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October 8th, 2002, 12:56 AM
October 7, 2002
Carrying a Torch for the City's Olympic Pitch

New York City films well — a face with a million good sides. So what better way to sell the idea of New York City playing host to the 2012 Olympics, the thinking goes, than to make a video pretending it has already happened?

The group NYC 2012, the city's official Olympic bid committee, spent the weekend filming athletes running around town with a big silver torch. Filming continues this morning with an 11 a.m. ticker-tape segment in the Canyon of Heroes downtown.

The video will serve as part of the city's presentation to the United States Olympic Committee on Nov. 2. San Francisco and New York will get an hour apiece to make their cases for selection.

Lots of pressure, then, for Margaret Joseph, 29, a Bronx emergency room worker and javelin thrower in the Empire Games. She got the call and showed up yesterday on a breezy Avenue of the Americas to run with the torch past Radio City Music Hall.

And run, and run, and run again, as the director ordered multiple takes.

The real and the fake blurred. Tourists gawked. "It's the Olympic torch," a woman told her friends. "There's always something happening, isn't there?" said another woman, from Toronto.

The fake police escort around Ms. Joseph was acted out by real police officers. Filming halted once while a real hot-dog vendor dragged his cart through the shot. Real cabs honked for the fake run to hurry up. Fake spectators — crew members — clapped as the runner passed. She kept one eye on the fake torch's real flame, which kept blowing out, and the other on the real droppings falling from the horses in the fake escort.

"It's very cool," Ms. Joseph said between takes. "It's totally New York."

The crew spent the morning on the Brooklyn Bridge and at Rockefeller Center. The public is invited to today's ticker-tape scene, on Broadway between Wall and Fulton Streets, and other scenes tomorrow, at the main New York Public Library and at the United Nations.

"Tomorrow night,", said Samuel Bayer, the director, "I'm going up in a helicopter, and they're blowing off fireworks behind the Statue of Liberty. It's insane."

Mr. Bayer, 39, has shot several feature films in New York City, as well as videos for the Rolling Stones. "I used to live by the World Trade Center," he said. "When they asked me to do this, how could I say no?"

The project would normally cost about $2 million, Mr. Bayer said. Everyone is working free. "I won't make my Ferrari payment this month," he said.

Yesterday's last scene was the toughest: In Times Square, where make-believe and reality mingle daily, Broadway was shut down for two blocks for the torch run. "There's no way I could have gotten this" for a regular shoot, Mr. Bayer said beneath the lights of the Virgin Records store. "They gave us carte blanche."

Stacy-Ann Grant, 25, of Brooklyn, a high jumper hoping to qualify for the 2004 Games, ran the torch past hundreds of clapping bystanders. "They see cameras and police cars and it's like a magnet," a producer said.

After a few takes, Mr. Bayer called the shot "massive" and called it a wrap. Ms. Grant was all smiles while the crew packed away the cameras. "I called my parents and said, `You have a star,' " she said. "It's the first time I've ever received so much attention." While she spoke, someone came up and congratulated her.

Organizers did not know whether San Francisco was also making a film, but smirked at the idea. A film showing what? Fog?

"Crabs?" Mr. Bayer said. "A wharf?"

As a matter of fact, San Francisco's presentation "will include a video component that showcases the best of what the San Franscisco Bay area has to offer the 2012 Olympics," said Tony Winnicker, the spokesman for that city's Olympic bid. He declined to be more specific for fear of giving anything away.

Talking on his cellphone at yesterday's San Franscisco Giants game, he paused and added, "Weren't the Yankees eliminated yesterday?"

October 8th, 2002, 10:46 AM
http://www.nypost.com/photos/web10050203.jpg * http://www.nypost.com/photos/web10080225.jpg
Fake Parade

Gucci fireworks light the sky over the Statue of Liberty as Chris Gamboni aims his camera Monday, Oct. 7, 2002, while shooting a video meant to boost New York City's bid to be the U.S. representative in the international contest to play host to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. New York is vying with San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)

Actor and runner Brian Voelcker carries the Olympic torch past spectators gathered at Rockefeller Center, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2002, in New York during the filming of a video promoting New York's 2012 Olympic bid. The video will be shown to the United States Olympic Committee this November. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett)

October 8th, 2002, 02:34 PM
Wow! *That Statue of Liberty pic is just amazing!! *:)

October 18th, 2002, 07:00 PM
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
Olympic dream plan
Friday, October 18th, 2002

Picture it. July 27, 2012. New York City.
The Olympic torch has been lit. A multi-colored laser beam - its five colors symbolizing the five Olympic rings - shoots 1,000 feet into the sky and lights up the top of the Empire State Building.

Another laser beam zooms downtown to a soaring Sept. 11 memorial.

A final beam shoots over the water to ignite the Statue of Liberty's torch.

And then ... the "greatest fireworks display ever" illuminates New York Harbor.

The executive summary of the city's 2012 Olympic bid, a 100-page document released yesterday, invites the U.S. Olympic Committee to imagine that magnificent scene.

Fleet of ferries

The committee will choose between New York City and San Francisco after a presentation from both cities in Colorado Springs on Nov.2.

The U.S. nominee will then compete with other cities around the world until the International Olympic Committee chooses the host city in 2005.

According to the city's opening ceremony plans, a fleet of ferries will begin a grand procession from the Olympic Village, located directly across the East River from the United Nations, to the Olympic Stadium on Manhattan's West Side. The fleet, escorted by New York City fireboats shooting cascades of water, will carry 16,000 athletes, coaches and officials.

Cheered by the crowds lining the waterfront, the ferries will travel down the East River, around the tip of lower Manhattan and up the Hudson to the stadium.

'World's biggest stage'

The lighting of the Olympic torch, laser-beam show and fireworks would follow.

"The Olympic Games is the world's biggest event and this [executive] summary will show why it belongs on the world's biggest stage - New York City," said Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, who founded NYC2012, the group pursuing the Games on the city's behalf.

Jay Kriegel, executive director of NYC2012, said he is not counting on sympathy from Olympic board members because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"This is about the merits," he said. "In the end, the decision is about bringing the Games back to the United States."

October 21st, 2002, 11:39 PM
I've been against the whole idea from the beginning however...... seeing the city in the state it's in now I think perhaps the Olympics could be beneficial in moving infrastructure projects forward and providing optomism in general.

Not to mention I think it has a much better shot against foreign competition than SF.

It's very important that it be managed properly though, that is my biggest fear.

October 23rd, 2002, 09:05 AM

Big Bucks Olympic Bid
NYC outspending S.F. by millions

By Joshua Robin and Graham Rayman
October 23, 2002

New York's Olympic committee is spending about five times as much as its rival in San Francisco to lure the 2012 Games here, including paying a company owned by the committee's director nearly $400,000 in consulting fees.

NYC2012 has spent about $13 million in the past two years, while San Francisco has spent about $2.5 million, officials from the two cities said.

The New York committee's 2001 tax return indicates that the firm owned by NYC2012 executive director Jay Kriegel last year received $399,984 for its work.

Kriegel, who in December 2001 replaced Dan Doctoroff at the group's helm, said he did not receive a salary in that role. Doctoroff is now a deputy mayor.

The fees, Kriegel said, are for a range of activities. He said a similar consulting arrangement is in place this year.

"It is not the same as a salary," Kriegel said. "I have a separate firm with several employees and overhead and benefits for them. I oversee everything that 2012 does, which is a lot if you stop and think of the scope of 2012."

Anne Warner Cribbs, the executive of San Francisco's bid, received a 2001 salary of $172,500. Bay Area committee spokesman Tony Winnicker said Cribbs' public relations firm does not do any work for the Bay Area committee.

The New York committee received about $4.6 million in contributions, much of it from foundations and companies such as Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, American Express and Doctoroff's family foundation, which alone donated $900,000. Doctoroff's former company, the investment firm Oak Hill Partners, gave an additional $1.1 million to the bid.

New York's committee is also funded by several companies doing business with the city. Investment bank Goldman Sachs, for instance, donated $100,000. In a twist, another donor was the New York-based Hearst Corp., which owns the San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst gave $75,000 to NYC2012, while the Chronicle donated $250,000, as well as about the same amount in free advertising space, to San Francisco's committee.

The returns are but one reflection of the large economic differences between the cities, one of which will be selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee on Nov. 2 as the nation's candidate to host the worldwide games.

There is also a big gap between the estimated price tag of holding the Games in each city. San Francisco puts the figure at about $2.4 billion. Games in New York are estimated to cost $2.3 billion - plus $1 billion for athletes' dormitories in Long Island City and as much as $4 billion for development on Manhattan's West Side that would include a sports stadium. Doctoroff has said the West Side development will go ahead regardless of whether New York is chosen for the Games.

Both sides point to their budgets to argue they are the strongest national contender.

"We're a community-based operation as opposed to a corporate ivory tower, top-down bid," said Tony Winnicker, a Bay Area spokesman.

Winnicker said his committee plans to announce next week that several corporations will donate to San Francisco if it bests New York in the Nov. 2 decision.

"I don't think there'll be any doubt that we will have the ability to raise the resources," he said.

Kriegel said committee members spent its $4.2 million bid crafting "what we think is a stunning plan."

New York's plan keeps most venues within 10 miles of the Olympic Village and linked with ferries and rail lines. Kriegel said that will give it an edge on the international stage. San Francisco, by contrast, would rely on sites as far-flung as Sacramento, almost 90 miles away.

October 25th, 2002, 03:30 PM
Got this e-mail today and figured this is a good thread to share it.

Click below for Statue of Liberty Fireworks:

October 26th, 2002, 08:30 PM
October 27, 2002
New York vs. San Francisco: A Complex Olympic Question

As members of the United States Olympic Committee prepare to choose between New York and San Francisco as their candidate for the site of the 2012 Summer Games, they say they are considering factors that range from how the cities treat their favorite sports to their feelings about a sympathy vote for New York.

More important, according to committee members, most of whom said last week that they were still undecided, will be their assessment of which has a better chance to bring the Olympics to the United States in competition with foreign cities.

The 123 members of the U.S.O.C. will select the United States candidate late Saturday afternoon in Colorado Springs, immediately after an hourlong presentation by officials of each city's bid committee. The choice for finalist will then enter a competition with other nations' host-city candidates, with the final choice to be made by the International Olympic Committee in 2005.

As the vote approaches, many committee members say they have yet to read the sleek binders of material and view the videotapes provided by the two cities.

Others have questions for the organizing committees on such subjects as the quality of the housing at the proposed athlete villages, the viability of an Olympic stadium on the West Side of Manhattan, and the size of the financial surpluses that would be left after the Olympic Games.

Nearly all the members are just entering the selection process. To prepare for this final choice, three people on a site evaluation task force, six of them U.S.O.C. members, assessed the cities' qualifications and narrowed the menu of competitors from eight to four last year, then narrowed it to two in August.

The remaining U.S.O.C. members were forbidden to make individual trips to evaluate the cities, which, in turn, were barred from any lobbying.

The stringent rules were imposed after it was revealed that cash and gifts were used to influence the votes of the International Olympic Committee in Salt Lake City's successful effort to be host of the Winter Olympics this year.

The U.S.O.C.'s fear that public comments might unduly influence the voting led it to send an e-mail message last week urging members not to speak to reporters.

"We feel clearly that to discuss the vote or one's view of the vote prior to presentations by the cities is, frankly, harmful to the process," said Michael Moran, a spokesman for the U.S.O.C. "We would like to think that all 123 members of our board will go into those presentations with a completely open mind."

In a survey conducted by The New York Times, 79 committee members responded; 26 voiced mild to strong support for each city.

The survey showed that most of that declared support was for New York: 14 said they were leaning to New York and 8 said they strongly favored the city.

Three committee members said they were leaning toward a vote for San Francisco, and one was a strong advocate of that city.

The survey was not conducted scientifically, and it is possible that some members were reluctant to tell reporters that they would not vote for New York. All were told that their comments would not be attributed unless they requested it.

More than anything, the survey reflected indecision about the selection process. Thirty-six said they were undecided, and 19 refused to discuss their views, most of them saying they thought it was inappropriate before the vote.

Of the undecided, two said they believed New York would win.

"All major cities can host an Olympics," one said, "but while San Francisco is internationally recognized, New York is a world capital."

But in spite of the grandiose plans that each city will present, some members may vote for the city in which they would rather spend 17 days, or for the city that they believe would best benefit their own sport.

The 123 committee members are men and women with different sports credentials — for example, the heads of USA Equestrian sports, or USA Roller Sports, or USA Hockey; officials of organizations like the Y.M.C.A. or the National Disability Sport Alliance, and representatives of the public sector, including former Senator Bill Bradley and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Those willing to discuss their thoughts cited different factors.

Robert Mitchell, chief executive officer of USA Shooting, said, "San Francisco is willing to build a permanent shooting-range complex for international shooting." He said that New York's plan to renovate the Police Department's shooting facility in the Bronx — and its gun laws — were negative factors for him.

Still, he added, a complete reading of each city's materials and their presentations on Saturday might cause him to change his mind.

