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Anchorage, Alaska to explore possible 2026 Winter Bid


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Sound's like somebody is feeling their pet host being in danger.

I don't know Anchorage and its area, so do not say it is not feasible to organize the Games here. I just check the size of the population... and saw that the size of the Metro is almost as big as the

I can't believe some of the replies that have rolled across this thing since I posted this thing! (( )) "Baron P. Myles IV book writer extraordinaire", I really, really hope the Olympics are held

I agree, that the IOC can bend their own rules if/when they want. Otherwise, we wouldn't be having Rio hosting the Ceremonies & Athletics at different venues. While Rogge did put out the Euro & "Summer" Olympics in the same year would be a no-no, that doesn't automatically equate to a no elsewhere. Particularly in Anchorage's case, for a "Winter" Olympics & at a site that wouldn't be included as a World Cup venue to begin with, like Istanbul would've been for marquee Euro matches. Not to mention the further time difference between six months VS only less than a couple of months in Turkey's case. Apples & oranges.

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PASO (which has a very similar charter to the IOC) allowed Gudalajara to host 2011 Pan Am Games and the FIFA u-17 world cup in the same year. Point: If the events are held at a reasonable distance I see no problem why both events could be hosted in the same year.

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PASO (which has a very similar charter to the IOC) allowed Gudalajara to host 2011 Pan Am Games and the FIFA u-17 world cup in the same year. Point: If the events are held at a reasonable distance I see no problem why both events could be hosted in the same year.

I don't think they can be compared to the two absolute premier events in each respective sport

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I don't think they can be compared to the two absolute premier events in each respective sport

FGS, to go back to the original scope of things, a WOG and a Summer WC will likely not be in conflict ...not in time and space...not for the majority of sponsors. Whereas a SOG and a World Cup would have numerous same-category conflicts. So...draw your own conclusions.

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The USOC is in a very different position now than it was in the '80s. There are many world-class training sites in the continental US, not least among them Salt Lake City and Colorado Springs. And obviously Anchorage's distance did not prove an obstacle for the USOC even in the 80s because they nominated it twice. Now that the there are even more training facilities. In the lower 48, I think that makes it crystal clear that Anchorage's distance is not a weak point,

So I'll ask my rhetorical question again: who cares that Anchorage is a bit farther away?

Apart from Baron and Quaker, I mean...

As I just wrote, the argument doesn't hold water because the USOC clearly wasn't bothered by Anchorage's distance in the 80's. They nominated it twice. If anything, the distance is less of an issue now than it was then because there are so many new training facilities in the lower 48.

The distance certainly will not be an issue for the IOC. Baron's original posts did not explain which group he thought would have a problem with Anchorage's distance. I fail to see how either the USOC or IOC would have a problem with it.

Anchorage is more than "a bit farther away" that the other candidate cities. It might as well be in another country. And you're wrong.. it couldn't be more clear that the USOC absolutely WASbothered by the distance back in the 80s. Sure they got nominated twice as the USOC's candidate (although history tells us they essentially got the `94 nomination automatically since the USOC didn't want to prep another city on short notice after the vote for 1992) , but then they got shoved aside for Salt Lake when some USOC members realized maybe it wasn't sure a good idea in the first place and the remoteness was cited as a factor.

Now, we don't know how the USOC (or the IOC) would view Anchorage now. Maybe they would be more amenable towards an Olympics there than they were 20-25 years ago. But again, the last impression either organization got of Anchorage was that they weren't what the USOC was looking for. They soured on the idea of an Anchorage Olympics because of several factors, including the distance. This is an indisputable and provable FACT. Whether or not those views have changed is anyone's guess. But I still think (this is an opinion) that the USOC would still have reservations about investing heavily, especially with the price tag having grown over the years, in leaving a Winter legacy up in Anchorage as opposed to somewhere far more accessible in the lower 48, even if that puts it closer to other facilities.

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I agree, that the IOC can bend their own rules if/when they want. Otherwise, we wouldn't be having Rio hosting the Ceremonies & Athletics at different venues. While Rogge did put out the Euro & "Summer" Olympics in the same year would be a no-no, that doesn't automatically equate to a no elsewhere. Particularly in Anchorage's case, for a "Winter" Olympics & at a site that wouldn't be included as a World Cup venue to begin with, like Istanbul would've been for marquee Euro matches. Not to mention the further time difference between six months VS only less than a couple of months in Turkey's case. Apples & oranges.

FGS, to go back to the original scope of things, a WOG and a Summer WC will likely not be in conflict ...not in time and space...not for the majority of sponsors. Whereas a SOG and a World Cup would have numerous same-category conflicts. So...draw your own conclusions.

