2024 Summer Games and the 2026 winter installment.
The Big Apple, with its bid experience and upgraded infrastructure, is being mentioned as a top contender for 2024, but Dallas and Chicago are providing tough competition, sources familiar with the process say.
“The contentious relations between the USOC and the IOC had a damaging effect on our bid,” said Jay Kriegel of The Related Cos., who served as president of the NYC 2012 effort. And the USOC recently acknowledged it would not push for the 2022 Winter Games, making 2024 a more realistic option.
While private-sector support gives life to a competitive bid, political pull is paramount.
Firing up a 2024 bid for the city would start in 2014, under a new mayor, experts said. Mayoral hopefuls Tom Allon and city Controller John Liu are bullish on the idea, while the camps for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and city Public Advocate Bill de Blasio were mum.
Former city Controller William Thompson believes the Games don’t make money.
“New York is already a world city,” he said. “We don’t need the Olympics to put us on the map.”
Skeptics abound, and they believe New York’s Olympic moment has come and gone.
The 2012 bid was driven by Daniel Doctoroff, a private-equity executive who became deputy mayor for economic development in 2001.
“New York is even stronger than before; no city can match New York for the infrastructure that exists here,” said NYU Prof. Mitchell Moss. “But the challenge is whether we have the appetite to bid again. It took the passion and brains of Dan Doctoroff to make the last bid happen — and there are no new Doctoroffs on the scene.”
The city’s $3 billion 2012 proposal was one of five short-listed bids.
The region now boasts new stadiums and arenas in Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn and New Jersey. Madison Square Garden is being renovated, and two subway extensions — most notably the East Side line — should be complete by 2024.
“New York has significant advantages,” noted Rick Ludwig, a longtime Olympics finance guru who worked on the 2012 bid. “It has corporate sponsors and a large population for buying tickets. It has the mass transit.”
But several obstacles remain, due in part to the 2012 legacy.
It called for an Olympic Village to be built in Long Island City, Queens, and an Olympic Stadium on the West Side. Both sites are being now developed for other uses. As a result, the city has no venue large enough to serve as a main stadium for track and field or an aquatics center, said a source with experience building Olympic venues.
Ludwig argued the tougher sell for 2024 would be public money to guarantee the Games and to provide security. New York boasts the best security force in the world, but the recent terror-scheme busts in Britain highlight the difficulties of hosting an international event.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, another mayoral hopeful, said he would “love to lead” a dialogue for another N.Y.C. bid.
“I’m convinced that something is possible,” Alex Garvin, the urban planner behind the 2012 bid, said. “But we would need to inspire the citizens of New York all over again.”
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