The leader of another sport organization who favored New York explained his views. "The way they've organized the venues and housing and transportation is advantageous to us," said one U.S.O.C. director, who spoke on the condition that neither he nor his sport be identified. "We also believe that New York is more of an international city."

Whether the winner Saturday is New York or San Francisco, the final choice will be made in 2005 by the I.O.C. from a pool of candidates that is expected to include London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Berlin and Toronto. The chances of a United States city winning could be hurt by the possibility that Vancouver, British Columbia, would win the nod next year for the 2010 Winter Olympics. It is unlikely that the I.O.C. would choose two North American cities in consecutive years.

The geopolitics of Olympic selection has made it a priority for the U.S.O.C. to agree on a candidate that can win the international race.

"Our best chance of succeeding is in New York," said a pro-New York U.S.O.C. member.

Another member who is leaning toward voting for New York, added, "I look at New York as ranking with London and Rome as one of the greatest cities in the world. The United States can showcase its best in New York."

A second member who said he was in favor of New York added caveats. He questioned the ability of the New York Olympic committee, called NYC 2012, to build an Olympic stadium on the West Side, and the reliability of ferries and subway trains moving athletes and spectators.

Despite some community opposition, the NYC 2012 committee has proposed building an 86,000-seat stadium on a platform over the West Side rail yards that would later be converted to a home for the New York Jets. Much of the cost, the NYC 2012 committee claims, would be borne by the football team and the National Football League.

Other committee members said the terror attacks on the World Trade Center might have a sympathy effect on votes, but there was no unanimity on that subject.

"The entire world is sympathetic toward New York," one member said. But another member, Herb Perez, the 1992 gold medalist in tae kwon do, said he doubted that the attacks would have an impact on the vote. "The point is not today," he said. "The point is 2005. What weight will it carry?"

Dick Pound, a member of the I.O.C. from Canada, said he also doubted whether Sept. 11 sympathies would play a major role at either the national or international level.

"The question before the U.S.O.C. is not which choice will make us feel best about ourselves," said Mr. Pound, "but which of these two cities can win the vote at the I.O.C.

"I'm not going to step into that minefield," he said.

Copyright The New York Times Company

October 26th, 2002, 08:37 PM
October 27, 2002
In One City, a Golden Bridge; in the Other, Times Sq.

In their quest to lure the 2012 Summer Olympics, New York and San Francisco could not offer more diverse bids.

New York pitches itself as "the world's second home" to evoke the city's immigrant influence, while San Francisco bills itself as "the world's favorite city," a nod to polls of travelers' top destinations.

While nearly every event in New York would be played within the five boroughs, San Francisco's plan would dispatch athletes beyond the city limits, to as near as Berkeley and as far as Sacramento.

New York's Olympic village would be in Queens, across the East River from the United Nations building. San Francisco's main village would be in Silicon Valley on a former military base near Santa Clara.

In videotaped presentations, New York staged an Olympic torch run and ticker-tape parade. San Francisco's tape staged nothing, but did show off the natural beauty of the region and the readiness of its existing facilities.

The leader of the New York bid is Daniel L. Doctoroff, who is also a deputy mayor. The head of San Francisco's effort, Anne W. Cribbs, owns an advertising agency and, at 15, was an Olympic swimmer at the 1960 Summer Games in Rome.

Their plans will be scrutinized on Saturday, when the United States Olympic Committee meets in Colorado Springs to decide which of the two will be designated the country's candidate for host of the 2012 Games.

The winner will then compete with other cities around the world to receive the International Olympic Committee's final approval in 2005.

"This is one of the most important decisions the U.S.O.C. will have to make over the next few years," said Ms. Cribbs, the chief executive of the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee, the city's bid committee. "We've been fortunate to have an Olympics in the U.S. every so often over the past 20 years, but right now we don't have one to look forward to until the 2012 or maybe the 2016 decision."

The 123 U.S.O.C. members will also see how differently New York and San Francisco would spend their money. With fewer existing facilities available, New York plans to spend $904 million on construction, more than three times San Francisco's budget.

San Francisco plays on its fiscal conservatism — not that New York does not believe that it is also prudent — insisting that its capital costs are in line with the prudent desires of Jacques Rogge, the I.O.C. president.

New York plays down its plans for greater spending, which includes an Olympic stadium on the West Side of Manhattan it hopes the Jets will pay for, as a small part of the city's annual construction.

"That's probably the biggest question we'll get from the U.S.O.C.: How will we get the West Side thing done?" said Mr. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding and the creator of NYC2012, a bid committee, as a private citizen. "The commitment of the mayor and my position uniquely position us to answer that question."

Every Olympic bid has a story, some better than others. If the fundamentals of each city's bid are similar, then a story could carry the day.

To Mr. Doctoroff, the New York story is about how competitive the city's people are and about the immigrants who still come here dreaming of a better life. An unofficial but obvious part of New York's story is how much sympathy the city will receive for the Sept. 11 terror attack.

"Why did Beijing beat Paris and Toronto even though the I.O.C. ranked their plans roughly the same?" he asked, referring to the contest for the 2008 Summer Games. "Because the I.O.C. wants to use the city to say something about the Olympic movement's values."

San Francisco's most compelling story "is the commitment of the people here to the Olympic movement," Ms. Cribbs said. "It's their devotion to ensuring the longevity of the Olympic movement."

Such sentiments sound dreamy, but are similar to the language about the Olympic movement that frequently emanates from the I.O.C.

Ms. Cribbs said another strength of San Francisco was the $409 million surplus projected in its bid.

"But I want to believe it's about the people, not the money," she said.

New York does not project a surplus for its bid, but sets aside $239 million for what it calls "legacy, endowment and contingency funds."

Ultimately, the real story could be how well each city plays on the international stage. The U.S.O.C. wants to pick a city capable of beating possible competitors like Moscow, Berlin, Istanbul and Rome.

One former official of another city's bid committee said: "If the Olympics are the biggest show, then the idea of putting it on the biggest stages makes the most sense. And New York is in a favored position."

The official added that 25 of the U.S.O.C. board members had significant ties to the New York region. Among them are Henry Kissinger; Donald Fehr, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association; Roland W. Betts, an owner of Chelsea Piers; and former Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey.

Any United States bid could be harmed if Vancouver, British Columbia, is chosen to be the host of the 2010 Winter Games.

In New York's plan, ferries would transport athletes, coaches and officials to facilities on a north-south axis along the East and Harlem Rivers, and commuter rail would move them to sites along the east-west axis. Spectators would travel by mass transit.

The only Olympic locations outside the city would be Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, and the Continental Airlines Arena and Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

The San Francisco proposal places most events outside the city in clusters of facilities in San Francisco, Santa Clara-San Jose, Stanford University and Berkeley-Oakland, nearly all of which have close access to mass transit or light-rail stations.

The geographic spread (which also extends 90 miles northeast to Sacramento for canoeing and kayaking) is intended to maximize the use of existing athletic facilities. "We feel confident that the clusters will let every sport have its day in the sun rather than be overshadowed with everything in one place," Ms. Cribbs said. "And it spreads out the impact among the population."

Another difference separates the cities' bids. New York's appeal to U.S.O.C. members is more emotional than San Francisco's, according to the executive summaries of their plans, which were prepared for Saturday's meeting.

San Francisco's reads more like a sleek, well-written travelogue about its natural beauties, telling readers that the city "has enchanted the human imagination, exerting a magical pull across oceans and continents."

New York's opens with a reverie set on July 27, 2012, the first day of the Summer Olympics, when a fleet of ferries brings 16,000 athletes, coaches and officials to the Olympic Stadium in Manhattan and laser beams illuminate the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and the planned memorial to the victims of Sept. 11.

Copyright The New York Times Company

October 28th, 2002, 11:12 AM
The New York Times
October 28, 2002
New York or San Francisco Must Repel Other Nations' Olympic Bids

While New York and San Francisco are competing to be the United States candidate for host city of the 2012 Olympics, those looking past their duel point out that the competition at the international level is much tougher.

Despite a global economic downturn, many major cities in other nations are also planning bids to hold the 2012 Summer Olympics. Moscow, Istanbul and Havana have already announced intentions to join the race. Either Madrid or Seville will bid from Spain, as will a German city to be determined from among five candidates early next year. Other strong possibilities include Paris, Budapest and Rome. Furthermore, London, Rio de Janeiro and Toronto are less likely but still conceivable.

The cities will compete to be chosen in 2005 by the International Olympic Committee as the site for the 2012 Summer Games.

"We are expecting 10 or 11 countries," Jacques Rogge, the International Olympic Committee president, said in a telephone interview from Lausanne, Switzerland.

This could be one of the most competitive Olympic bidding processes in history, and Mr. Rogge said he believed the bids' merits, and not any factor like sympathy for New York because of the Sept. 11 attack, should be decisive.

"I think that New Yorkers themselves will want to win on their own merits and the quality of their bid," Mr. Rogge said. "Of course the whole world has mourned what happened. It was a tragic event, and there is always an emotional link.

"But we are speaking about a sports competition organized for the best athletes in the world, and the organization should be judged on the quality of the bid, and not on legitimate emotional issues."

A Hungarian official, Gabor Seprenyi, the head of the research department at the Hungarian Ministry of Sport, which has been developing Budapest's bid, conceded there could be such an impact.

"It probably could be an advantage," he said. "The majority of the whole world feels a great sympathy for New York City, the symbol of this great disaster which happened last year. So it's the emotional side, and it could be part of the decision-making process. But on the other hand, you have to convince the members of the I.O.C. who vote, not the press or the public. That is your target group, and it is a difficult group to read."

What is clear is that the contenders feel a strong desire to win in 2005.

"We all feel a sense of solidarity because of what happened in New York," said Felicio Mayoral, director general of Madrid's 2012 bid. "But this is a sports competition, and we definitely feel we have the right to present ourselves."

A big question for those schooled in Olympic geopolitics is this: Would there be any sense for New York or San Francisco to present itself at all if Vancouver were to be named host of the 2010 Winter Olympics at next year's I.O.C. session in Prague? The only two other cities in contention to hold those winter games are picturesque Salzburg, Austria, and Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Some who have tried to handicap the various cities' prospects say that if Vancouver, whose early reviews are strong, did win, it would seem unlikely that the I.O.C. would give North America two Olympic games in a row.

"It's like the monster of Loch Ness," Mr. Rogge said of this theory. "You hear about it; you never see it. If you look at recent developments, we had Athens and Torino in a row in 2004 and 2006 in Europe. So that's the best sign that nothing is really fixed, and that you can't say geographical rotation is the rule. When we went from one continent to another, it was because of the higher quality of one bid compared to the others."

There is nothing in the Olympic charter that obligates the committee to rotate the Olympics from continent to continent.

The I.O.C. also granted the 1992 Summer Games to Barcelona and the 1992 Winter Games to another European city: Albertville, France. But despite Mr. Rogge's comments, that is still an exception to the historical trend over the last 50 years.

One I.O.C. member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that there was lingering resentment among some members about the Canadian delegation's behavior in Salt Lake City, when it lobbied vigorously and successfully for a duplicate gold medal to be awarded to its pairs skaters, Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, after evidence of corrupt judging surfaced.

"Some people have a score to settle with the Canadians," the member said. "I don't know how many there are, but there are some. I think you're jumping the gun to say Vancouver will win, and I think you're jumping the gun to say that if Vancouver does win, it's the end of New York. Many things could happen."

The same member suggested that one twist could be a groundswell of support for a possible Brazilian bid. No South American nation has been host of the Olympics, and Rio de Janeiro has already been awarded the 2007 Pan American Games. "Everyone might be happy to try to help solve some of South America's problems by going to Rio in 2012," the member said.

Mr. Rogge did not agree with the idea that a North American city like New York would encounter fewer problems by waiting until 2016 to bid. "I think your country can capitalize on the momentum of very, very successful Salt Lake City Games, and on the success of both your summer and winter teams at the Games," he said. "I think from a timing point of view, there is absolutely no reason to wait."

November 3rd, 2002, 12:27 AM
From New York Times
November 3, 2002
New York City Is U.S. Nominee for '12 Games

COLORADO SPRINGS, Nov. 2 — New York took one more step today toward playing host to the Olympics when it handily defeated San Francisco's bid to become the United States Olympic Committee's designated city for the 2012 Summer Games.

Now, New York will enter a global competition against a field that is likely to include Rome, Toronto, Moscow and Istanbul. The final choice for the host city will be made in 2005 by the International Olympic Committee.

The announcement sent the New York delegation, led by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, into a frenzy of celebration. Mr. Bloomberg turned to embrace the comedian Billy Crystal, who performed in New York's presentation. Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor who founded NYC2012, the city's bid group, leaned over to grasp the hand of his wife, Alysa.

"We are completely committed to the notion of bringing the Games back to America," Mr. Doctoroff said.

With New York's victory, it became clear that the city's leaders and its bid committee are entering a new phase, in which they face daunting political and financial obstacles to making the Games happen. [Page 25].

Several board members said that they sensed in recent days that sentiment was shifting to New York, and that NYC2012's forceful, funny and highly detailed presentation to the United States Olympic Committee today further swayed votes.

