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ToddSF

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  1. Interesting that it was LA that contacted SF about the joint bid idea. I had thought this might happen, because LA has to realize that the government guarantee it needs could only come from the State, and not from a cash-strapped city government in California where most of the tax money goes to Sacramento. That was a main problem with Denver's 1976 bid. It was the State that had to pay, so activists put it on the ballot state-wide. Most people in Colorado don't live in Denver, so why should they pay? California is another state where it is easy to put things on the ballot. Any demand for State (or City) money is immediately going to generate a ballot initiative from people who don't want the Olympics. California's state government has the money to back it, but voters across the state would not approve that for LA. So it would almost have to be a statewide bid, or sellable as such, to get enough people to approve it. And even then, it's dicey of course.
  2. Boston actually ranks pretty high on various "global city" indices. Especially the Wealth Report's and the EIU's.
  3. I agree that there are good reasons to think the IOC would look favorably on Boston. The way I think it works in most committee votes is that there are some members who have a strong preference going in, based on their own personal ties, in this case to one or more of the cities that were being voted on. And there are other members who are more open to all the possibilities. In this case, it looked to me like there were strong local contingents from three of the cities. So in that scenario, I'd expect the more neutral members to steer the vote initially, narrowing down the options, and then when it becomes apparent that one of the "strong preference" groups is not going to win, they are likely to think strategically. At that point, the remaining options will each have strong arguments for them, so it becomes a coalitional game. Both SF and LA partisans would likely favor Boston if (a) Boston was one of the cities that made the initial cut and ( their own city was no longer in the mix. We don't know exactly how many there were from each group, though, because it is often hard to tell exactly where and how strong people's allegiances are just from their bio.
  4. I agree that the last minute oakland thing was not a smooth move. Or at least it didn't appear so to me. I thought the SF 2024 people must have gotten feedback that the pop up stadium idea was hurting the bid, but then the committee went with Boston which has a pop up stadium. So I don't know. As my earlier message showed, there appeared to be three main groups on the board: one that would be expected to favor Boston, one group for LA, and one group for SF. The Boston one must have included Ping, whom I had thought would have split loyalty, because she now works for Bain in boston, which funded most of their bid. So the contingents for those three cities were of roughly equal sizes (~4 members each), with only one member who would be expected to be a DC partisan. If we assume the board members have pretty strong perferences for their own cities, the LA people might have voted strategically. If it was between Boston and SF, the LA voters would probably be better off with Boston getting the nod over SF. This is high stakes for the medium term chances of other cities after 2024. If Boston loses the bid at the IOC, it will strengthen LA's argument next time that they are the only city that can do it. And if Boston wins at the IOC, an east coast Games will not preclude a return to the west coast of the US in 12 years or so after 2024. But if SF were to get the Games, it would knock LA out for a long time. A cynic might even say the LA people would side with Boston over SF because they think Boston has less of a chance of winning the Games than SF, improving LA's chances next time But I won't go that far. The same logic obviously applies to the SF contingent on the board. SF is certainly better off with Boston than with LA if it wants to host in the next 25-30 years. But the Boston group didn't really have a clear rival group in this vote, from what I could tell.
  5. Sure, but I figure I have a bit of time. Another incentive to live a clean life.
  6. Well, although I was disappointed SF didn't win, I can't feel too bad since the chosen city is Boston. It's like losing a race to your older brother, whom you've always looked up to. SF is kinda like boston west, so if they are successful, maybe we can one day follow in their footsteps. Plus the northeast coriidor has never hosted, and that seems not quite right given its importance in the world. I hope Boston wins the bid and puts on a great, cost effective Games. If they do, it will help other cities in the U.S., like San Francisco, convince everyone that we can do it too. In recent bid years every US city has had to deal with the idea that LA is the only city in the US that can host a successful Olympics. If Boston is successful, that argument will go out the window. Plus, at the very least, this gives Mitt Romney something to do. On the politics in boston: As I've tried to argue on the SF thread, organized opposition, especially early in the bid process, can be productive. That has been our experience with building pro sports venues in sf. It should help bring discipline to the process so Bostonians don't get taken to the cleaners. So many interests see dollar signs in the prospect of an Olympics - you have to have something to counteract that. Thank your activists, and join them when they need it. Congrats, beantown. Do us proud.
  7. This just in: A KPIX 5 / SurveyUSA poll found overwhelming support for a Bay Area Olympic bid. In a survey of 500 adults across the Bay Area, 70 percent said they would like the games to be held here. Seven out of 10 also said hosting the 2024 games would be a huge boost for the local economy. The margin of error is 4.1 percent.
  8. Here's a breakdown of the USOC Board of Directors by ties to the four cities (those with ties to more than one of the cities are noted with an asterisk for each additional city, and counted at one half or one third, depending on the number of cities, in the totals): San Francisco (4.33) Probst (Redwood City), Bach (Stanford), Bowlsby (former Stanford A.D.), Lyons (SF), Ping** (Stanford) Los Angeles (3.83) DeFrantz (LA), Easton (LA, UCLA), Ruggiero (LA), Benson* (M.B.A. from USC), Ping** (formerly LA) Boston (2.83) Benson* (Boston), McCagg (Cambridge), Ogrean (Master's from BU), Ping** (Boston) Washington, D.C. (1) Hendricks (Silver Spring) None discernible (3) Burns, Kemppel, Marolt If you included ties to more distant places in the regions of these cities, you could possibly put Kemppel in the Boston group (went to Dartmouth) and Probst to D.C. (went to U. of Delaware), but I think those are too weak to include.