If we're going to establish rules based on precedent, let's be fair about the comparisons. The United States hosting a World Cup and a Winter Olympics (in a city that would steer clear of the WC), a country with cities that will require little government funding and very little infrastructure improvements on the World Cup side of things, is worlds different than Turkey trying to host Euro 2020 in June (possibly into July) and then coming back about a month later to host an Olympics. Is it any wonder why Rogge who shoot down such an idea, aside from playing something of a bully role to essentially force Turkey and Istanbul into focusing on an Olympics?

Would the IOC have an issue with both events in the same year? Maybe.. but the Olympics would be held first, so they'd get all the hype and lead-up. The Olympic host city would certainly take themselves out of consideration for World Cup hosting duties. And both funding and government involvement would hardly be issues with the handling of both events like they clearly would be in Turkey. Not to mention that, as mentioned, U.S. Soccer and the USOC don't exactly work together all that closely. So even if the IOC did give an ultimatum, it's not like you have 2 organizations or governments working together to make a choice.

Obviously we're dealing with hypotheticals here, but I think the point stands that what happened with Turkey does NOT guarantee the same sequence of events would happen with the United States. It's not even an apples to oranges comparison.. more like apples to ball bearings.

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The FACT was that in 2002 SLC needed some government help to bail it out - it was covered when Romney ran for President so the private sector funding approach of the USA does have some hiccups.

And it wasn't just Rogge saying to choose Olympics or Euros; Platini from UEFA was saying the same thing. And you can expect the same from FIFA. Each will want their own competition to be the main sporting event of that year.

Turkey has one of the world's economies not effected by the global crisis with growth continuing at 8% per annum. It's a borderline racist comment to think they are some sort of 3rd world semi-industrialised economy - they are a member of the G-20, and OECD, have growing automobile, aerospace industries with the 15th greatest GDP-PPP putting them ahead of countries like Australia, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland etc - think a mini-China with democracy and have massive infrastructure projects all properly funded.

The venues for Euro2020 are being built irrespective of whether they had been awarded or not - of the 12 stadia proposed for 2016, 9 of the venues are being built anyway, not including 2 additional stadia in Istanbul at Beskitas and Fenerbache capable of hosting with a mere lick of paint.

Turkey could have held both the Summer Olympics and the Euros without breaking into a sweat, and it is more to do with each sporting association wanting no impediment to their event attracting sponsors, advertising etc

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The FACT was that in 2002 SLC needed some government help to bail it out - it was covered when Romney ran for President so the private sector funding approach of the USA does have some hiccups.

And it wasn't just Rogge saying to choose Olympics or Euros; Platini from UEFA was saying the same thing. And you can expect the same from FIFA. Each will want their own competition to be the main sporting event of that year.

Turkey has one of the world's economies not effected by the global crisis with growth continuing at 8% per annum. It's a borderline racist comment to think they are some sort of 3rd world semi-industrialised economy - they are a member of the G-20, and OECD, have growing automobile, aerospace industries with the 15th greatest GDP-PPP putting them ahead of countries like Australia, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland etc - think a mini-China with democracy and have massive infrastructure projects all properly funded.

The venues for Euro2020 are being built irrespective of whether they had been awarded or not - of the 12 stadia proposed for 2016, 9 of the venues are being built anyway, not including 2 additional stadia in Istanbul at Beskitas and Fenerbache capable of hosting with a mere lick of paint.

Turkey could have held both the Summer Olympics and the Euros without breaking into a sweat, and it is more to do with each sporting association wanting no impediment to their event attracting sponsors, advertising etc

Again though, it's not a 1-to-1 comparison. Having a Winter Olympics in February followed by a World Cup in June-July in the same country is different than having UEFA Euro in June followed by the Olympics a little over the month later. So if it's about attracting sponsors and advertisers, that's a tougher sell for two events that closer together in Turkey as opposed to two events in the United States spread much further apart and not involving the same cities.

Plus, specific to Turkey, I read that Platini said he wanted the Euro 2020 semis and finals to be held in Turkey but that Hasan Arat said "I think it's very clear we are just for the Olympic Games." If it's that easy without breaking a sweat, why'd they say no to that? Probably to appease the IOC because those semis and finals would have taken place in Istabul. Not the same with the U.S. and the Olympics. Anchorage wouldn't be hosting World Cup matches.

Just because Turkey (having hosted 0 Olympics) is being told not to do something does not mean the same will be true of the United States (many past hostings and over $4 billion dollars in TV rights fees committed for 2014-2020). I'm betting the IOC will be willing to bend their rules on this one if they believe the United States is where they want to award the Winter Olympics.

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Honestly, I don't know if it would turn into an OWG vs. WC situation or not. Common sense says it shouldn't -- especially in a country as large and diverse as the US. However, neither the IOC nor FIFA always act in accordance with common sense. There is some precedent for saying no thanks to Turkey.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I can't believe some of the replies that have rolled across this thing since I posted this thing! (( :lol: ))

"Baron P. Myles IV book writer extraordinaire", I really, really hope the Olympics are held in Reno/Tahoe in the near future for you. Seriously.. no one has the passion and desire you have. But don't drive yourself crazy worrying about other locations stealing Reno's thunder!