"Today made it easier to vote for New York," said Jack Kelly, a member of the executive committee of USA Baseball, the national governing body of the sport. "San Francisco sold what it had to sell, but New York sold what the people here wanted. There was no there there in San Francisco's presentation. This group wants numbers, and New York gave them to them."

New York grabbed 59.2 percent of the paper balloting of the 123 U.S.O.C. board members, amassing 132.02 votes out of 223.04; the members' votes are weighted and thus do not add up to 123.

For the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee, which brought forth San Francisco's 2012 bid, the disappointment was clear. "We thought we produced what the U.S.O.C. and the I.O.C. wanted," said Anne W. Cribbs, the president of the San Francisco bid committee. "We had the best bid for the athlete. I wouldn't have done a thing differently."

Looking toward 2005, Mr. Doctoroff said NYC2012 would probably spend more on its campaign to win the International Olympic Committee's favor than the $13 million it spent to gain the United States Olympic Committee's approval. The campaign will have to be waged without any direct contact with International Olympic Committee members, a restriction put into place after the scandals surrounding Salt Lake City's successful bid for the 2002 Winter Games. Salt Lake officials gave I.O.C. members cash and gifts; 10 members eventually resigned or were expelled. The United States Olympic Committee adopted an identical rule.

Mr. Doctoroff said the plan that NYC2012 used to win the United States Olympic Committee vote will continue in its I.O.C. campaign.

"We weren't pretending here," he said. "Our plan is our plan. We've spent millions to create the right plan."

For today's meeting in a ballroom at The Broadmoor resort, the New York contingent was dressed in identical blue blazers and gray slacks (courtesy of the clothier Brooks Brothers). The San Francisco group did not dress in a team uniform.

The session started ominously for the San Francisco committee when, before the cities' presentations, the board members were warned to pay no heed to estimates of budget surpluses. The admonition stunned the San Francisco group, at which it was clearly aimed. B.A.S.O.C has forecast a $409 million surplus but reports that it told United States Olympic Committee members Friday night about how it would divvy up some of the surplus to athlete training angered the committee's ethics commission, said a board member.

Details of dividing a surplus must be determined by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee.

"We recommend that you reject surpluses and legacies as they are for the most part hypothetical," Charles Moore, the chairman of a task force that evaluated the capabilities of cities to bid for the 2012 designation, told the board members.

NYC2012 projected $239 million in "endowment, contingency funds and legacy," but its description of this money did not anger the United States Olympic Committee.

The presentations showed the sharp contrast between the cities. New York's was aggressive and very specific in detailing where its facilities would be, and how athletes, officials, the media and spectators would get there. San Francisco's was much lighter with details, with the bid committee clearly expecting that board members had read the voluminous bid books they have received.

Perhaps the starkest contrast was in how the two cities laid out their plans. New York situated all but three of its venues within the five boroughs. San Francisco envisioned a "Ring of Gold" that placed some events within the city, but many others were in Berkeley, Oakland, Santa Clara, San Jose and Palo Alto, home to Stanford University.

"One of the great attractions for New York was the compactness of the bid," Marty Mankamyer, the U.S.O.C, president, said, adding that she also liked the emphasis New York showed in its video on the sports to be played.

Through five videos, using Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" and John Lennon's "Imagine," New York created a love poem evoking its sights and history, as well as icons, from Woody Allen to Itzhak Perlman, Cardinal Edward Egan and Robert DeNiro.

San Francisco's presentation repeatedly emphasized its focus on making its bid the best one for the athletes, and co-opted into its camp famous New Yorkers like the former Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and the singer Tony Bennett (whose loyalties must be divided given the fame for his signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco").

In their presentation, the speakers in New York's delegation — from Mr. Bloomberg, Mr. Doctoroff and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani to the fencer Peter Westbrook and the Olympic long jumper Bob Beamon — used TelePrompters. Ms. Cribbs used notes, while other San Francisco speakers spoke off the cuff.

Mr. Guiliani emphasized New York's continued embrace of big events that require massive security forces, such as the World Series, the New York City Marathon and the United Nations General Assembly. "We will make you proud," Mr. Giuliani told the board members. "And one more thing: New Yorkers never give up. Never have. Never will."

New York's presentation also emphasized that one government, not the several involved in the San Francisco bid, would be responsible for security, construction and transportation.

"One government, one stop, one solution," Mr. Bloomberg said.

Having competed in the realms of facilities and finance, the two cities also competed on humor. Robin Williams delivered a taped 2012 weather report for San Francisco, describing a map in which San Francisco is "paradise," and New York is "hot, caliente! I see swimmers crawling for joy in the triathlon, marathoners hardly breaking a sweat on the Golden Gate bridge."

Mr. Crystal, one of Mr. Williams's closest friends, performed a fast-talking riff about the singular allures of New York.

"Five boroughs, eight million people, two Clintons," he said. "And the Mets are helping with drug testing. Winona Ryder is going to get Olympic uniforms free. Why give the Olympics to Beijing? New York has better Chinese food!"

November 3rd, 2002, 04:15 AM
What a surprise.


They better change those designs though. Ugh.

November 3rd, 2002, 01:36 PM
Its meant to be. The Olympics and New York, its gonna happen.

November 4th, 2002, 10:12 AM
Let the building begin.

November 4th, 2002, 11:23 AM
Olympic Village has a number of additional buildings added that are not part of the original Queens West design. *Has any information been released about these additional buildings (who, when, how, or expected building stats)?

November 4th, 2002, 11:42 AM
Whoo-hoo! *Go NYC! *I am so excited! *:)

November 14th, 2002, 01:35 AM
guys, its ssooooo far off. *that makes me bummed out.

July 5th, 2003, 09:38 AM
July 5, 2003

Olympic Hurdles for New York

The selection of Vancouver this week as the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics was supposed to hurt New York's chances of winning the Summer Games that follow, the reasoning being that one continent should not be the host for successive Games. But recent history is filled with exceptions to that position, including the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid and the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. The fact is, New York's biggest challenge is not geography, but time and money.

With the International Olympic Committee set to decide two years from now on the 2012 Summer Games, New York's planners are looking like weight trainers halfway into a clean and jerk: the heavy lifting has just begun and the clock is ticking. To stay competitive in a field that so far includes London, Madrid and Paris, the city needs to begin work on a far West Side addition to the No. 7 subway line, but there will not be much time after the necessary reviews to get started on that before the selection date. That transportation is needed if planners are to proceed with a grand plan to transform the mostly life-deprived Hudson Yards, west of Midtown, into an exciting residential and recreational center at a pace that would resemble "Trading Spaces" on steroids. This work and a Long Island waterfront project would be the landscape legacies the Olympics preparations are supposed to spur, much in the way Barcelona reshaped its oceanfront for the '92 Games. While competition is driving all this activity, planners here say the change will happen whether the Games come to New York or not.

Part of the West Side development plan is a much-needed expansion of the Javits Convention Center. But planners have been less compelling about the necessity for a proposed stadium that would eventually become the home of the New York Jets. And the volume of new commercial and residential space — 40 million square feet in the course of 40 years — seems especially ambitious in a big picture that includes rebuilding Lower Manhattan.

The team led by Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff needs to answer, and soon, the biggest question of all: how the development, which totals $4 billion, will be financed. Planners appear to be working on a self-financing mechanism that would put the major risk on developers rather than the taxpayers. But details have not yet been made public. Paying for the stadium is a separate issue — while the Jets are supposed to bear much of the cost, the team would not have to pay for the $500 million roof and foundation that would make the site multifunctional.

There is no question that winning the Olympics can help to revitalize a local economy, and right now New York's is hurting. And that's the point. The architects of the New York Olympic bid still have to convince New Yorkers that pain now will be worth the gain in 2012 and beyond.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

July 5th, 2003, 11:24 AM
I really wish that Dan Doctoroff would focus all his energies on bringing the 2012 Olympics here and keep his hands off Ground Zero and its distorted 'rebuilding process'.

(Edited by Agglomeration at 11:26 am on July 5, 2003)

July 18th, 2003, 09:32 AM
Quote: from Stern on 1:36 pm on Nov. 3, 2002
Its meant to be. The Olympics and New York, its gonna happen.

I think Olimpics will be either in Paris or London. NYC does not have much chance.

July 18th, 2003, 10:45 AM
We shall see, I guess.

July 25th, 2003, 02:37 PM
Brooklyn Arena (http://www.rvapc.com/ht/HTProject.aspx?Base=Projects&projID=249)

(Edited by Christian Wieland at 2:42 pm on July 25, 2003)

July 26th, 2003, 12:07 PM
Man the last thing New York needs is more people crowding its streets. Why would you even want the Olympics there? Don't you feel that there's enough cars on the freeway, people standing in line at the subway and riding the buses and walking the sidewalks? lol

Now somebody mentioned Rio. That would be cool. I'd like to see the Olympics go to someplace like that besides the usual North American and European cities (yeah yeah I know the argument about such cities not being able to afford the cost of hosting such a gala in their city, but I think some of these cities, such as Beijing and Rio, can).

July 28th, 2003, 02:16 PM
The more the merrier - people, events, money flowing into the city's coffers (and the businesses, etc). *This IS why you live in NYC. *It's the center of the world. *We like it that way.

January 16th, 2004, 12:15 PM
New York Observer http://www.observer.com/index_go.html

Jan 15, 2004

Thrills, Agony As Mike Seeks ’12 Olympics

by Ben Smith

Dan Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for economic development, says he doesn’t gamble. If he did, he might be tempted to put his money where his mouth is: Internet bookies are offering 7-to-1 odds against New York’s hosting the Summer Olympics in 2012.

Mr. Doctoroff already has anted up on New York’s behalf. On January 12, he handed a 65-page sketch of the city’s Olympic plan to a yellow-clad DHL messenger bound for Lausanne, Switzerland, seat of the International Olympic Committee. On Jan. 15, the guardians of the Olympic torch will begin considering responses from the nine candidate cities and the competition will begin in earnest.

This is a high-stakes play for Mr. Doctoroff, a trim 45-year-old with curly hair and a permanent smile. It’s also a gamble for his boss, Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The I.O.C. will decide on the 2012 site at a meeting in July 2005, just four months before Mr. Bloomberg is due to stand for re-election.

If the bookies are onto something and Mr. Doctoroff’s efforts do not pay off, New Yorkers may wonder about the rationale for policies tied to the Olympic bid. Those policies range from a planned Olympic Stadium on the far West Side to City Hall’s attempts to block construction of a power plant on a Brooklyn site designated for Olympic archery competition.

"The Bloomberg administration has put all of their eggs in the Olympic basket," said Christine Quinn, a City Council member from the West Side who is fighting the stadium plan. "If the Olympics falls through, Mike Bloomberg is going to be vulnerable. People will say, ‘This guy put it all in delivering the deal, and he couldn’t deliver the deal.’"

Some of Mr. Bloomberg’s potential rivals for 2005 are already displaying their concern.

"Should every decision be linked to the Olympics that is made in terms of land use or budgeting?" asked Fernando Ferrer, the former Bronx borough president. "I’m not sure that that’s a very wise approach."

Mr. Doctoroff responds that the Olympics are just a "catalyst" for development. If New York makes a good pitch to the I.O.C., Mr. Doctoroff said, "our chances of winning are very, very good."

But across the Atlantic, the Europeans who will play a dominant role in choosing the site say they agree with the bookies, considering New York a long-shot contender behind Paris and London.

"So far, everyone has said that London and Paris and Madrid are the front-runners, and New York has been dealt out of the pack," said Patrick Hickey, a top Irish member of the I.O.C. and secretary general of the European Olympic Committees. But Mr. Hickey added a warning. "I think [New York] will be a player at the end of the day," he said.

The problems with New York’s bid have little to do with the city’s $3.6 billion plan. For one thing, the I.O.C. is deeply Eurocentric—nearly half of the committee’s 125 voting members come from European countries, and only three are from the United States. European anger at America over matters from the Iraq war to new fingerprinting systems at the U.S. border remains high. "If a vote was taken today, it wouldn’t be good news for New York," said one I.O.C. member, who proceeded to cite anti-American jokes in that day’s newspaper in his European country.

Some insiders also feel that 2012 will be Europe’s "turn" after the 2008 Beijing Games. The bid from Paris, hungry after a failed 2008 bid, gets roughly even odds from the online bookies. Paris ranked highest in a recent survey from a Web site that follows the Olympics, Gamesbids.com. New York placed fifth, after Paris, Rio de Janeiro, London and Istanbul and ahead only of Madrid, Moscow, Leipzig and Havana.

"When 2012 comes around, in a geographic sense the I.O.C. may be looking to let the games come back to Europe," said Ed Hula, the editor of an Olympic-insider newsletter, Around the Rings.

The I.O.C.’s executive board is expected to make a first cut this May, and the full committee will vote by secret ballot on July 6, 2005.

Leaders of the European bids wave off Mr. Doctoroff’s confidence.

"They may adopt whatever sales pitch they wish to, because we intend to provide stiff opposition to them," said the chairman of the British Olympic Association, Craig Reedie. "London will produce technically a very competitive and good bid, and we expect to be serious competition."

A spokesman for the Paris bid, Jerome Lenfant, told The Observer that he thinks his city’s time has come.

