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Athensfan
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Truthfully, no prospective American bid should regard Atlanta as an example. They were an aberration that occurred in extraordinary circumstances that we're unlikely to see ever again. Furthermore, the disappointing quality of their Games is a powerful deterrent against the IOC awarding the Games to any city that seems even vaguely similar. Prospective bid cities should stress how they are NOT like Atlanta.

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Matt-

It's one thing for a powerhouse country with multiple world-class cities to offer up a tier two city instead. It's another thing for a new frontier to put forward the very best their country has to offer. In other words, I think there's a sliding scale where world-class cities are concerned. What Istanbul, Durban and Doha lack in global stature, they make up for in cultural novelty and unique character.

Barcelona and Sydney benefitted from their Games far more than Atlanta in terms of their reputations as world-class cities and travel destinations. I don't think the international community regards Atlanta much differently now than they did pre-1996. It doesn't command the same respect that Barcelona and Sydney do.

BTW, not gonna bite, Stir.

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It's one thing for a powerhouse country with multiple world-class cities to offer up a tier two city instead. It's another thing for a new frontier to put forward the very best their country has to offer. In other words, I think there's a sliding scale where world-class cities are concerned. What Istanbul, Durban and Doha lack in global stature, they make up for in cultural novelty and unique character.

Barcelona and Sydney benefitted from their Games far more than Atlanta in terms of their reputations as world-class cities and travel destinations. I don't think the international community regards Atlanta much differently now than they did pre-1996. It doesn't command the same respect that Barcelona and Sydney do.

Definitely agree with you there. I don't think the Olympics did very much, if anything, to raise Atlanta's profile to "world-class status". Sydney, & especially Barcelona, benefitted the most in that aspect. Besides, the Olympics aren't really about "raising a city's profile", anyway. I doubt that the IOC really cares that much about such an angle. They're far more concerned with what the host city can do for the Olympic Movement. Raising a city's profile with the Games is really a by-product of the real reasons why the IOC has chosen lesser known cities in the past.

And I also don't think that the IOC necessarily "demands" world-class cities to host. It's obviously a matter of preference of theirs when given the choice. Even when Seoul was selected, Nagoya was it's only competitor. So again, the IOC also has to go with what is presented to them. And even in that scenario, the IOC still chose to go with the geopolitically up & coming, much larger city & capital of South Korea, than to return to Japan with one of it's gamma cities. And Barcelona is of course home to then IOC president, Juan Antonio Samaranch. So that was heavily in their favor. And Atlanta has been of courss addressed thoroughly several times.

What Durban would of course have going for them, is that they're located in a country & continent that's yet to host the Games. That in itself is certainly a compelling factor for the IOC. If Minneapolis were located in South Africa, I'd say that their chances would increase 10-fold. But located in a country that's hosted the Olympic Games moreso than any other, & you still have others in line that would come before you with better prospects anyway, your roll at the Olympic dice aren't going to be that great.

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Definitely agree with you there. I don't think the Olympics did very much, if anything, to raise Atlanta's profile to "world-class status". Sydney, & especially Barcelona, benefitted the most in that aspect. Besides, the Olympics aren't really about "raising a city's profile", anyway. I doubt that the IOC really cares that much about such an angle. They're far more concerned with what the host city can do for the Olympic Movement. Raising a city's profile with the Games is really a by-product of the real reasons why the IOC has chosen lesser known cities in the past.

The thing I think about when remembering an Olympics like Barcelona.. I don't look at it as any more of a world class with or without the Olympics, but how many people watched those Olympics and learned about Barcelona and decided it was a place they'd like to visit. Ditto for Athens. Rio in 2016 will probably have the same effect. Sydney and Beijing could probably be classified as world-class cities, but same thing there, especially for Sydney (for me, Australia is still #1 on the list of places in the world I'd most like to visit).

Then there's Atlanta. It's certainly not a statement on how Atlanta was chosen as host or how their Olympics went, but did people get the impression in Atlanta that it's a city they'd want to come visit again? Yes the Olympics raised their profile, but I don't think it had the type of lasting effect we've seen elsewhere that we know the IOC craves. They'll get that from a Durban or an Istanbul which still makes those types of cities more than acceptable host candidates.

