D.C. one of four U.S. cities in consideration for 2024 Olympic Games

Last Friday afternoon, the U.S. Olympic Committee confirmed in a press release its four final candidates for a potential U.S. bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games: Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

This decision was part of a tedious process that started in February 2013 when the USOC first reached out to 35 U.S. cities to gauge interest. Over the last six months, USOC leaders have been focused on a pared down group of interested cities that also met the basic requirements for hosting the world’s largest sporting event. Some of these include provisions for 45,000 hotel rooms, an Olympic village to house 16,500 athletes, an extensive public transit system, and an estimated operations budget of around $3 billion.

Formal bids for the 2024 Games are expected to be due in September 2015. The International Olympic Committee’s final decision would follow in 2017. Among the other world cities anticipated to bid for the 2024 Games are Doha, Istanbul, Paris, and Rome.

D.C. has previously faced rejection in the USOC’s domestic selection process when it was passed over in favor of New York City in a bid for the 2012 Summer Games, which ultimately went to London. By the time 2024 arrives, it will have been 28 years since the United States hosted a Summer Olympics (the 1996 Atlanta Games).

The regional effort of savvy, deep-pocketed business leaders to convince the USOC to choose Washington as the nation’s nominee has been granted the very original name of DC2024. The movement is led by Chairman Russ Ramsey, a Virginia-based financier and philanthropist and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis, Washington Wizards and Capitals owner and a former AOL executive.

The District has the potential to make a convincing bid for the games: the city claims to have the most venues within a 40-mile range in America and could keep costs down because many of those venues are already built. It looks to potentially build a stadium on the site of the old RFK Stadium for track events and larger ceremonies.

“[D.C. has] more state-of-the-art sports infrastructure than any other U.S. city, three international airports, hotels, museums, embassies from around the globe, 170 languages spoken, world-class security and transportation,” Ramsey said in a press release. “We have no doubt that spending the next decade imbuing the Olympic spirit into every corner of Washington, D.C. will have a lasting, unifying impact on our city, our country and on the world.”

Interestingly enough, District natives may beg to differ. According to a (very) informal poll by DCist, 56 percent of sampled readers voted that they would not like to see D.C. hosting the 2024 Games.

Photo: flickr via sagriffin205

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