And Quaker.. the location of Anchorage, Alaska had nothing to do with it not winning prior bids! Good grief.. I fly down to the lower-48 all the flippin' time. The way some of you are talking, it's like you're asking the visitors to all move up here. I mean =gasp= they'd have to endure a 3 hour flight from Seattle?! OMG!!!!! If the sports teams here (or the ones who come up to play) could hear how ridiculous that sounds, they'd be rolling on the ground laughing.

And what's this nonsense about bringing in cruise ships for added motel rooms? = :lol: = Have you seen how many hotels/motels Anchorage has!?!?! There was a major building (((boom))) that started in the late 90's/early 2000's and it still hasn't stopped. Anchorage is NOT lacking in hotel space. If anything, there are way too many hotels!

What the city is in dire need of is a new hockey arena. The current one is too small for the popular ECHL hockey team (Alaska Aces) and they are often at standing room only. Wait. What. Did I say ECHL? You mean they fly all the way to the east coast!?! 81 games a season!? :o OMG, isn't that way far away? LOL!!! No.

The same arena is also home to a Division 1 hockey team (who also play teams as far away as Alabama).. again- piece of cake guys. No one minds the trips. But the new arena currently being built on campus will not include ice, so yes - Anchorage is sorely lacking a new hockey facility.

If Anchorage does ever host the games, a major benefit for them (aside from how SNOWY it is here.. and we are talking SNOW) is that Alyeska Resort is such a close, easy drive (or train ride) from Anchorage. 30 minutes tops. And it has to be one of the most stunningly beautiful drives on the planet. Massive snow-capped mountains along the sea the entire way, and once in the Alyeska area, gorgeous glaciers everywhere. There are slopes and trails all over the city, but for the major downhill events - they'd go to Alyeska.

I also read comments on here about how the Olympics needs to be in a major city, lest visitors will get bored. Whhaaaaa? So if you're under 400K, you're dullsville? When you travel to the Olympics, aren't you primarily going for the games? If not, they must've been bored to tears in Lillehammer. Hey.. At least in Anchorage, they'll get the added bonus of the northern lights swirling up above and the Iditarod sled dog race in the streets of downtown.

As much as I travel between Anchorage and California, I'm just a little blown away at Baron and others comments.

Anyway.. just wanted to add an update to the original post. Seems that the newly formed committee held their first meeting today: http://www.adn.com/2013/06/25/2953213/group-begins-exploring-another.html

Good grief, some people here are a kick.. :lol:

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And Quaker.. the location of Anchorage, Alaska had nothing to do with it not winning prior bids! Good grief.. I fly down to the lower-48 all the flippin' time. The way some of you are talking, it's like you're asking the visitors to all move up here. I mean =gasp= they'd have to endure a 3 hour flight from Seattle?! OMG!!!!! If the sports teams here (or the ones who come up to play) could hear how ridiculous that sounds, they'd be rolling on the ground laughing.

Why is it that people here take any knock against their city's chances so personally? This all is not an indictment against the city of Anchorage. It's merely a statement on their chances of being chosen to host an event that occurs once every 4 years and only comes back to North America at most once a decade. polarbear, don't know if you saw what I posted upthread, but since you think I'm crazy for bringing up Anchorage's location in regards to an Olympics, let's take another trip back to 1989..

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1989-05-18/sports/8902020399_1_usoc-officers-usoc-president-robert-helmick-usoc-executive-board-meeting/2

Many USOC executive board members had been privately rooting against Anchorage. They worry about Alaska`s future as a training site because of its relative isolation.

``It`s not fair to say the USOC has distanced itself from Anchorage, but there are people within our organization who wonder how much a set of facilities in Anchorage will help promote winter sports in the U.S.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/20390/ANCHORAGES-BAD-LUCK-OLYMPIC-BOON-FOR-UTAH.html?pg=all

Alaska is also isolated geographically, causing concern over future use of the facilities after the games. That issue alone has turned support toward a continental city hosting the games, Welch said.

Welch said he received "indications" from U.S. Olympic Committee officials in Seoul, Korea, when the Lillehammer choice was made, that Salt Lake will get more consideration the next time around.

I'm not making this stuff up. Would the USOC and those voting on the respective cities feel differently about Anchorage 25 years later? Maybe they will. But distance and location WAS a factor back then. It may not have lost them the 1992 or 1994 elections, but it sure sounds like it was a factor in them not getting the nomination for 1998 instead of Salt Lake. You can tell us all about how accessible Alaska is from the continental U.S. and how desperately Anchorage needs the Olympics there to get much needed facilities. But the USOC needs to think of what's in their best interests. So it may be better for them to have those facilities in a large city like Denver or even in a location like Lake Tahoe, which is 3 hour DRIVE from San Francisco.