"Paris has been running for the games for several times and has been on the short list several times," he said. "We learned from each of those failures, and today we think we are presenting a strong project."

That’s the field. Then there’s Mr. Doctoroff, a relentlessly genial graduate of Wall Street. He is New York’s not-so-secret weapon, its driving force, and its only hope of beating the odds.

"Everyone agrees that Dan Doctoroff is the most impressive man in the room whenever there is a meeting," said an I.O.C. member who watched him buttonhole Olympic electors at December 2003 meeting in Rome. "I don’t know what he’s saying to them, but they are staying a long time with him. He knows how to do it."

An Unlikely Olympian

At first glance, Mr. Doctoroff is an unlikely character to be enthralled by the Olympic movement’s hokey internationalism and idealism. A Detroit native who earned degrees from Harvard and the University of Chicago Law School, Mr. Doctoroff made his money in the no-illusions world of private equity, working as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers before taking a lead role at Oak Hill Capital Partners, the investment vehicle of Texas billionaire Robert Bass.

That experience no doubt left him unsurprised by the greed and ambition that have tarnished the Olympics in recent years. But while his enemies imagine that he has some ulterior motive for pushing the Olympics, the amount of energy Mr. Doctoroff has devoted to the city’s Olympics bid since 1997 belies conspiracy theories, as does the true-believer glint in his eye whenever he speaks of the games.

"New York is a city of dreams, and that’s what the Olympics are really all about," he told the group of American and European reporters outside City Hall.

New York’s particular Olympic dream has been detailed by NYC2012—Mr. Doctoroff’s nonprofit group, which Mr. Bloomberg joined as a private donor in 2000. The plan envisions venues for 40 sports, with a planned Olympic Village at Queens West on the east bank of the East River. The village would house 16,000 athletes in 4,400 new high-rise apartments, which would then be turned into permanent housing for city residents.

The sweeping Olympic plan mirrors the Bloomberg administration’s development priorities. The city already has begun an environmental review for the West Side stadium proposal, a planned extension of the No. 7 subway line and an expanded midtown that developers hope would sprout around the facility. In Brooklyn, Mayor Bloomberg is fighting for new residential development and parks on the waterfront, and against a new power plant in Greenpoint.

These projects, already moving forward, seem to presuppose New York’s victory. But, Olympic officials say, bidders are basically forced into that position.

"When you’re bidding, you have to be convinced that you will get it," said Gunilla Lindberg, a Swedish I.O.C. member who worked on unsuccessful bids for Stockholm.

Mr. Bloomberg certainly has been sold on the notion. In his State of the City address on Jan. 8, Mr. Bloomberg said that New York has "a great chance" at winning the games.

If Mr. Doctoroff has the odds figured out and New York takes a surprising victory, questions about the West Side Stadium and other development projects will likely subside amid the glow from the Olympic torch—at least until after the 2005 election. That was certainly the case with the last project of this scope, the 1964 World’s Fair, a popular event despite questions about its finances and about what exactly the city was going to do with a Unisphere after the fairgoers went home.

And even if New York loses, Mr. Doctoroff is prepared to make the case that many of the development projects should go forward.

"The Olympic plan was designed with the city’s economic-development priorities as one of its most important objectives," he said. "Certainly I hope more than anything that we will win the Olympics, but we are attempting to have the Olympics serve as a catalyst."

You may reach Ben Smith via email at: bensmith@observer.com.


January 16th, 2004, 12:39 PM
With an IOC that is non-US, you better believe that it will be a miracle if the Olympics come here. I want them to, and after 9-11 it was as certain as it could ever have been. Now is a completely different story. All one has to do is step foot in another country to feel the tension, including Britain.

That said, I still want to see the Jets stadium and LIC development.

January 16th, 2004, 12:49 PM
Another barrier is the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics - some silly "rule" about not having both games on the same continent (or is that hemisphere :? ).

The man in the White House has certainly squandered good will toward America.

January 16th, 2004, 03:09 PM
It sounds like Doctoroff will really, really have to impress the IOC for New York to get the 2012 Games. I believe you're right Zippy, that the actions by the White House lately probably did more to hurt New York's chances than anything else. Though there is a sentiment by the overwhelmingly Eurocentric IOC that 2012 is "Europe's turn", or not to have two North American Olympics in a row, history shows no precedent for it:

1896 Athens
1900 Paris
1904 St. Louis
1908 London
1912 Stockholm
1916 - WWI
1920 Antwerp
1924 Chamonix/Paris
1928 St. Moritz/Amsterdam
1932 Lake Placid/Los Angeles
1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen/Berlin
1940 - WWII
1944 - WWII
1948 St. Moritz/London
1952 Oslo/Helsinki
1956 Cortina D'Ampezzo/Melbourne
1960 Squaw Valley/Rome
1964 Innsbruck/Tokyo
1968 Grenoble/Mexico City
1972 Sapporo/Munich
1976 Innsbruck/Montreal
1980 Lake Placid/Moscow
1984 Sarajevo/Los Angeles
1988 Calgary/Seoul
1992 Albertville/Barcelona
1994 Lillehammer
1996 Atlanta
1998 Nagano
2000 Sydney
2002 Salt Lake City
2004 Athens
2006 Turino
2008 Beijing
2010 Vancouver

Europe is hosting the Olympics in 2004 and 2006, and they hosted three in a row in 1992-1994. Europe will have had the Summer Olympics just 8 years earlier than 2012, how is it "Europe's turn"? Besides, I know it's a long time ago, but the cities of London and Paris already twice appear on that exclusive list of Olympic venues. They deserve to get the games for a third time before New York gets a first?

January 16th, 2004, 03:32 PM
First, take Athens 2004 off the map - it's a centennial of sorts. Then look at the chart for places other than Europe. The IOC is Eurocentric, and is considered a sort of home base for the Olympics. There are more countries in Europe that make Olympic bids than anywhere else.

You won't find too many cases where successive Olympics were held in Asia or the Americas.

And except for Australia, everything south of the equator is nonexistent.

This is also NYC's first bid - an amazing statistic, when you think about it.

January 17th, 2004, 07:46 AM
January 17, 2004

City Sees Gain of $12 Billion From Landing 2012 Olympics


New York City released its initial bid yesterday to hold the 2012 Olympics, saying the summer games would pump $12 billion into the local economy and leave a lasting legacy of athletic fields, a stadium and waterfront development.

NY2012, the New York bid committee, outlined its plans in the submission, focusing on venues, transportation, security, political support and legacy. New York, like the other cities competing for the designation, delivered the documents to the International Olympic Committee on Thursday. The 65-page document was unveiled at the Riverview Restaurant at Queens West, across the East River from the United Nations and blocks away from where the city proposes to build an Olympic Village for the athletes. Under the Olympic plan, the village would be converted afterward to market-rate housing.

A year ago, New York beat San Francisco as the official nominee of the United States Olympic Committee for the 2012 summer games. New York is competing against London; Paris; Moscow; Leipzig, Germany; Istanbul; Rio de Janeiro; Madrid; and Havana.

Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff said yesterday that work on three major elements of the plan - the Olympic Stadium on the west side of Manhattan, the expansion of the convention center and the extension of the No. 7 subway line - would begin before the I.O.C. makes its selection in July 2005 in Singapore.

Mr. Doctoroff rejected suggestions that New York's bid might not fare well because of the current unpopularity of the United States.

"They're not voting on America," Mr. Doctoroff said. "They're voting on New York." He said the city was often viewed as a bridge to the rest of the United States.

London bookies currently rank Paris as the leading contender, with New York tied for fourth place with Rio de Janeiro at odds of 8-1.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

January 17th, 2004, 08:17 PM
i say bring em up a little higher, but i'll say that no matter how high a building gets. would be sorta cool to have that HK thing going in that area though. a dozen 40+ story identical housing buildings close togethor that look similar. but anyways, this should be pretty badass.

January 18th, 2004, 09:47 PM
I dont know about you guys but I think the diea of going up the East River and having scrapers on both sides is awesome. Same deal with Jersy City. Have a true canyon there, it would be awesome. Now if Brooklyn can get some more up wede be on our way. Random question but how long do people think it will take till Harlem and the whole area of N. Manhattan will start to see some density build up.

January 18th, 2004, 10:14 PM
Harlem is being rezoned for slightly higher density now, but I don't think skyscrapers are part of the deal..

February 10th, 2004, 09:48 AM
Whetting the Olympic Dream

by Andrew Yang

New York City's Olympic bid committee, NYC 2012, has made some great design decisions including the choosing of finalists for its Olympic Village. However, as the very powerful private organization prepares to make its final push, Andrew Yang asks, How much does the city really need the Olympics?

While the International Olympic Committee won't be announcing the host city for the 2012 Olympics until July 2005, NYC 2012, the non-profit private organization funded by large corporations and private donors that is initiating New York's bid, is commissioning enough work to build a small city. In fact, a small city is what NYC 2012 has most recently announced.

After an initial round of RFQs, NYC 2012 selected five architects to submit designs for an Olympic village in Queens West, near Long Island City: Henning Larsens Tegnestue, Zaha Hadid, Morphosis, MVRDV, and a mostly hometown team consisting of Smith-Miller + Hawkinson, Ralph Lerner, Shigeru Ban, Julie Bargmann and others.

The plans, which will be presented publicly this March, will be both a building and an urban plan. The architects will be concerned with fulfilling the Olympic program, but also creating market-rate (read: non- dorm-style) housing on a site near Long Island City. While the village will house 16,000 athletes and coaches during the Olympics, it could house nearly 18,000 residents after the Olympics are over. "They appropriately put a very high premium on design," said Ralph Lerner. The Olympic (and post-Olympic) Village would be the first residential complexes for many of the designers. Because New York City is competing to host the Olympics, the architects are not guaranteed a commission-- yet. However, the quality of proposals and designs will be contributed into New York's candidature file, from which the ultimate decision will be made.

From the start, NYC 2012, founded by Daniel Doctoroff, now the deputy mayor for economic development, has been courting good design. It has already commissioned biggies like Hardy, Holzman and Pfieffer, Deborah Berke, and Rafael Viñoly for speculative designs into the all-important candidature file. "I'd like to think that the tide is turning [for good design in New York]," said Laurie Hawkinson.

Beyond the Olympic Village, there are much heralded infrastructure improvements including the Olympic "X" plan, which extends east-west from Queens to Midtown to the Meadowlands, and north-south along the East river. The main elements of the Olympic proposal consist of fortifying existing sporting sites in all five boroughs, building new venues in key places like the Queens and Brooklyn waterfronts, and developing the west side of midtown Manhattan.

The linchpin of the plan is, and has been from the beginning, the development of a stadium for the New York Jets to be used as the official Olympic stadium, along with an anticipated extension of the number 7 subway line from 8th Avenue to 12th Avenue along 42nd Street. NYC 2012's estimate is a cost of $3 billion, not including West Side development, a city priority. In all, the Olympics may cost $6 billion.

Such a staggering sum and a complicated and nuanced vision has required cooperated planning between the private NYC 2012 and many city departments--a difficult feat, or so one would think. While NYC 2012, the mayor's office, and the Department of City Planning are discreet entitites, the players involved--Doctoroff and Alexander Garvin, NYC's director of planning and a city planning commissioner-- give every impression that the Olympics and the city's priorities are in tandem.

Doctoroff currently maintains no official association with NYC 2012, and Garvin has voluntarily submitted his positions for review to the city's very active and very pedantic Conflicts of Interest Board, which has very publicly given its permission. In fact, while there is nothing whatsoever to suggest that Garvin or Doctoroff's public and private roles are in conflict, "The priorities between NYC 2012 and the city are completely aligned," says Marcos Diaz Gonzalez, director of events for NYC 2012. (Incidentally, one of the private companies sponsoring NYC 2012 is Bloomberg, LLP.) However, the very massive and private efforts of NYC 2012, and the very public and civic-minded roles occupied by these two officials necessarily make the private and public boundary a delicate one.

Currently, several of the city's planning efforts, including Doctoroff's exploration into financing options for the West Side, are not being pursued solely for the sake of economic development, but are tailored to be especially accommodating should the Olympics happen. The Mayor's office recently opposed a power-plant proposal in Williamsburg, on the grounds that it was improperly situated in a residential area, and--many speculate-- that it interfered with the administration's plan to use the site as an Olympic sporting venue.

The Olympic Village site, Queens West, currently a four-phase development initiated by the Empire State Development Corporation, and involving such players as the Rockrose group, Kohn Pedersen and Fox, and Arquitectonica, would be significantly altered if NYC 2012 has their way. Even after borough president Helen Marshall told the Gotham Gazette last year that she thought the Olympics might delay Queens West development, which could potentially be completed before 2012, her office is now maintaining a careful stance. "We have no problem with the [Olympic] village as long as it's done right," said spokesman Dan Andrews.

