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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.

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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?

Welcome to the boards, dchang. But let's take a step back here for a sec before you lay out an entire venue plan. First off, Philadelphia is not the first city saying the plan to bid. Los Angeles responded about a month ago saying they're "enthusiastically interested."

So yes, Philadelphia needs some sort of plan to justify this. Yes, they'll need to improve transportation infrastructure. I certainly like the prospect of them trying, but first things first before we start trying to find a venue for every sport.

And as a side note.. I'm going to guess that you're not from the United States or else you wouldn't be misspelling the Wells Fargo Center.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Philadelphia is rich with history. It has a vibrant sports tradition. It, like many older US cities, has suffered from population loss (there was a slightly less than 1% increase in the 2010 census, howevere). But over the past fifty years, it has lost nearly 500,000 from it peak population of nearly 2 million. It has struggled with urban crime and poverty. It is a congested region. However, this sort of an event could be used to address some of these problems and provide some long term civic improvement. It does have a very hot and humid summer climate but compared to any Southern US city, it is positively balmy. Is it a city that is well enough known as a world player? I am not sure.

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Philadelphia is rich with history. It has a vibrant sports tradition. It, like many older US cities, has suffered from population loss (there was a slightly less than 1% increase in the 2010 census, howevere). But over the past fifty years, it has lost nearly 500,000 from it peak population of nearly 2 million. It has struggled with urban crime and poverty. It is a congested region. However, this sort of an event could be used to address some of these problems and provide some long term civic improvement. It does have a very hot and humid summer climate but compared to any Southern US city, it is positively balmy. Is it a city that is well enough known as a world player? I am not sure.

I'd say it could. The city is probably one of the more well known of the second tier US cities. Its history, and potential social legacy, are the big areas I think a Philadelphia bid should underline.

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You could be right. Trouble is, when I was last in Philly a year ago, it seemed to have so many problems with crime and poverty to deal with. It is a rugged old town, but like many northeastern US cities, it has some significant urban issues to face and to address.

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Philly is most likely known globally for this:

A Philly Olympics would change that. The problem is what would Philly do with the Olympic Stadium post Olympics? The Phillies, Eagles and MLS Union don't need new venues. Maybe Temple or University of Pennsylvania do?

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The problem is what would Philly do with the Olympic Stadium post Olympics? The Phillies, Eagles and MLS Union don't need new venues. Maybe Temple or University of Pennsylvania do?

Maybe it could be reduced to 20k - 30k for possible use for events such as high school football games, track meets, non world championship IAAF events, concerts, etc.

Franklin Field at Penn is the oldest active stadium in college football. It's not a National Historic Landmark, but it's historic enough for there to be plenty of resistance to replacing it.

I don't think you could get an Olympic Stadium close enough to Temple to get them to leave Lincoln Financial Field.

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How could Philly, or any other North American city for that matter, build a stadium that would then revert to a college or university for their use? This would involve a unique partnership between municipal and private organizations. And if it involved taxpayer money, I don't see how it could ever be acceptable. And there is no chance Penn or Temple could fill an Olympic sized stadium for any sport and shrinking the stadium after an Olympic games would basically mean removing most of it.

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How could Philly, or any other North American city for that matter, build a stadium that would then revert to a college or university for their use? This would involve a unique partnership between municipal and private organizations. And if it involved taxpayer money, I don't see how it could ever be acceptable. And there is no chance Penn or Temple could fill an Olympic sized stadium for any sport and shrinking the stadium after an Olympic games would basically mean removing most of it.

It is possible to design modern stadia which can be converted from athletic to non-athletic use. And a number of stadia are being designed for massive capacity reduction after the principle event.

The basic advantage any tenant team has over taking control of their own stadia is the significant financial advantage gained by being the principle user.

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Franklin Field at Penn is the oldest active stadium in college football. It's not a National Historic Landmark, but it's historic enough for there to be plenty of resistance to replacing it.

As the resident expert on Penn here, I can assure you they would jump all over the opportunity to replace Franklin Field and become the centerpiece of an Olympic Games. They would do it in a heartbeat. As much as they value the history of that building, to be a showcase to the world is something that all the history of Franklin Field can't buy you. Here are the problems though..

