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Los Angeles throws its hat in the ring for 2024 Olympics By Jill Painter, Staff Writer POSTED: 05/14/13, 1:54 PM PDT | UPDATED: ON 05/31/2013 Los Angeles wants the 2024 Olympic Games. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa informed the United States Olympic Committee on Thursday that the city is interested in hosting the Olympics for a third time. L.A. previously hosted the 1932 and 1984 games. Last month, the USOC sent a letter to at least 30 cities gauging their interest in hosting the games. Los Angeles is believed to be the first city to throw its hat in the ring. David Simon, president of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, is confident Los Angeles has what it takes to host again. "You can certainly talk about a history and tradition when it comes to the Olympics that's really unmatched by few other cities in the world, and certainly not in the U.S. because we've hosted it twice," Simon said. "We have a wealth of existing facilities and not just facilities that existed when we hosted in '84. For the most part, there are existing facilities, but back then we didn't have Staples Center, Home Depot, Honda Center, and now you've got the Galen Center. We really have a lot of new buildings and there's even talk of some more in the coming years." Such as a new NFL stadium. AEG has submitted downtown plans for a stadium, and Ed Roski's Majestic Realty is ready to build one in the City of Industry. Last year, the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution in support of a 2024 bid. About six weeks ago, Villaraigosa sent a letter to the USOC, co-signed by AEG president Tim Leiweke, actor Tom Hanks, Dodgers part owner Magic Johnson, former Olympic swimmer Janet Evans and others, expressing interest in the bid. This week's letter from Villaraigosa was meant to confirm the city's "enthusiastic interest" in bidding for 2024. "The exciting part for us is that we found out some weeks ago that the USOC is embarking on a process to pick a city," Simon said. "They passed on 2020 and we weren't sure, until recently, if they were interested in 2024." Woodland Hills resident Beverly Shaffer, 84, was a big part of the 1984 Olympics and has fond memories of the event. She has a clock in her living room that has the 1984 Olympic Games logo and two goblets on her dining room table. And she is quick to point out how lucrative the Olympics were for the city - to the tune of more than $200 million as the first Summer Games to turn a profit. "We have some nice facilities because of it," said Shaffer, a track official and volunteer for the 1984 Olympics. "Having so much money come in was wonderful, and there were a lot of organizations that benefited from some of the profits. A lot went to youth organizations. We didn't have any problems with traffic or any other real problems. I thought it was a favorable thing for Los Angeles." Shaffer's husband, Stuart, was also a volunteer and track official for the games. Beverly Shaffer was on committees that met before the games, including the torch committee in which they planned its route. She also volunteered in the media center. "Everyone was hospitable," Shaffer said. "It was a wonderful experience for all - volunteers, people who lived here and incoming visitors." In 1984, the Olympics kicked off in memorable fashion when Rafer Johnson lit the torch in the opening ceremonies and Carl Lewis won four gold medals. As for what's next, Los Angeles must wait. After all, the host city won't be selected until 2017. "They told us it will be less elaborate and less expensive in terms of times and resources than the last couple of bid cycles," Simon said. "They haven't spelled out what that means, but they made a decision to do it in a new way. Evidently, they're prepared to take up to two years. This is the first step in what is undoubtedly a long journey." http://www.dailynews.com/20130307/los-angeles-throws-its-hat-in-the-ring-for-2024-olympics