Even if the convergence of city priorities and Olympic-planning priorities weren't an issue, what, exactly, would the Olympics bring that would be of long-term value to New Yorkers? NYC 2012 is heavy on talk of Olympic "legacy"--the long- term effects of frenzied, multi-year preparation for a two-week event-- and what it will contribute to the city of New York. Since the West Side and Queens West are under-utilized areas that are transportation-rich and in attractive locations, their development would be beneficial for the city, and many of these projects have been on track and would be happening anyway, sans Olympics. The best and most original part of the proposal would be the acres of parks that it would add to the city (including the greening of Staten Island's Brookfield landfill). However, the importance of a state-of-the-art equestrian center is questionable for a city that prides itself on industries like finance, media, nightlife, and entertainment.

There can be a case made for the transit system, which has been engineered to link sporting venues. Those hubs will ostensibly link neighborhoods in the boroughs, despite the fact that neighborhoods aren't traditionally anchored by sporting venues. Organizations such as the Regional Plan Association are not studying the impact of the Olympics because, according to a spokesman, the Olympic proposal "really isn't adding any kind of infrastructure, except for the extension of the number 7 [subway] line."

Additionally, the economic benefits of the Olympic Games have never been quite clear. The 1976 games left Montreal in long-term debt, while Barcelona thrived after the 1992 games. Athens is using the 2004 games to build a much-needed transit system, while Beijing is giving itself a total overhaul--complete with a city master plan and a new skyline for 2008. Many of those cities will no doubt benefit from being in the purview of the rest of the world. However, does New York--currently competing with London, Paris, Moscow, Madrid, Istanbul, and Rio de Janeiro--really need to be in the world spotlight more than it already is?

Beyond economics and value, then, the Olympics may just be a clever way of getting all of New York's improvements under one plan, and getting it done by a certain date. "[The Olympic bid] is deadline-driven," says Diaz Gonzalez. Financing, designing, and construction will have to follow a definite schedule--which would be an achievement. "And that's difficult to achieve, especially in New York." It's reasonable to assume that without a deadline of 2012, many of these capital improvements might take longer than necessary.

While many organizations may be willing to help make the big push for the Olympics, there is one non-New York resident who makes a strong case against pouring the time and energy into such a massive undertaking. Last spring as a visiting professor in Geneva, Smith College economics professor and sports journalist Andrew Zimbalist spent some time talking to the IOC in Lausanne. Good bid cities, he said, are places that could benefit the most from improved public infrastructure, and are located in countries and continents that have not hosted it recently before. (North America will have been host five times since 1980, which is a huge strike.) Considering those factors, compounded by the global hostility towards the U.S. over the war in Iraq, his odds: 1 to 50.

Andrew Yang is an editor at PRINT and writes about art and architecture.


March 17th, 2004, 01:19 AM
NY Newsday
March 14, 2004

Big games hunting

Cities like New York hoping to host the 2012 summer event are spending millions, but only one will win


The competition to host the 2012 Summer Olympics is turning into a big business, with the New York, London and Paris bid committees on track to spend a combined $110 million - with no guarantees of victory.

New York's committee, NYC2012, plans to raise $35 million from private donors, and that price tag, second only to the $48 million London bid, doesn't include intensive planning undertaken by city and state agencies on the controversial West Side Olympics/Jets stadium project. It does include public relations, an advertising budget, sponsorship of local athletic events, and a CEO at the nonprofit who is paid more than triple the average of executives at comparably-sized charities.

"From the very beginning, NYC2012 has been a gold-plated bid in a gold-plated process," said Brian Hatch, who runs NewYorkGames.org, which opposes construction of an Olympic stadium. "It's completely contrary to the International Olympic Committee's desire to see a less costly approach to getting the games. 2012 is going to be a record-breaking year."

Bid officials say they're simply spending what it takes to win the games, which NYC2012 estimates will bring an $11.7 billion economic windfall to the city.

If New York wins, however, city and state will have to spend billions on infrastructure improvements, including a $1.8 billion extension of the No. 7 line.

Narrowing the field

The current field of nine finalists will be pared to four or five this May, with a final decision coming on July 6, 2005. Five other cities in the running - Havana, Istanbul, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, and Leipzig, Germany - plan to shell out about $60 million collectively.

British press reports say leaders of London's bid think they'll survive the May cut along with New York, Paris and Rio. Paris is considered the front-runner in Europe, where speculation about the possible winner has British bookies rating New York a 7-1 underdog, behind Paris, London and Madrid.

Late last year, IOC President Jacques Rogge urged bidder cities to cut the overall costs of sponsoring the games. That advice was part of the series of reforms the IOC implemented in the wake of the bribery scandal at the 2002 Salt Lake City winter games. The reforms, which included the streamlining of bid books and increased financial transparency of the committees, have reduced the risk of corruption, but haven't slowed down spending, said Ed Hula, editor of an Atlanta-based newsletter that covers Olympic politics and finance.

"The spending should be down to about $20, $25 million per bid," said Hula. "That seems like enough money to get the job done."

Public vs. private funds

Paris and London are relying on public money for 75 percent of their funding, while New York's bid is privately financed. So far, NYC2012 has garnered about $19 million in pledges from banks, developers, insurance companies, unions and corporations, including Bloomberg, L.P. which has contributed at least $100,000, according to officials.

But the bid, which began as a self-financed crusade by Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff in the mid-1990s, has been spending money much faster than it can collect it, according to tax returns.

NYC2012 spent $1.8 million more than it raised in 2002, the last year tax returns were filed, and logged a $2.2 million shortfall the year before.

Six-figure salaries

Executive Director Jay Kriegel says the deficits don't matter and his organization, which will effectively go out of business after the IOC's decision, shouldn't be judged by the standards of charities meant to exist indefinitely.

"Our revenues are totally on target and we're confident that we will complete the project without a deficit," said the 62-year-old former deputy mayor.

Kriegel's $285,000 annual pay is on par with other bid directors, but CEOs at nonprofits with comparable budgets, between $1 million and $10 million, earn an average of $88,844, according to a 2003 nationwide survey of salaries by the Nonprofit Times.

Over the past five years, NYC2012 has paid Kriegel and his consulting firm a total of $1.4 million, peaking at $433,316 in 2001, according to tax records.

Some of the payments to Kriegel Communications went to other staffers, but the vast majority was paid to Kriegel himself, an official familiar with the situation said. Last year, NYC2012's auditor told Kriegel he needed to take a full-time staff position in lieu of consulting fees, the official said.

Kriegel, who does much of his organization's fund-raising personally, defended his pay, saying he could have made much more if he spent his time working for other consulting clients.

"At the request of the bid I agreed to take a significant reduction in compensation for several years along with an enormous workload and time commitment only because of my passion for the city," he said.

One NYC2012 board member, speaking on condition of anonymity, praised Kriegel's whirling-dervish work habits - including late night skull sessions with groggy subordinates.

Still, he was surprised to hear Kriegel's salary. "Wow, that's a lot more than I would have guessed," said the board member. "That's a lot of money."

Keith Mills, the British marketing executive who runs the London bid, earns about $250,000. And Don Knise, the former head of the defunct Baltimore-Washington bid, which lost to New York last year, was paid more than $300,000 a year.

None of those pay packages comes close to the money earned by top officials at the Salt Lake City organizing committee, which paid its top five officials an average of $500,000 in salary and bonuses, according to tax returns.

Pay to play

The battle to bring home the 2012 Summer Olympics:

City Money committed to bid* Odds of winning

London $48 million 2-1
New York City $35 million** 7-1
Paris $27.9 million 5-4
Moscow $25 million 20-1
Rio de Janeiro $23.3 million 10-1
Madrid $18.5 million 6-1
Istanbul, Turkey $6.2 million 40-1
Leipzig, Germany N/A 20-1
Havana N/A 66-1

*Total funds committed if city is still in contention after May.
** Includes $4 million for local sporting event sponsorship.

SOURCE: Mini bid books submitted to International Olympic Committee, odds from Blue Square (Britain).

Copyright 2004, Newsday, Inc.

March 17th, 2004, 02:50 AM
Does anyone know the reason NYC chances of winning are so low aside from the excuse that is believed to be Europe's and obviously Paris's turn? Whatever they say. :roll:

March 17th, 2004, 08:43 AM
It's been discussed in this thread.

It may be more America than New York. I guess the rest of the world doesn't think we are the center of the universe - especially lately.

March 17th, 2004, 10:29 AM
Does anyone know the reason NYC chances of winning are so low

Global hate for the US is at an all-time high.

TLOZ Link5
March 17th, 2004, 02:25 PM
If New York doesn't get the Olympics, I'd like to see either Madrid or Rio get them.

Freedom Tower
March 17th, 2004, 04:10 PM
If New York doesn't get the Olympics, I'd like to see either Madrid or Rio get them.

I agree with Madrid. If NYC doesn't get them I think Madrid should, especially with what just happened recently and all.

TLOZ Link5
March 17th, 2004, 11:43 PM
If there was a sympathy vote for New York at Colorado Springs, there will definitely be a sympathy vote for Madrid in 2005.

March 28th, 2004, 11:35 PM
New York Newsday
March 28, 2004

Mayor plugs Olympic bid

Associated Press

Mayor Michael Bloomberg used Sunday's Greek Independence Day Parade to plug his pet project of bringing the 2012 summer Olympics to New York.

"Let us just all hope that the people that decide where the Olympics go understand, there are two places that really exemplify everything about the Olympics -- Athens and New York City," Bloomberg said at a pre-parade reception at the Plaza Hotel.

The Olympics are returning to their birthplace in Greece Aug. 13-29.

New York is competing with eight other cities including Paris, London and Madrid for the 2012 games.

In May, the executive board of the International Olympic Committee will decide whether to accept the nine finalists as official bid cities or to trim the field to around six. The full IOC will select the host city July 6, 2005.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

April 5th, 2004, 01:51 PM
April 5, 2004

NYC2012 Unveils New Logo In Times Square


NYC2012, the committee leading New York’s bid to host the Olympic Games in 2012, today unveiled its new logo – a split image with counter-posed halves of two figures, each with an arm raised – a triumphant athlete and the iconic Statue of Liberty – that will embody the spirit of the bid and serve as the committee’s emblem throughout the international phase of the bidding process. The logo made its debut via animation on three giant screens on the southern end of Times Square facing north: NASDAQ, Panasonic and Reuters.

The logo is designed to capture the spirit of the Olympic Games and New York City, celebrating the parallel dreams shared by both, while focusing on the athletes whose performances give the Games their enduring appeal.

Daniel L. Doctoroff, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding and Founder of NYC2012, was joined in Times Square for the announcement by the Creative Director for the NYC2012 logo design program, Brian Collins, who serves as Executive Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather, as well as Olympians Oksana Baiul (Figure Skating: 1994, Gold), Jeff Blatnick (Wrestling: 1980, 1984, Gold), Dominique Dawes (Gymnastics: 1992, Bronze, 1996, Gold, Bronze, 2000), Paralympian Jennifer Johnson (Table Tennis: 1984, Gold, 1988, 2 Gold, 1996, Silver, 2000), Al Oerter (Athletics: 1956, Gold, 1960, Gold, 1964, Gold, 1968, Gold) and Jenny Thompson (Swimming: 1992, 2 Gold, Silver, 1996, 3 Gold, 2000, 3 Gold, Bronze), holder of the most Olympic medals of any female American athlete and currently training for this summer’s Games in Athens.

“Today we are proud to introduce a powerful new logo that will represent the pinnacle of dreams for millions of people and express New York’s Olympic story,” said Doctoroff. “In selecting this spectacular design, we look to ensure that the athlete will continue to be at the heart of everything we do. By linking the achievement of the Olympic athlete with the dreams of freedom embodied by the Statue of Liberty, we want to convey our dedication to putting all the resources of this great city into the service of the Olympians who may compete here in 2012.”

Collins stated, "Our goal was to create a symbol for New York’s Olympic bid that would be instantly understood by anyone who saw it from anywhere around the world. The image speaks to the ethos of a city celebrating the Olympic Spirit, and nothing could say it better for New York than the image of the Statue of Liberty, with her outstretched arm holding the torch, joined to the arm of an athlete lifted in celebration.”

In the new logo, created by Ogilvy designer Bill Darling, one side of the image is green, the color of the Statue of Liberty, the triumphant raised torch a beacon to the millions who have come to New York to achieve their dreams. The other half, the athlete side with the arm reaching toward the heights, is blue, reminding us that all people on earth look to the same sky. “The meaning behind these two great gestures speaks uniquely to what we are trying to celebrate -- the spirit of the dream that is embodied both in New York City and the Olympic Games, “continued Collins.

The logo is the centerpiece of a design program developed pro-bono by Ogilvy & Mather’s Brand Integration Group that will be used to unify all the marketing efforts, events, and merchandise for New York’s bid for the 2012 Games.

The logo unveiling animation film was created jointly by Trollback & Co., a New York design firm, and Bud Greenspan, legendary Olympic filmmaker, both of whom contributed their work.

The usage of the screens in Times Square was donated by NASDAQ, Panasonic and Reuters.

The logo was approved by both the International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee.

The host city for the 2012 Olympic Games will be selected by the International Olympic Committee on July 6, 2005 in Singapore. New York is competing with Havana, Istanbul, Leipzig, London, Madrid, Moscow, Paris and Rio de Janeiro for the right to host the Games.

Copyright 2004 NYC2012, Inc.