What the city is in dire need of is a new hockey arena. The current one is too small for the popular ECHL hockey team (Alaska Aces) and they are often at standing room only. Wait. What. Did I say ECHL? You mean they fly all the way to the east coast!?! 81 games a season!? :o OMG, isn't that way far away? LOL!!! No.

Oh yea, and if you think you're gonna try and be cute in making a point, next time try getting your facts straight. This is what about 4 minutes of searching on Google can get you..

ECHL teams play 72 games a year, not 81. As olympicsfan noted, only half of those would be on the road in the first place. And the "E" in ECHL is a misnomer.. the league is split up into an Eastern Conference and a Western Conference. There is no crossover between conferences during the regular season. So how many times does Alaska fly to the East coast? Zero. Zip. Zilch. NONE!

In fact, the way the schedule is set up, games are played in series (similar to baseball). They're really traveling at most every other week or so. The furthest east they travel is to Las Vegas and Salt Lake unless they make it to the championship series. So, nice of you to try an exaggeration to prove a point, but not in any way based in fact. You're right.. some people here are a kick!

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I think times have changed. The world is smaller and travel is a way of life. Even far-flung destinations are accessible. They are also often perceived as more appealing because they feel exotic and different. Some may have been concerned about Anchorage's location in the eighties, but 30 years later, I believe it will play as a strength, not a weakness.

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You're right olympicsfan97. ^_^ Ah, but there's nothing better than watching Anchorage and say.. Gwinnett, GA competing against one another for the cup. Gotta love it!

Hey Baron-Pierre, you're not so bad afterall. :wub: At least you maintain your composure while discussing all of these "wanna-be" locations. :lol:

I'm at the tail end of a 20 year retirement position and will either be in my place in Avalon, or who the &^# knows where LONG before anyone hosts the 2026 games. Not sure if I'll sell my house up here (I'll never find a view like this one has again.. :( ) but I won't be living in it myself.

Quaker, yes - 72 games. Had to kinda glaze over the whole history of the ECHL bit. I know the background all too well. It's a pretty crummy league when you compare it to the AHL, but when the NHL had their issues at the beginning of the season.. it was nice seeing 4 homegrown NHL'ers playing at home for the Aces. Nice while it lasted!

Texas, where is that outdoor field you posted the photo at? I'm guessing one of the high schools, but I can't place it. But you're all correct that if this city is serious about bidding again (and who knows what will happen?) there would be some considerable building to be done.

When I watched the local news this morning, former Anchorage mayor Rick Mystrom was standing in front of some mountains in Eagle River (just N. of Anchorage) pointing up to the area they selected eons ago for the luge run. :lol: I guess if you're going to dream, dream BIG!

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I think times have changed. The world is smaller and travel is a way of life. Even far-flung destinations are accessible. They are also often perceived as more appealing because they feel exotic and different. Some may have been concerned about Anchorage's location in the eighties, but 30 years later, I believe it will play as a strength, not a weakness.

Exotic and different sounds nice, but again, if you're the USOC, let alone the bid city itself, you also need to be practical. Is it practical to build facilities in a far-flung location (and yes polar bear, it is far flung.. there's a reason the term "continental United States exists") as opposed to having them be in a more accessible location for the long term? I think there will still be some hesitation in that regard. Getting people to attend an Olympics in virtually any location is not an issue. It's leaving a legacy there that people (particularly future athletes who would make use of the facilities) would come back for that's at issue. In that regard, I think it's still a weakness, not a strength, especially in a country with (in theory) other potential options that may have their own weaknesses, but still have an edge in terms of travel over Anchorage.

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Exotic and different sounds nice, but again, if you're the USOC, let alone the bid city itself, you also need to be practical. Is it practical to build facilities in a far-flung location (and yes polar bear, it is far flung.. there's a reason the term "continental United States exists") as opposed to having them be in a more accessible location for the long term? I think there will still be some hesitation in that regard. Getting people to attend an Olympics in virtually any location is not an issue. It's leaving a legacy there that people (particularly future athletes who would make use of the facilities) would come back for that's at issue. In that regard, I think it's still a weakness, not a strength, especially in a country with (in theory) other potential options that may have their own weaknesses, but still have an edge in terms of travel over Anchorage.

Agreed. It's investing at least $160 million in 2013 $$ (for an indoor long-range speed track; a bobsleigh run; the ski jumps) for at least those 3 venues. How much use will they have up there when you have to fly athletes and coaches and when they already have easy and cheaper access to existing facilities in the lower 48 -- not to mention that I am sure the facilities in Vancouver and Calgary are also begging for some use to help offset their own maintenance costs. That's the crux of the USOC-distance argument.

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