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^Agreed. The Olympics could raise "awareness" with the host city among the general public, but it isn't going to transform your city into "world-class status" once the Games are over. Not like a London, New York or Paris. But in areas like Athensfan pointed out; tourism, cultural novelty & unique character, the Games could make a huge impact, like in Barcelona's case. While Atlanta, in comparison, hardly noticed a difference.

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We could honestly start a whole sub-topic based off of this: does hosting an Olympics really make a difference for a city, not just in terms of facilities and infrastructure but in how your city is presented to the world and, bottom line, once the Games are over, does the world continue to come?

One thing I personally am enjoying about the conversation is, for the most part, we're keeping it civil. We all have opinions and reasons to validate them, but I like to think we're also keeping open minds. I mean, at this point, especially for 2024, it is all conjecture and opinion based, right?

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It's conjecture in the sense that we've yet to know who's going be actually running for 2024. But not so in the sense once we have an "official" list of candidates to go by. Then we can go ahead & deem the candidates chances based on what we already know on how the IOC has voted in past elections. Afterall, that's what the GB "bid index" does here on this very website.

And most of us here that have seen a lot of these races over the years, I would say very much so do have an open mind. At least much moreso than some of the newbie cheerleaders that come about here every so often & just get hostile simply because they're not the ones with the *objective* minds to handle the foresight by some of the more insightful members over their smaller-league "hometown" biases.

And the Olympics makes a difference for some cities. While others not so much, as discussed in some of the previous posts. The ones more concerned with that aspect are the actual cities looking to host. Because they know it will give them global exposure & attention. But again, I don't see the IOC being too concerned with that since they are looking at it from the mindframe of what the host city can do for the Olympics, & not what the Olympics can do for the host city. Since obviously, no matter who hosts an Olympics is going to get world-wide attention no matter what.

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Matt-

It's one thing for a powerhouse country with multiple world-class cities to offer up a tier two city instead. It's another thing for a new frontier to put forward the very best their country has to offer. In other words, I think there's a sliding scale where world-class cities are concerned. What Istanbul, Durban and Doha lack in global stature, they make up for in cultural novelty and unique character.

Barcelona and Sydney benefitted from their Games far more than Atlanta in terms of their reputations as world-class cities and travel destinations. I don't think the international community regards Atlanta much differently now than they did pre-1996. It doesn't command the same respect that Barcelona and Sydney do.

BTW, not gonna bite, Stir.

This guy must be senile. All he ever talks about are the minuses of Atlanta -- which was a wonderful experience for those of us who were there. Jeez, it's 15 years after the fact. Talk about beating a dead horse. Move on, you sap!!

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Well, Quaker, I guess it depends on what we mean by "world class," Barcelona isn't any closer to being NYC, Tokyo or London, but as you acknowledged, they are now much more "on the map" as a desirable destination.

I think the Olympics function as a spotlight, illuminating both good and bad. Barcelona was revealed as a gem. Atlanta was not. Both the inherent character of the respective cities and the quality of their respective Games led to this result. Atlanta got attention leading up to the Olympics and during them, but the world's imagination was not captured by what they saw. Consequently, Atlanta's image hasn't improved. This is why I argue that the character of a city matters - particularly in the US.

The next American host needs to be either an established world-class city or a yet to be fully discovered gem, or some balance of the two. That' why we keep talking about LA, NYC, Chicago and SF. Of those cities I think Chicago has by far the most potential to be "discovered" by the international community should they host Olympic Games.

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I was just looking back over the recent posts and spotted FYI's comment about Chicago being more than a few steps behind NYC. Not sure I totally agree. Obviously NYC is the ultimate world-class city and Chicago can't compete with that rep - so in that respect I agree. However, as an Olympic host I really think Chicago would be prefferable. As an economic, cultural and sporting center they hold their own. Most importantly, the Games would not be swallowed up by Chicago as they might be in New York. I just think Chicago Games would be a far more pleasant experience.

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U're so full of B/S, Athens. Despite all your nattering on-and-on about Atlanta 2nd rate, blah-blah-blah...

Well, NO OTHER CITY can legitimately claim they were the CENTENNIAL Olympic city. That's something not even Athens nor the BIG loser Chicago nor such negative nimrods as you can take away!!