April 5th, 2004, 03:15 PM

April 7th, 2004, 09:53 PM
New York Newsday
April 7, 2004

Olympic logo a low blow?


Poll: Do you like the Olympic logo? (http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/manhattan/nyc-olym0408,0,2928571.story?coll=nyc-manheadlines-manhattan&vote12141874=1)

Is New York's Olympic logo a no-go?

In the three days since it was unveiled, critics have taken aim at the design intended to promote NYC2012, the bid committee formed to win the 2012 Summer Games.

The logo — a silhouetted Lady Liberty morphed into a muscle-bound Olympian with arms outstretched — took 22 Ogilvie & Mather designers four months to create, according to NYC2012 spokesman Laz Benitez.

It took Newyorkish.com, a city-based humor and commentary Web site, only a few hours to redesign it. They substituted images of homeless men snoozing on city sidewalks for the Liberty-Olympian and posted the image.

"Isn't this the perfect occasion to honor the drunk, passed-out homeless men on street corners all over town?" one of the site's designers wrote this week. "A candid logo for 2012 would probably win points with the Olympic selection committee: a little honesty goes a long way."

Alvin Katz, who created dozens of corporate logos and packages during a four-decade career in marketing, rated the city's Olympic design as flawed but functional.

"I think it's a little more complicated than it needs to be," said Katz, who designed packaging for General Mills, Turtle Wax and Betty Crocker. "It could be simpler, I think. For instance the figure appears to be both male and female. I'd suggest making it one or the other... But it does serve the function of identifying the organization."

Neighborhood groups fighting the plan to build a $1.4 billion stadium for the Olympics and the Jets distributed their own logo: five interlocking houses, meant to mimic the International Olympic Committee's rings logo, with the words "Neighborhoods Not Stadiums."

One critic described as a graphic design enthusiast wrote to Gawker.com, a city-based Web site, suggesting that the two multicolored squares in the NYC2012 logo were reminiscent of the fallen World Trade Center towers.

"The two color blocks look like the... WTC," the anonymous correspondent wrote. "I've had 3 different people point this out to me, and though I didn't see it, I can see a lot of people would."

Benitez said NYC2012 had "absolutely no" intention of replicating the towers in the logo. Moreover e-mails sent to the group have been overwhelmingly positive, and postings on an Internet chat room devoted to the games have been 4-1 in favor of the logo, he said.

Benitez said the criticism indicated the design is "generating buzz and people are paying attention."

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

April 7th, 2004, 10:41 PM
Logo spoofs:



Runner-up logo variations designed by Paula Scher:




April 7th, 2004, 11:27 PM
In that last graphic I'm not so sure that's a building between the ESB and the Woolworth, but it could qualify as a sport.

April 8th, 2004, 12:10 AM
Then I'd better sign up to be an athlete...

April 8th, 2004, 09:53 AM
Maybe it's the museum of sex? :razz:

More likely the Flatiron.

TLOZ Link5
April 8th, 2004, 12:50 PM
Neither of those "spoofs" are that funny.

April 8th, 2004, 02:06 PM
They do reinforce certain city stereotypes, although I got a chuckle out of the logo being turned into a hold-up.

April 11th, 2004, 04:40 PM
New York Newsday
April 11, 2004

Deputy mayor: Olympics provide an impetus for development

Associated Press

The city's bid to host the 2012 Olympics was partly an effort to speed development plans that should be carried out even if the games are held elsewhere, Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff said.

"What cities have recognized around the world is the catalytic effect the Olympics can have. There isn't a better way to get things done than by hosting the Olympics," he said in an interview broadcast Sunday on WNBC's "News Forum."

But plans to add office space, parks and sporting facilities in Manhattan and the outer boroughs were desperately needed anyway, he said.

For example, a plan to create a new business district on the West Side represented a rare opportunity to add new office space in Manhattan, he said. "Conservative projections" showed the city would need to 60 million additional square feet of new office space between 2005 and 2030.

"We're running out of space. If we're going to secure the future of this city, we've got to make investments," he said.

The Number 7 subway line should also be expanded to the area even if Olympic facilities aren't built there, he said.

Doctoroff also defended a separate plan to build a Nets basketball arena in Brooklyn, an idea that has sparked protests because it would displace families in the area.

"We believe the families who are displaced can be treated sensitively and placed in wonderful housing," he said.

New York is among nine cities vying for the honor of hosting the 2012 games. The other candidates are Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Havana; Moscow; Istanbul, Turkey; Paris; Leipzig, Germany; Madrid, Spain; and London.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

April 15th, 2004, 01:32 AM
April 15, 2004


Old Olympic Hand Likes New York's Chances


Peter Ueberroth discussing the 2012 Olympics. Daniel Doctoroff, left, leads New York's effort to get the Games.

PETER UEBERROTH has $238 million worth of credibility. He turned in that much profit from the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles by hanging pastel banners from existing sports facilities and selling tickets.

For that he was selected Time magazine's man of the year. He paid penance by trying to control 26 willful baseball owners as the sport's commissioner, before resuming his real life in business.

Now 65, Ueberroth returned to New York yesterday, praising its efforts to win the 2012 Games. Even though he never had to push huge steel-and-concrete projects for the Summer Games in his own area, Ueberroth insisted that the proposed construction would benefit New York for decades.

He also said New York has a good chance because "New York is the only major, major" city in the world not to have held the Games so far.

From a distance of 20 years, the Los Angeles Games seem a lucrative and easy venture, but Ueberroth recalled his reception in many communities during the planning stage: "People would spit on us."

It has not come to that in New York. With any luck and civility, it never will. Still, there is considerable opposition from some of us to the idea of a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan, an extension of the subway system, an Olympic Village in Queens, and other costly projects, all in the name of Citius, Altius, Fortius.

"A two-week sports event doesn't pay for anything," Ueberroth said yesterday as the guest speaker at a luncheon of the NYC 2012 committee. He endorsed construction as long as "everything is to help the people who live here all the time."

This argument will continue right up to the decision by the International Olympic Committee in July 2005. No matter where one stands on the New York bid, Ueberroth is an Olympic legend who recalls how Los Angeles was passed over for Montreal in 1976 and then passed over for Moscow in 1980. Only one other city competed with Los Angeles for the 1984 bid.

"But Tehran had some management changes," he recalled.

Ueberroth recalled how he and the majority of taxpayers voted against raising money for the 1984 Games, and how he then went to work organizing the Cheapo Games. He cajoled 29 communities to hold different events, and he sold sponsorships and marketed the Games with gold-medal fervor.

The profits went to the United States Olympic Committee ($95 million), amateur sports in Los Angeles ($95 million) and the balance (about $48 million) to national sports federations. In subsequent years, some host cities built wisely, while others have been left with empty stadiums.

Ueberroth has only optimism for future Summer Games. He said the "Greek people will embrace the world with open arms" this summer in Athens, skipping over the preparedness issue. He expects Beijing — the host for 2008 — "will set a new standard," noting his love of China for defying the Soviet-led boycott in 1984.

New York would be a great host, Ueberroth said, adding that it could probably gain the majority of the delegates.

"I believe most voters will make their decision based on their self-interest and their athletes' self-interest," Ueberroth said, specifying that he did not mean through bribery.

"Fifteen or 20 will make the decision because New York has the most advanced medical facilities in the world," Ueberroth said, adding that others would vote for New York for "the culture." He said delegates would ultimately be won over by government leaders as well as the NYC 2012 organizers.

He said New York had an edge because "every athlete can find somebody of their own culture" in the area, and he dismissed the legend, perpetuated by New Yorkers, that we are a surly and inhospitable lot.

"This is one of the friendliest cities for a traveler," said Ueberroth, who made his first bundle in the travel industry, and later lived here during his five-year sentence as baseball commissioner. "You get accepted here if you show up and just shake hands," he said.

What could keep New York from winning the vote? Ueberroth said that the heavy communications presence in New York could turn people off by portraying any resistance. He said the federal government could dissuade Olympic delegates through bureaucratic dawdling over visas. And he said the United States Olympic Committee needed to rush its continuing self-reformation.

A Republican who made an abortive challenge to Arnold Schwarzenegger in California's gubernatorial election last year, Ueberroth said he did not think the outcome of the presidential race this year would affect Olympic delegates.

In an interview, Ueberroth stressed how regions gained from building for the Games. He recalled how Los Angeles pushed through a new air terminal for 1984.

"It would have dragged on," he said. "You build it less expensively because it gets done."

Some New Yorkers will debate the need to build extensively. Ueberroth's $238 million surplus earns him a forum. Maybe he has got some of those 1984 banners left over to hang all over New York in 2012.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

May 1st, 2004, 01:41 AM
May 1, 2004

City Wants to Restrict Ads If It Wins 2012 Olympics Bid


Considering placing an advertisement that is salty, overtly political or proclaiming a hatred for the shot-put on a city bus shelter? Just don't think of doing it during the 2012 Olympics, should New York City win the right to serve as host of the Games.

In documents provided to companies bidding on a city franchise to install street structures - pay toilets, bus shelters, newsstands - the Bloomberg administration outlined numerous requirements. Among them is the city's right to restrict or remove advertising displayed on those structures during the Games.

"The city may require that the franchisee cease to sell and place advertising on all or some of the franchise structures," the bid request states. "The city, at its sole discretion, may impose restrictions on the parties who may advertise" on those structures. New York is among numerous cities around the world vying to play host to the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Assemblyman Scott M. Stringer, saying the requirement represented "a dangerous precedent," expressed his displeasure in a letter to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Iris Weinshall, commissioner of the Department of Transportation, which is in charge of awarding the franchise.

"While it is accepted practice for the International Olympic Committee to restrict placement of advertising around Olympic venues," the letter said, "it is not acceptable for the city to limit the content or access of free speech for any reason or under any condition."

Jordan Barowitz, a spokesman for the mayor, said that the clause was standard and would make that space available to sponsors of the Olympics to advertise their products.

Last summer, the Bloomberg administration said it would award a contract to a single bidder to design and install 4,000 pieces of "street furniture," including long-awaited public toilets, with the goal of having a uniform look on all city streets.

The winner would sell advertising on the structures, giving the city a share of that revenue, expected to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few decades. The bidding is to end on June 30.

Mr. Bloomberg would not be the first mayor to get into a scrap over the First Amendment. In 1997, a federal judge rejected Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's effort to remove bus advertisements placed by New York magazine that proclaimed it was "possibly the only good thing in New York Rudy hasn't taken credit for."

In 2000, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority refused advertising paid for by the Straphangers Campaign that were critical of overcrowded subways. It later relented.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

May 1st, 2004, 08:56 AM
In that last graphic I'm not so sure that's a building between the ESB and the Woolworth, but it could qualify as a sport.


It's the FlatIron Building.

May 11th, 2004, 03:26 PM
USA Today
May 10, 2004

No longer just a dreamer

By Jill Lieber

NYC Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff at the offices of NYC2012 on Monday.

NEW YORK — Whenever he has a difficult day in local politics or encounters a challenge in his 2012 Olympics quest, Dan Doctoroff recalls the advice former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani gave him in the spring of 1996. Doctoroff, then a successful but little-known managing partner of a private equity firm, had just finished making a presentation to Giuliani about his plan to hold a Summer Olympics in New York City. He was such a political neophyte that he had gotten lost on his way to City Hall.

Giuliani was intrigued by the proposal but realized how naive Doctoroff was about the skepticism of New Yorkers and the political battles necessary to get even the best ideas off the ground. The mayor invited him into his office for a heart-to-heart chat.

"You can go into Times Square and hand out $100 bills," Giuliani told Doctoroff. "Somebody will criticize you for it being too much. Somebody will criticize you for it being too little. And somebody will criticize you for not distributing it fairly.

"No matter how much you're criticized, always stay true to what you believe in."

Eight years and a lifetime later, Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding for New York City, remains steadfast in his beliefs.

Today, more than ever, the founder and leader of NYC2012 believes in the power of a Summer Olympics in New York. The power to transform the city, enhance the lives of New Yorkers, enrich the experience of the Olympic athletes, strengthen the Olympic movement and leave a legacy of world-class facilities for generations to come.

Next Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee will name the finalists for the 2012 Summer Games. New York, London, Paris, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul, Leipzig, Germany, Moscow and Havana are bidding for the Games, which will be awarded July 6, 2005.

This time around, New York is expected to skate through. "New York is one of the stronger bids," says Jim Easton, an IOC member from the USA. "There's no question that it will be in the final round."

Whether New York ultimately can win the 2012 Summer Olympics is another matter, especially given the world's anti-American sentiment.

"I've talked to (Doctoroff) about that problem. It's real," says his friend Robert Kiley, commissioner of transport for London. "But if anybody can do anything about it, it's Dan Doctoroff. He'll fight to the finish."

Pursuit of dreams via New York

Doctoroff is keenly focused on the finish line and the prize, fortified by the power of an Olympic dream and uplifted by the power of New York.

"The Olympics have transformed me," Doctoroff says. "Before, everything was about me; my life was very narrow. This is the first time I've looked beyond myself. New York has changed me.

"I'm now a person who embraces change, embraces risk. I'm living proof that anybody from anywhere can come to New York to pursue their dreams and be better for it."