  9. Here's the story. I think this may be a response to similar discussions happening around the Rams owner's new stadium deal in LA.
  10. The Transbay Transit Center is short about $300M the last I read. Not chump change, but it will get covered. That is the kind of project that requires public funds. Fortunately (or not) we have a well connected member of congress and a governor who has made High Speed Rail his #1 pet project. I am not a big fan of the HSR project, BTW. 65 billion dollars spread across California cities could build several amazing local transit systems, and instead what we will get is a little competition for the airlines who fly the SFO-LA corridor.
  11. One thing in San Francisco s favor is that we have found ways to build state-of-the-art pro sports venues with all private money: AT&T Park and now (it appears) the new Warriors arena. We were the first city to build a Major League ballpark that way. It's the combination of abundant private funding and citizens' insistence on not using public money for these projects that has made this possible. I think these projects are a good model for the Olympics, because they have come with transit improvements and grew out of extensive review that generated eventual public buy-in. Our teams are doing pretty well on the field/court too, which obviously helps.
  12. As a long-time san francisco resident and close observer of the politics, I'm going to take the liberty here of speaking for what I think is the dominant sentiment that will prevail if SF gets the bid. Not the anti-Olympics people who exist in every city and are just a vocal minority ("What a bother! The traffic, the crowds! Yuck!"), but rather the vast majority who show up on parade day when the Giants win the World Series, and so on. Here goes: We are a city of very fit, outdoorsy people who like sports (especially when our team wins) and we love a good party. We are great fans for the SF Giants and 49ers (even though the latter sort-of left us), and the Warriors will be welcomed back enthusiastically into their new arena. Our stadiums and arenas get built well and usually sell out. We are happy to have a ballpark/arena/regatta/(and yes) Olympics in our city, as long as we don't have to pay for it. We know that the bay area is swimming in private money, which can easily cover the costs of these things. That's what we insist on, and if private money builds it, we will come, we will cheer, and we will have a great time. OTOH, try to dip your hands into our treasury and we get very cranky. We are needy, with lots of transit projects in the pipeline, homeless and disabled people, underfunded schools, a health program that is supposed to cover every resident who doesn't have their own insurance, and a housing shortage. Unlike New York City, we are barred by our state's laws from having our own income tax, and we live with a state and federal government that often appear hostile to us. So just realize that we have a lot on our plates and we need our public money for our own needs. But the truth is that we would love to have the Olympics if it can be done without hurting our finances, and we will be good volunteers and do a great job with it if we get it. Thanks.
  13. Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, has published an op-ed about Agenda 2020. Embedded in it is this quote: "Each of the four cities being considered — San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washinton, D.C., and Boston — will no doubt present a strong bid." I find the order of cities there interesting. It's not alphabetical. And the timing of the op-ed, three days before the vote. Hmmm. Could this be Bach's signal to the USOC about his preference ordering over the four U.S. cities?
  14. The only figures I have seen coming from SF 2024 are $4.5B total and $350M for the stadium. Apparently all four cities gave the same budget total at the December meeting ($4.5B), which indicates that is an input to further calculations rather than an output, for at least three of the cities. It's possible one city added up costs and the other three just copied the total, but I I'm guessing the 4.5 figure came from the USOC or a common revenue assumption. Baron, do you know if these budgets include security? I would think so, but that's a huge component (over a billion I think, and it could easily be 2B). That part seems like it would have to come from the Feds. BTW the Exploratory Committee includes socialites with close ties to philanthropy (Goldman, the Shultzes, Wendt, Wilsey). Certainly not a naive bunch.
  15. Spencer Eccles gave about $18M to the Salt Lake Games, though his wealth was not in the same league as that of silicon valley billionaires. I don't know about Lake Placid. Their sponsors list was virtually all corporations, and doesn't differentiate by amounts. Both events were a long time ago given the way Olympic politics has changed. The IOC's reputation was not nearly as bad as it is now. I just found all this from Internet research, BTW. We don't disagree on the history, though, and I think we agree that the key issue for SF 2024 is whether they can attract unprecedented private money, in whatever form. Rich people give to all kinds of things - research, PBS, their own personal yachting teams. There can certainly be a memorial at the legacy park that lists their names, and there will of course be lots of exclusive champaigne parties with fancy cars and dresses, for years in the leadup. The key thing is not the specific form of the event, but whether (a) rich people value having it in their city, and ( the money can be raised without private donations. The answer has to be yes to a and no to b, and at that point, we will see the charity machine rev up. Not before. Of course they are not going to give money if they think the government and event revenues will cover the bill. In that case they are more likely to be recipients than givers. The Daly-led opposition campaign is useful for at least a couple of reasons: (1) The opposition is laying its cards on the table now, rather than waiting, so that the USOC and everyone can see what they won't accept and what they plan to do about it. That's better for SF 2024 than background uncertainty how what those activists might do. And, (2) They are providing the backing that the committee needs in seeking private money. "Look here: we can't get this from the government, so if you would like to see this happen, we need to raise it privately." But right, if they can't make that work, the Games won't happen in SF.
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