The United States Olympic Committee recently sent 35 letters to cities across the country to see who's interesting in bidding for the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad. Philadelphia was the first city to respond stating they will plan a bid for the USOC. In order to appeal to both the USOC and the IOC, what should the city do such as improving infrastructure and planning the venues? My ideal plan: Olympic Venues Archery – Fairmount Park Badminton – Temporary Venue (Schuylkill) Baseball – Citizens Bank Park (South Philadelphia) Basketball – Wells Fargo Centre – Finals (South Philadelphia), Liacourus Centre – Preliminaries (Temple University) Beach Volleyball – Temporary Venue (Penn’s Landing) Boxing – The Palestra (University of Pennsylvania) BMX – Temporary Venue (Schuylkill) Canoe/Kayak – Temporary Venue (Camden) Cycling – Temporary Velodrome (Schuylkill) Diving – New Aquatics Centre (South Philadelphia) Equestrian – Devon Show Grounds (Devon, PA) Fencing – PA Convention Centre (Hall 1) Field Hockey – Franklin Field (University of Pennsylvania) Golf – Merion Golf Club (Ardmore, PA) Gymnastics – Wells Fargo Centre (South Philadelphia) Handball – Wells Fargo Centre – Finals (South Philadelphia), Temporary Venue - Preliminaries (Schuylkill) Judo – PA Convention Centre (Hall 1) Marathon – Ben Franklin Parkway (Start), Philadelphia Museum of Art (End) Modern Pentathlon – Series of Olympic Venues Mountain Biking – Poconos Mountains Road Cycling – Ben Franklin Parkway (Start/End) Rowing – Cooper River (Camden) Rugby 7s – PPL Park (Chester, PA) Sailing – Temporary Venue (Camden) Shooting – New Shooting Centre (Schuylkill) Soccer – Lincoln Financial Field – Finals (South Philadelphia)* Softball – Campbell’s Field (Camden) Swimming – New Aquatics Centre (South Philadelphia) Synchronized Swimming – New Aquatics Center (South Philadelphia) Table Tennis – PA Convention Centre (Hall 2) Taekwondo – PA Convention Centre (Hall 3) Tennis – New Tennis Centre (South Philadelphia) Track and Field – Olympic Stadium (South Philadelphia) Triathlon (swimming, biking, running) – Fairmount Park Volleyball – Liacourus Centre – Finals (Temple University), The Pavilion – Preliminaries (Villanova University) Water Polo – New Aquatics Centre II (Schuylkill) Weightlifting - Mann Centre *Football matches will also be held in Atlanta (Georgia Dome), Chicago (Soldier Field), Dallas (Cowboys Stadium), New York (Metlife Stadium), Los Angeles (LA Memorial Coliseum), and Washington DC (Fedex Field). Olympic Village – Schuylkill River Olympic Offices – University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University Media Village – Naval Business Centre (South Philadelphia) International Broadcast Centre/Main Press Centre – Temporary Centre (South Philadelphia) I-476, I-76, I-95, I-676, Broad Street, Market Street, Columbus Blvd, Lancaster Ave are the major arteries with athletes and media traveling on Olympic Priority Lanes. Notes: - Philadelphia and Camden needs to lower their crime rate. Even though Rio might be worse, the USOC will not choose Philadelphia as their bid. - Septa will need to build additional lines in South Philadelphia to accommodate the new Olympic neighborhoods and the vast amount of spectators since parking spaces is going to be reduced. Since traffic is going to be a nightmare during the evenings because of rush hour and event finals, spectators are going to rely on public transportation when travelling to the venues. It’s like the Eagles, Phillies, and Flyers playing sellout doubleheaders on the same day with the Vet still standing. Stations also need to be expanded to help handle the massive Olympic crowds. After the games, the new Septa lines should spur business in South Philadelphia the turning meat packaging warehouses into entertainment venues. - I-76 will need major expansion. Since it’s the major highway coming into the city, the two lane system from King of Prussia to the Sports Complex is going to create a traffic nightmare. - The Olympic Bid plan could be part of a long term project by the city to improve on infrastructure and other aspects of the city such as education and decreasing the crime rate. - I know this might seem stupid, but we need to redevelop the Philadelphia Gas Works area into a new neighborhood. After landing at the Airport, the first thing tourists see is smoke coming from the Sunoco plant. That’s an unwelcoming feel. Redeveloping the area could mean additional venues and possibly the Olympic Village.