Doctoroff, 45, has never failed at any challenge. He graduated from the University of Chicago Law School, decided he didn't like law, talked his way into a job in investment banking at Lehman Brothers having taken only an accounting course for lawyers — and went on to make millions.

He is the last guy his friends and family expected to be in the thick of city politics, consumed by the Olympics or enamored with New York.

He's not a native New Yorker, a talented athlete or a sports fanatic.

He grew up in Birmingham, Mich., the oldest of four sons born to Martin and Allene Doctoroff. His father was an attorney and state court of appeals judge. His mother was a psychologist.

Doctoroff quit competitive sports after his freshman year in high school when, in five weeks, he broke his thumb, collarbone and arm playing tight end.

Although he can rip off the names of the 1968 world champion Detroit Tigers, he never has owned season tickets to any team and rarely parks himself on the sofa with the remote.

He never wanted to live in New York but moved there in 1983, after his second year of law school, when his wife, Alisa, accepted a job at Time Inc. She had just gotten her MBA.

"I'd only been to New York three times and hated it all three times," he admits. "I was overwhelmed by it."

Tackling an Olympic challenge

Eleven years later, Doctoroff again would be overwhelmed, happily this time, by sport.

In 1994, Andy Nathanson, who later became one of his partners at Oak Hill Capital, took him to the World Cup soccer semifinal between Italy and Bulgaria at Giants Stadium. Doctoroff was never the same.

"I was struck by the nationalistic fervor," he says. "I thought, you could play this game with any two countries and the feeling would be exactly the same because New York is the most diverse city on earth. I wondered, 'Why hasn't New York ever hosted an Olympics?' "

When he got home, he told his wife he wanted to bring the Olympics to New York. "I said, 'Gee, that's a big idea. Why not find out about it before we plunge ahead?'" she says, laughing again at the notion.

After 18 months of research, Doctoroff was convinced it was a great idea and that New York could win. Just one problem: He was unknown, and an outsider, in New York political and sports circles. So he took his idea to his Detroit friend, noted Republican pollster Bob Teeter. Doctoroff, who graduated with a B.A. in government from Harvard, worked for Teeter as a summer intern and in his first job out of college.

"I spent the first 10 minutes dumbfounded," Teeter recalls. "I said, 'Either this is goofy, pie-in-the-sky or it's the best idea yet.' I could see that the Olympics could force things to get done in New York that might take 10 years, 30 years or never get done."

Teeter and one of Doctoroff's attorney friends provided the entree to Kiley, then the chairman of the NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority. Kiley gave Doctoroff the opportunity to speak to the New York City Partnership, the city's leading business and civic organization. He also introduced Doctoroff to Giuliani.

Little time for anything else

As the plan for the 2012 Summer Olympics evolved, so did Doctoroff, rubbing elbows and making strong connections with the city's movers and shakers in politics, sports, business and labor, fashion, communications, technology, tourism and the arts.

His NYC2012 board, more than 250 members strong, reads like the dream Manhattan dinner party list: comedian Jerry Seinfeld, advertising guru Jerry Della Femina, gossip columnist Cindy Adams, violinist Itzhak Perlman and Loews Hotels chairman and CEO Jonathan Tisch.

When it came time for Mayor Michael Bloomberg to select a deputy mayor for economic development, Doctoroff's name shot to the top of the list. But Doctoroff declined. Twice. He had just gone through seven years when one parent or the other was dying, and he wasn't sure he had the energy. A meeting with Bloomberg convinced him the timing was right.

"It was just a couple of months after 9/11 and, like a lot of people, it forced me to re-evaluate my priorities," Doctoroff says. "This was a way to give back to the city that went well beyond what I was doing for the Olympics."

"Dan's smart, energetic and honest. Other than that, he's a star," Bloomberg says. "He spends more time in all five boroughs than any economic development person before. He's finally getting things done — things that have been stalled for decades."

If Doctoroff's not on a mission to accomplish the 61 economic development initiatives of the Bloomberg administration, dashing from one end of the city to the other in his chauffeur-driven Buick, he's engrossed in the Olympics bid, crisscrossing the globe to establish relationships with 125 IOC members.

He has traveled to 15 countries in the last eight months. He puts in 16- to 18-hour workdays, attends at least 13 wall-to-wall meetings each day and sends or receives 300 e-mails.

He never stops for breakfast or lunch, fueled only by Diet Cokes, Diet Snapples and peanuts.

He has time for just one hobby — "competitive dieting," he calls it — weighing in against his friend Nathanson every three months for the last two years. The loser antes up $1,000. Doctoroff, who's 6-2, hit the scales at 185 pounds (his target weight is 190) to win most recently.

Saturdays, he catches his breath, observing the Jewish Sabbath with his family (Jacob, 16; Ariel, 13; and Jenna, 12). Sundays, he explores neighborhoods and potential Olympic venues by bike.

To ride this insane merry-go-round, Doctoroff is paid, by his choice, $1 a year, also Bloomberg's salary. Naturally, he sees and feels bigger paybacks.

These days, Doctoroff can find his way to City Hall with his eyes closed — well, at least in the dark — riding to work at 5 a.m. on his wife's hybrid bike from their West 91st Street townhouse, 6 ½ miles along the Hudson River Greenway, one of his projects.

Each time he pedals by the spot where the proposed $1.4 billion, 75,000-seat Olympic Stadium will sit, he vividly imagines everything that will replace the vast emptiness and dreams of mountains still left to climb.


The Doctoroff File

Born: July 11, 1958, in Newark, N.J.

Education: Graduated with a degree in government from Harvard (magna cum laude) in 1980, and from the University of Chicago Law School, 1984.

Three claims to fame as an undergrad: Managing the Harvard baseball team (1977-80); developing a formula to determine the outcome of congressional elections (senior thesis) and almost never turning in a paper on time. "He prided himself in getting an extension and getting a good grade," says Rob McCormish, his roommate all four years.

Favorite memory: A Detroit Tigers fan, he attended the 1968 World Series, which his team won, with his father Martin, a former FBI agent, attorney and state court of appeals judge.

Family: Met his wife, Alisa, in an introductory economics class their freshman year; knew on their first date she was the one (they were both 18 ). Married Aug. 30, 1981. Children - Jacob, 16, Ariel, 13, Jenna, 12.

Hobbies: New York history; traveling with his family - including to China, Russia, Alaska, Europe, Israel, whitewater kayaking in Idaho; finished in the top 20 of 30,000 participants in Bike New York, a 42-mile ride through the city May 2 . "He doesn't stop for bathroom breaks or loyal staff members," says Joe Chan, a senior advisor who has ridden with him the past three years.

Copyright 2004 USA TODAY

May 11th, 2004, 03:30 PM
USA Today
May 10, 2004

Controversial Hudson Yards project pivotal to Olympic bid

By Jill Lieber

NEW YORK — The most controversial aspect of the NYC2012 Summer Olympics bid is the $5.5 billion Hudson Yards development project on Manhattan's far West Side.

The jewel of the project is the $1.4 billion, 75,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof, adjacent to Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The stadium, which will be built on a platform over rail yards, will be the future home of the NFL's New York Jets and is projected to open in 2009.

The development is a vital component of the Olympic bid.

"Our goal is to have construction of the stadium started by the time the IOC votes in July 2005," says Dan Doctoroff, NYC2012 founder and New York's Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding. "And that's what we're on track to do."

Despite a push by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki, the projects face a series of challenging hurdles, including an environmental review, zoning approvals and state legislation for the Javits Center expansion.

Community groups, a leading Broadway theater owner and elected officials worry the stadium will increase traffic congestion.

The Jets will pay $800 million for the stadium. The city and state each will contribute $300 million to pay for the platform over the rail tracks and the retractable roof. The remaining $4 billion for the Hudson Yards project will be paid by public and private funds from the city, state and hotel industry.

Other elements of the project include adding more than 1 million square feet to the convention center; extending the No. 7 subway line west from Times Square; building up to 28 million square feet of high-rise offices and a hotel of up to 1,500 rooms; providing 12,000 new apartments; creating a tree-lined boulevard between 10th and 11th Avenues and a six-acre plaza that would be called Olympic Square.

The site is bordered by 28th Street on the south and 43rd Street on the north, and from Ninth Avenue on the east to the Hudson River.

"This half-mile convention corridor allows us to host any event in America," said Doctoroff, who estimates the city and the state would generate $67 billion in revenue over 30 years in return for the about $5 billion public investment."

Copyright 2004 USA TODAY

May 11th, 2004, 03:32 PM
USA Today
May 11, 2004

Plan takes advantage of transit capabilities

By Jill Lieber

Flash: New York's Venue Plan (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/graphics/olympics/nyolympics/flash.htm)

Noted urban planner and Yale professor Alexander Garvin will never forget his first meeting with Dan Doctoroff. It was in February 1996, and Doctoroff, then the managing partner of Oak Hill Capital Partners, had stumbled upon Garvin's award-winning book, The American City: What Works, What Doesn't.

"Dan walks into his corporate board room and asks, 'What do you think about having an Olympics in New York City?'" Garvin recalls. "I said, 'Great!' And he said, 'Everybody else thinks the idea is crazy.'"

Six months later, Doctoroff dipped into his pockets and gave Garvin the mandate to make his New York Olympics dream a reality.

In February 1997, after surveying more than 400 possible venue sites, Garvin, a member of the New York City Planning Commission since 1995, and his staff came up with The Olympic X Plan.

"The Olympic X Plan has gone through many versions to arrive at what seems to be the best combination of sites," Garvin says. "We are constantly refining it to make it even better." The highlights:

• All but one Olympic venue would be placed along two transportation routes — one water and one rail — which crisscross the heart of New York City.

• The Olympic Village will be situated at the center of the Olympic "X" on the East River in Queens, opposite the United Nations. "This makes the athletes the center of the Games," Garvin says.

• An Olympic Ferry Terminal and an Olympic Rail Station, located at the Olympic Village, would provide easy access for the 16,000 Olympic athletes, coaches and officials housed there.

• An Olympics in New York City would be the most compact in modern Olympic history. "Virtually all of the practice and competition sites are within 25 minutes of the Village on the Olympic X," Garvin says.

• Almost every competition site will be at or near a subway stop, a convenience for spectators. "This was part of our plan right from the start," Garvin says. "That's why the venues are situated where they are on the Olympic X."

Source: NYC2012 Olympic bid materials

Copyright 2004 USA TODAY

May 12th, 2004, 06:09 PM
May 12, 2004

Mayor mum on Olympic back-up plan


Pushing the twin goals of a new West Side arena and the 2012 Olympics in New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg Tuesday reasserted a link between the two — but said the facility will be needed even without the games.

When asked whether he had a backup plan for the Olympic bid if the West Side site were ruled out, Bloomberg said if that were the case, it would raise questions about the public's commitment to the games. "You have to have a venue," he said at a Manhattan news conference. "I know of no ways we would finance a facility any place else. It just happens to be that if we do it — because the city needs it — it would also help our (Olympic) bid."

Bloomberg was speaking on West 25th Street in Chelsea to mark the opening of a community recreation center and indoor pool, run by the Parks Department.

Also during his appearance, the mayor:

- Said he "wouldn't be opposed" to raising the legal age for buying cigarettes, as some have suggested in Albany, from 18 to 19. But he added his concern has been second-hand smoke as a hazard, and, "I've done what I can to discourage smoking in this city."

- Distanced himself from a move by the city Rent Guidelines Board — of which he appoints a majority of members — to pave the way for rent increases in rent-stabilized apartments ranging up to 7.5 percent. The board's decision is due June 17.

Asked why the board voted to recommend a range of increases rather than a specific percentage, Bloomberg referred questions to that agency.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

May 13th, 2004, 09:40 AM
Olympics promoted during Restaurant Week

by Lisa Fickenscher

New York City's bid to host the 2012 Olympics will get a plug during Restaurant Week this summer, when participating eateries will distribute information on how New Yorkers can support the city's proposal.

The 195 restaurants taking part in Restaurant Week will also highlight the Olympics by offering prix-fixe lunches for $20.12 (instead of following tradition and charging $20.04, to correspond with the current year). Dinners will be $30.12. Restaurant Week will take place from June 21 to 25 and from June 28 to July 2.

More than 1 million diners take advantage of Restaurant Week each year, says Cristyne Nicholas, president and chief executive of NYC & Co., the city's tourism office. Restaurant Week is held twice a year in the winter and summer and was launched in 1992, when the Democratic National Convention came to town. The promotion can boost business for participating restaurants by as much as 20%.

Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

May 16th, 2004, 02:05 AM
May 16, 2004

For New York's Top Olympic Booster, an Athlete's Drive


Daniel L. Doctoroff at the start of the Bike New York Tour earlier this month. Some former Olympians joined him in the ride.

Daniel L. Doctoroff has recorded a personal best time of 21 minutes and 3 seconds bicycling from his Upper West Side brownstone to City Hall. He has noted the 22 consecutive days he has not lost his temper, as well as the 615 plants, trees and shrubs that would be affected by his plans to redevelop the West Side of Manhattan.