Nyah..nyah...nyah!! Chicago'll never be an Olympic city like Atlanta!! Nyah..nyah...nyah!! :lol::lol:

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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I was just looking back over the recent posts and spotted FYI's comment about Chicago being more than a few steps behind NYC. Not sure I totally agree. Obviously NYC is the ultimate world-class city and Chicago can't compete with that rep - so in that respect I agree. However, as an Olympic host I really think Chicago would be prefferable. As an economic, cultural and sporting center they hold their own. Most importantly, the Games would not be swallowed up by Chicago as they might be in New York. I just think Chicago Games would be a far more pleasant experience.

I totally agree with you in the aspect of Chicago's potential as far as the Games are concerned. They really would be in a sense "discovering a gem" like Barcelona was (I also think this could be said of Durban as well. And especially being located on a continent that's never hosted the Games before). I always hear how people's first trip there was so great, that they never knew beforehand what a truelly great city Chicago really is.

The only reason I phrased it as such earlier with New York, was because of the poster who said that Minneapolis was only a "few steps behind" Chicago, which is far from accurate & quite an embellishment on their part. So I merely was trying to give it perspective.

Minneapolis is a nice city for what it is. But it's not even in the top 5 of U.S. cities. Heck, even Atlanta beat out Minneapolis for the USOC '96 nod. I would think the USOC would take looks at 2nd-tier cities first (if none of Alpha cities were interested), like Philly, Dallas or Houston before going even further down the totem-pole.

Well, Quaker, I guess it depends on what we mean by "world class," Barcelona isn't any closer to being NYC, Tokyo or London, but as you acknowledged, they are now much more "on the map" as a desirable destination.

Agreed here as well, like I also mentioned in the first post of this page. Instead of "world-class", we should perhaps maybe use "newly discovered", since the Olympics could certainly have that kind of an impact on a particular host city.

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Baron, a lot of people enjoyed Atlanta. You did, a lot of others who attended did, I did watching on TV.

But are you really going to argue against Athensfan's point about those Games in the context of future US cities bidding, which is what this thread is about? Rightly or wrongly, it does seem a lot of the IOC regard Atlanta as an okay Games but not much more; perhaps the least memorable of the recent hosts. In the context of bidding, of trying to win votes, of putting good spin on things, raising the subject of 'Atlanta' or comparing your bid to their Games is probably not a wise or a winning tactic. I guess that annoys you, but I don't think Athensfan is far wrong in saying that is the case.

When selling your city to the IOC, you don't mention the A word. But, and this is telling, when selling the Olympics to your City, you can. I remember Ken Livingstone writing about Atlanta, what the Games did for the City, how well worked a lot of the legacy was in the London Evening Standard. As the Mayor of London, Atlanta was THE Games to emulate and he wasn't shy in saying so to Londoners. And that's really the point. Sadly for Atlanta they're a great case study in Urban renewal and non-wasteful Olympic legacy, but not a Games that will be referenced much in the circus of Olympic bidding.

Edited by RobH
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/\/\ Uhmmmm,.... thanks but no thanks, Rob, I don't NEED to be told.

Regardless of the point of this thread, I am SICK AND TIRED of Athensfan's diminishing Atlanta which I take as a personal insult, and the more he does it, the MORE I WILL JUMP down his throat. Yes, it's become personal for me. And he'll continue to get slammed if he keeps it up. I don't give a rat's ass what he or the IOC thinks. I am not bidding on any of their Games. So I have a right to respond.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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When selling your city to the IOC, you don't mention the A word. But, and this is telling, when selling the Olympics to your City, you can.

Interesting, Rob. I agree that the Atlanta Games were cost-effective and as such could be encouraging to future bid cities. The problem is that some of the wrong cities see Atlanta as encouragement (Minneapolis, Tulsa, etc.). Such cities seem to have difficulty differentiating between the parts of Atlanta that worked and the parts that didn't. They have a tendency to draw the wrong parallels.

As for the IOC, I wonder how much they're aware of the what happens within the US - particularly when it comes to rallying public support. If they catch wind of the Atlanta comparison, it could be detrimental. Unfortunately many of Atlanta's cost-saving measures (existing venues, baseball stadium, commercialism) were exactly the things the IOC disliked.