The university has sunk a lot of money into the area around Franklin Field and other athletic facilities on campus. So they wouldn't want those efforts to be for nothing if they were going to have to tear down the stadium and rebuild it from scratch which is probably what they'd have to do.

The bigger problem though is the track. Franklin Field doesn't have a regulation 400 meter track. It's smaller than that (I believe it's the inside of lane 4 that represents the 400 meter distance). And then you have a wall right up against the outside of lane 9. So in order to fit a 400 meter track (plus all the other elements a world-class IAAF meet would require), you'd need a lot more space. There's not really much space to expand there.

It's 1 thing to build a stadium and then size it down to make it more efficient for a university or some other team that wouldn't be able to fill the whole thing. That might not be possible in the first place though at Penn. All of that, plus when you add in the history, is what makes Franklin Field a no-go as a main Olympic venue.

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As the resident expert on Penn here, I can assure you they would jump all over the opportunity to replace Franklin Field and become the centerpiece of an Olympic Games. They would do it in a heartbeat. As much as they value the history of that building, to be a showcase to the world is something that all the history of Franklin Field can't buy you. Here are the problems though..

The university has sunk a lot of money into the area around Franklin Field and other athletic facilities on campus. So they wouldn't want those efforts to be for nothing if they were going to have to tear down the stadium and rebuild it from scratch which is probably what they'd have to do.

The bigger problem though is the track. Franklin Field doesn't have a regulation 400 meter track. It's smaller than that (I believe it's the inside of lane 4 that represents the 400 meter distance). And then you have a wall right up against the outside of lane 9. So in order to fit a 400 meter track (plus all the other elements a world-class IAAF meet would require), you'd need a lot more space. There's not really much space to expand there.

It's 1 thing to build a stadium and then size it down to make it more efficient for a university or some other team that wouldn't be able to fill the whole thing. That might not be possible in the first place though at Penn. All of that, plus when you add in the history, is what makes Franklin Field a no-go as a main Olympic venue.

That fact alone prevents the US from ever hosting an IAAF World Championship.

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As can be seen from the image of Franklin field, the close proximity of other buildings and the façade is unlikely to allow revolutionary redevelopment of the stadium to allow it to be the athletics venue.

7491875064_07579544b3_z.jpg

The only way conceivably would be for a deck to be introduced to allow an international regulation 9-lane track and then an extra temporary tier to be installed to reach the minimum USOC capacity requirement in the same way that Madrid are proposing a deck for their Olympic stadium

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As can be seen from the image of Franklin field, the close proximity of other buildings and the façade is unlikely to allow revolutionary redevelopment of the stadium to allow it to be the athletics venue.

The only way conceivably would be for a deck to be introduced to allow an international regulation 9-lane track and then an extra temporary tier to be installed to reach the minimum USOC capacity requirement in the same way that Madrid are proposing a deck for their Olympic stadium

That all makes it a non-starter. Because of the size of the track, they'd have to completely demolish the lower deck in order to put a regulation track there in the first place. As you can see from the image, the outstide lane of the track goes right up to the wall where the stands are. So it would make for a very uncomfortable fit to remove the first few rows of stands to get the track in there without completely renovating the whole place.

I used to think a rebuild Franklin Field would make an ideal location for a main Olympic Stadium in Philly. But the logistics of making that an IAAF-acceptable venue (not to mention all the money the University of Pennsylvania has sunk into their sports facilities in the past few years) makes it next to impossible.

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I think that is the 'elephant' in the room for all American bids.

Unlike football (soccer) where teams are often prepared to watch games in athletics stadiums - Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Rome, Athens - there seems to be hardly any American cities which have a large and as such semi-permanent facility to host such an event or are prepared to accept an altered/compromised large stadium afterwards. Even London realised the huge expense of an 80,000 seats at £500million cannot justify its significant dismantling, and reducing a stadium by 75% after the initial outlay sounds better on paper than it does in reality,

If the IOC visit an American venue, and then see both Durban and Paris, will the USOC trust that lightning can strike twice and a fictional idea such as proposed by Chicago can work in the real world?

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Not to mention a craft landing field nearby for the aliens among us (Gromit, AthensFan and Lord David) who want to crash our humans-only Olympics!!

Jeez you are a troll sometimes.

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