I suppose that as long as a city can clearly distance itself from Atlanta during the actual bid it's okay to use it to gather support in the preliminary phases.

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As for the IOC, I wonder how much they're aware of the what happens within the US - particularly when it comes to rallying public support. If they catch wind of the Atlanta comparison, it could be detrimental. Unfortunately many of Atlanta's cost-saving measures (existing venues, baseball stadium, commercialism) were exactly the things the IOC disliked.

I suppose that as long as a city can clearly distance itself from Atlanta during the actual bid it's okay to use it to gather support in the preliminary phases.

I don't know why baron has decided to take Atlanta insults so personally, but ya know what.. Athensfan, I think he's right that you're being a little too harsh on Atlanta. And you certainly have a right to that opinion, but I think your assessment of Atlanta as a cautionary tale for future U.S. bids is a little misguided.

Let's be fair about Atlanta.. they came 12 years after Los Angeles. I can't speak from personal experience, but from what I know of the history, Los Angeles were "America's Games" that came at the height of the cold war where the United States hadn't hosted a Summer Olympics in half a century and followed a boycott-marred Olympics, an Olympics that was a complete financial disaster, and of course an Olympics featuring a horrific terrorist incident. So Los Angeles comes in, puts on a highly cost-effective Olympics where team USA won truckloads of medals that, as far as I know, really turned around the Olympic movement at a point in time where they were struggling a little.

So fast forward 12 years. Regardless of how Atlanta landed the Olympics or what their legacy was, the comparisons to Los Angeles were always going to be inevitable. And in that respect, that's a tough order to live up to. Again, I can't speak from experience of having been in Atlanta. I have visited the city a few times since then (even managed to find my brick in Centennial Olympic Park), so I can see the effect that the Olympics had on the city and that's not to be discounted. Yes, there's the legacy of over-commercialization, but again, that's in part because they tried to be like Los Angeles, and in many respects, that was never going to happen.

So now you have some smaller cities that are using Atlanta as fuel to explore their Olympic dreams. Well.. so what? What 2 cities have won the nominations to be presented to the IOC? The USOC isn't about to present a city that they don't think has a shot of winning, so who cares if a city like Tulsa is exploring an Olympics. I sincerely doubt that the IOC is looking at prospective host cities in terms of them using Atlanta as a model rather than evaluating them on their own merit. Like you said, there's lessons to be learned, good and bad, from how Atlanta's Olympics were run, but I think it's over-stating the point that a city has to "distance itself from Atlanta" in order to win.

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This whole Atlanta thing started when one poster used Atlanta to justify the viability of Minneapolis. I was just responding.

When the sitting IOC president says Atlanta's Games were "not good Games", when athletes can't get to venues on time because of poor transportation, when there's rampant commercialism and a bombing -- yes, I think bid cities should distance themselves from Atlanta.

Atlanta didn't just pale in comparison to LA, it doesn't stack up well against Seoul, Barcelona, Sydney or any Games since. I'm sure Atlanta is a wonderful memory for some of those posters who were there, but the IOC doesn't appear to share their view. Since it's the IOC that chooses the hosts, I think it's reasonable to say that future bids will not help themselves by drawing parallels to Atlanta.

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So now you have some smaller cities that are using Atlanta as fuel to explore their Olympic dreams. Well.. so what? What 2 cities have won the nominations to be presented to the IOC? The USOC isn't about to present a city that they don't think has a shot of winning, so who cares if a city like Tulsa is exploring an Olympics. I sincerely doubt that the IOC is looking at prospective host cities in terms of them using Atlanta as a model rather than evaluating them on their own merit. Like you said, there's lessons to be learned, good and bad, from how Atlanta's Olympics were run, but I think it's over-stating the point that a city has to "distance itself from Atlanta" in order to win.

No one is even really talking about the USOC. The reason this whole topic has come up yet once agagin, is because every once in a while, you have other (newbie) posters coming in here making that same black-&-white, simplistic comparison of; "well, if Atlanta, did it.. then why can't X, Y or Z city to do it, too". So then that brings us, yet again, to the point of discussion of where we're at now.

Of course the USOC is going to be much more sensible about their next candidate for a Summer Olympics, & most of us here that have seen plenty of these races to see more or less on how the IOC votes, understand this. But it's these other, less than objective, not being able to look beyond the "Atlanta comparison", posters who keep drumming up these pipe-dream candidates. Thinking that we're the ones that are not being "objective" enough because we all know, from previous experinces, that the IOC & even NOC hardly ever look at Beta & especially Gamma cities. And when on the off chance the IOC has done so on some past few occasions it's because there were extenuating circumstances for them to do so (which are always highlighted but never seems to sink in). Not simply because "well, if Atlanta did it..." But as usual the gamma city, cheerleading posters never (or won't) look at the bigger picture.

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This whole Atlanta thing started when one poster used Atlanta to justify the viability of Minneapolis. I was just responding.

When the sitting IOC president says Atlanta's Games were "not good Games", when athletes can't get to venues on time because of poor transportation, when there's rampant commercialism and a bombing -- yes, I think bid cities should distance themselves from Atlanta.

Atlanta didn't just pale in comparison to LA, it doesn't stack up well against Seoul, Barcelona, Sydney or any Games since. I'm sure Atlanta is a wonderful memory for some of those posters who were there, but the IOC doesn't appear to share their view. Since it's the IOC that chooses the hosts, I think it's reasonable to say that future bids will not help themselves by drawing parallels to Atlanta.

Precisely. An experience is always "on the eye of the beholder". As with anything, what was pleasant for some, does not automatically mean that it was pleasant for "all". And in this case, the party which holds the winning votes, weren't that impressed. And it's these voting people that bidding cities try so desperately to sell their city to. And an "Atlanta comparison" ain't gonna win you too many votes, if any.

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Of course the USOC is going to be much more sensible about their next candidate for a Summer Olympics, & most of us here that have seen plenty of these races to see more or less on how the IOC votes, understand this. But it's these other, less than objective, not being able to look beyond the "Atlanta comparison", posters who keep drumming up these pipe-dream candidates. Thinking that we're the ones that are not being "objective" enough because we all know, from previous experinces, that the IOC & even NOC hardly ever look at Beta & especially Gamma cities. And when on the off chance the IOC has done so on some past few occasions it's because there were extenuating circumstances for them to do so (which are always highlighted but never seems to sink in). Not simply because "well, if Atlanta did it..." But as usual the gamma city, cheerleading posters never (or won't) look at the bigger picture.

Totally agree that one. Just makes it difficult here that if I say something good about Atlanta, 1 side jumps all over it. If I say something bad, the other side jumps on that. And if I attempt to take a position somewhere in the middle, it seems like I'll get ripped for not definitively taking a side. Maybe I should just not have an opinion?! :unsure:

Back to the topic at hand.. we've discussed bids in this context before that they need to have a story behind them. Some cities are already world class and showing themselves off to the world (i.e. Sydney, Beijing). Some are less than world class but have earned a shot at showing themselves off to the world (i.e. Barcelona, Athens, probably Rio come 2016). Atlanta did have a story behind it in that the city transformed itself somewhat due to the Olympics, but again, I think being a less-than-overwhelming games that came just 12 years after Los Angeles hurt them.

So who fits the bill best? Well, I never was a fan of New York's message. Their presentation was all about "we're the world's alpha city, the Olympics belong here" moreso than saying what the Olympics could do for New York or what New York could do for the Olympics. Chicago had a much better story, but needless to say it got muddled in all the geopolitics. I think the key going forward is to find a city that has a story to tell and that will not only leave a legacy, but have it be 1 that people will continue to engage with after the Olympics are gone. That last part tends to be what gets lost, especially when lesser cities are talked about, and if the USOC plans on going up against the big boys in terms of international cities, I think that's going to be 1 of the bases they have to cover. Either way though, I comparisons to Atlanta, good or bad, are going to come into play that much, whether it's in the domestic competition or on the world stage.

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Quaker, I was just clarifying my previous remark. All's well.

Totally agree that the next US bid must tell a clear, compelling story. I think that's largely the responsibility of the bid leadership. Any of the prime contenders can supply fodder for a good story - it just takes the right person to figure out what to emphasize and how to communicate it in a powerful way.

I do think Chicago's 2016 loss could be a huge help to the story of Chicago 2024.

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