He makes sure that every document that comes from his office of deputy mayor uses the clean typeface Gill Sans, and that charts are perfectly aligned to the last decimal. All this, of course, has a deliberate purpose.

Mr. Doctoroff has harnessed his obsession with small details to create a blueprint for a sweeping legacy - his and New York City's.

Ten years ago, Mr. Doctoroff, a multimillionaire Michigan native and former investment banker, gave birth to the city's Olympic bid - now aimed at landing the 2012 Summer Games.

Today, at age 45, Mr. Doctoroff has vaulted from that job to become one of the city's most powerful officials, bringing with him his Olympic-inspired vision to reshape the New York economy and physical landscape.

Unelected, and still unknown to many New Yorkers, Mr. Doctoroff has nonetheless been granted extraordinary authority by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. He shaped the mayor's speech outlining the future of Lower Manhattan, and oversaw the rezoning of industrial Williamsburg for housing development and the development of a master plan for downtown Brooklyn. And it is Mr. Doctoroff whom Mr. Bloomberg has charged with reinventing a 50-block swath of Manhattan's West Side, transforming it from a collection of tenements and warehouses into the city's third-largest business district, complete with new skyscrapers and a sports stadium.

With the mayor's complete confidence, he has immense ability to promote or derail projects on a moment's notice. Throughout his efforts, Mr. Doctoroff, whose formal title is deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding, has relentlessly pushed his organizing principle: the plans for the Olympics - a world class stadium, expanded subway lines, more hotels - is simultaneously a catalyst for the city's remaking and revitalization.

"I don't think in any previous government, at least as far as I know, they ever had somebody who was a real banker, who knew how to put together things, who knew what drives the private sector economy," Mr. Bloomberg said of Mr. Doctoroff recently. "He's got the attitude, 'I'm going to get it done. I'll find a way to do it.' ''

Mr. Doctoroff has drawn critics who bristle at what they call his arrogance, and who question his single-minded campaign for big projects. Some are suspicious of what they see as his dual loyalties - the Olympics and the city's broader economic future.

He has also attracted admirers, who have been impressed by the passionate sincerity of his beliefs. For them, he has brought a sense of vision that has been sorely lacking at City Hall for more than a decade.

"He doesn't act like a politician - he is a salesman," said James Parrott, chief economist of the Fiscal Policy Institute and a former staff member in the administration of former Mayor David N. Dinkins.

On Tuesday, Mr. Doctoroff takes his Olympic sales job on the road to Lausanne, Switzerland. There, the executive committee of the International Olympic Committee is expected to cut three cities from the nine remaining candidates, most likely narrowing the candidates to London, Paris, New York, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Moscow.

The final I.O.C. vote is not until July 6, 2005, in Singapore. Mr. Doctoroff has already met many of the 125 voters, trying to engender support and trust through his warm, personable approach. He has declared he feels good about the city's chances.

But there are still factors Mr. Doctoroff knows he can not manage, like the pervading anti-American sentiment in the I.O.C.

"The Olympics is more uncontrollable than anything I've ever done," he said. "That fear of being out on a limb, sometimes pretty far without having control, it's there."

A Dollar-a-Year Millionaire

By his own account, Mr. Doctoroff made "infinitely more money" than he ever imagined he could as an investment banker for 17 years. He refuses to divulge his net worth because he said he and his wife, Alisa, do not even tell their own children, Jacob, 16, Ariel, 13 and Jenna 12.

On ethics filings, Mr. Doctoroff reported earning at least $5 million in 2001 before joining City Hall and matching Bloomberg's $1 a year salary. He gives away more than $1 million a year, much of it to Jewish causes.

Wealthy ambitions were not a priority for him growing up as the oldest of four boys in suburban Detroit. His mother was a psychologist with a love of world politics and show tunes, and his father was a lawyer and Michigan judge, who bonded with Dan at Tigers games.

While at Harvard, Mr. Doctoroff went to work with Robert Teeter, the political pollster, in Michigan.

Mr. Teeter said he noticed how even at that age, Mr. Doctoroff possessed the singular qualities of a successful person.

"They have a little smell of the future, a little sense of what the next year or two are going to bring that gives them an edge," he said.

He began at the University of Chicago Law School and in the summer before he transferred to New York University (his wife got a marketing job in Manhattan), Mr. Doctoroff found his calling. At the Philadelphia law firm of Dechert, Price & Rhoads, Mr. Doctoroff was working on the legal aspects of the attempted complex hostile takeover of Getty Oil, when he realized he was more stimulated by finance, and its opportunities. He wanted to make a lot of money quickly, he said, to provide him the freedom to choose another path later. He checked the statistics first.

At the N.Y.U. placement office he discovered the odds of making partner at a New York law firm were 30 to 1. "I have a lot of confidence in myself," he said, "but I'm not going to trust my fate to odds of 1 in 30."

He said he thus "faked his way" into an analyst's job at Lehman Brothers.

Not long after being assigned to work on a deal involving the Texas billionaire Robert M. Bass, Mr. Doctoroff left Lehman Brothers to work full time investing Mr. Bass's money. It was high stakes, and he threw himself into it.

As a partner in Oak Hill Capital, Mr. Doctoroff managed Bass investments totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in hotels, drug stores and real estate.

A former colleague recalled that after Oak Hill hired a consulting firm to conduct a market analysis for a deal, Mr. Doctoroff quietly conducted his own research. When the consultants presented their findings, Mr. Doctoroff pointed out so many flaws that the firm was forced to redo its analysis for free.

Many of Oak Hill's deals, like its investment in the $3 billion merger of CapStar Hotel Company and American General Hospitality Corporation in 1998, generated huge payouts for Mr. Doctoroff and his partners.

Despite a few flops, the easygoing Midwesterner was becoming an aggressive Wall Streeter, at least in the eyes of some people who did business with him. When a Bass investment with a Florida homebuilder went awry, Mr. Doctoroff - who had no initial involvement - opened a brutal legal battle with his partners against the homebuilder to recover the money.

"They descended on this place with an army of attorneys, an army of staff, they used the biggest and most expensive hotels, cars, restaurants, the whole nine yards," said Thomas Tompkins, the homebuilder.

Grabbing an Idea

John Monsky, the general counsel at Oak Hill, said Mr. Doctoroff first mentioned his Olympics epiphany during the summer of 1994.

Mr. Doctoroff had just attended the World Cup soccer semifinal at Giants Stadium, where Italy defeated Bulgaria, and was struck by the spirit of the international community that filled the Meadowlands, he said.

"I took a very deep breath, because with Dan, when he grabs hold of an idea, he does not let go," Mr. Monsky said.

With the help of a young temp, the two acquired the formal Olympic bid books from the 1992 Barcelona games, Atlanta's books before its 1996 games, and even examined New York's failed bid from 1977 to host the 1984 Games.

When Mr. Doctoroff quickly agreed to pay $40,000 for a helicopter photographer to shoot possible competition sites in the city, Mr. Monsky said he knew the game was on.

Over the years, Mr. Doctoroff made the rounds of New York political and business circles, although some leaders took longer than others to convince. Seth Abraham, then president of HBO Sports, said he declined to meet Mr. Doctoroff for three years.

"But Dan didn't give up," Mr. Abraham said. "What I appreciated was his finesse."

Today, Mr. Abraham is on the board of NYC2012, the nonprofit organization Mr. Doctoroff founded and financed with $4 million of his own money to develop the Olympic bid. Bob Beamon, Mr. Doctoroff's Olympic muse, also serves on the board.

Mr. Beamon, born in Jamaica, Queens, and the man who shattered the world record in the long jump at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, likened Mr. Doctoroff's drive to that of an athlete: "He had a pipe dream. There were some who didn't believe or they thought he's crazy."

What once seemed to be overwhelming issues in staging a New York City Olympics - security, transportation and political gridlock - Mr. Doctoroff overcame with attention to details.

On Nov. 3, 2002, the United States Olympic Committee chose New York over San Francisco to represent the nation. There were grumbles among some other United States cities that New York benefited from the "sympathy factor" after the Sept. 11 attack, and from the presence on the Olympic committee of Roland W. Betts, a New York City developer who worked with Mr. Doctoroff in rebuilding ground zero.

The U.S.O.C. investigated and said it found no evidence that Mr. Betts had a conflict of interest.

U.S.O.C. members said at the time that it was mostly Mr. Doctoroff's commanding leadership that convinced them. Speaking without notes and integrating a crisp PowerPoint presentation with humorous clips from New York film stars, he broke down the contents of New York's bid proposal.

He explained the Olympic "X plan," which 39 of the 40 venues along intersecting transportation axes of the city's rail and waterways with the Olympic Village in Queens at its center.

He played up New York as a financial and communications center. He even allayed concerns about the weather, noting the 154 combined home games the Yankees and Mets had played in the summer.

"Only four were rained out," he said.

Fun, and a Little Anger, Too

Mr. Doctoroff's interest in city government was piqued during his experience with the bid. "He was drawn to that, to the challenges of the public arena and what it was like," said his wife, Alisa Doctoroff.

However, when Mr. Bloomberg's transition team raised the idea of Mr. Doctoroff's becoming deputy mayor for economic development, he declined twice.

He was concerned about the time commitment, overwhelmed personally with the death of his mother and the discovery that his father had Lou Gehrig's disease.

"It was a heart-versus-head decision," Mr. Doctoroff recalled.

He sought advice from his former mentor at Lehman Brothers, Peter Solomon. "I told him it was a great opportunity to use the Olympics to harness the political will to move dozens of projects that some of us have been interested in for years," Mr. Solomon said. "Of course, one of the challenges is that you're constantly balancing everybody's interests and your own interests."

Not everyone believes Mr. Doctoroff has achieved that balance. One prominent politician and businessman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Mr. Doctoroff's aggressiveness on some issues, like plans for the stadium on Manhattan's West Side, can make people uncomfortable. The stadium would be used by the New York Jets as well as the Olympics.

When Mr. Doctoroff learned that a local economic planning board was close to voting against his stadium plan earlier this month, he and an associate working with him on New York's Olympic bid telephoned members to ask them not to oppose it. The board ended up postponing a vote.

"There are a lot of people who do business with Dan, who feel reluctant to express their opinions on this matter," the politician said.

Mr. Doctoroff has a volatile facet to his personality that can be intimidating. That was demonstrated early one morning in March in front of City Hall, where he paced the flagstones, yelling angrily into a cellphone. He said that the outburst ended his latest streak of 34 days not losing his temper. (He has since boasted of the 22-day streak.)

The forcefulness and conviction with which he pursues his far-reaching plans has drawn some comparisons to Robert Moses, the autocratic city planner.

Mr. Doctoroff rejected the analogy as ludicrous, and said that economic progress in the city had been hobbled by a mindset that regarded development in any form as bad. He said the benefits of the West Side redevelopment plan would greatly outweigh the 141 homes and 1,600 jobs that would have to be displaced. "We're not taking wonderful neighborhoods that were the foundation of New York and destroying them," he said.

Mr. Doctoroff's West Side development plan for the Olympics has three main elements: the stadium, expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and the extension of the No. 7 subway line from Times Square to 11th Avenue and 34th Street.

In addition, the Bloomberg administration wants to rezone a swath between 27th and 43 Streets to encourage development of 28 million square feet of office space and 12,000 apartments over the next 30 years.

On March 25, Mr. Doctoroff won a major victory when Gov. George E. Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg and New York Jets executives gathered under the glare of floodlights at the Javits Center to announce their support for the $2.8 billion West Side redevelopment project. The Jets will kick in $800 million.

Critics from some development organizations say Mr. Doctoroff is ignoring lower- to middle-income people and jobs with his plans. Vocal opponents from neighborhood coalitions to the theater district want the Olympic stadium to be built in Queens, even though the Jets do not want that.

And then there is the Cablevision empire situated quietly, for now, in Madison Square Garden overlooking the redevelopment project, which might, presumably, be looking out for its own interests. "Hopefully, they will see that what we're trying to do is a good thing for everybody," Mr. Doctoroff said. "If not, we'll deal with it."

If New York is not awarded the Olympics next July, Mr. Doctoroff says that the convention center expansion and subway extension should continue. "Hopefully, that project will be irrevocable at that point," he said.

Where will Mr. Doctoroff's own ambitions lead him? He dismisses talk of political ambitions with a scrunched "yeah, right" face and a full endorsement of his boss's re-election next fall.

"If, God help us and we don't win," Mr. Doctoroff said of the Olympics, "and the mayor wins - which I believe will happen - I could easily envision staying around as long as I'm still having fun for a while."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

May 16th, 2004, 10:23 PM
May 16, 2004

IOC set to select Olympic finalists

Associated Press

When the IOC meets this week to come up with a shortlist of finalists to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, the question is: How short? With nine cities in the running, the International Olympic Committee executive board is expected to eliminate at least three candidates and possibly as many as five Tuesday.

The IOC doesn't have a target number of finalists, but several members said in interviews that five is most likely.

Four cities are virtually assured of making the cut: Paris, London, New York and Madrid, Spain.

One definitely won't stay in it: Havana.

That leaves four cities on the bubble: Moscow; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Istanbul, Turkey; and Leipzig, Germany. At least two of those could be dropped.

The 2012 host will be selected in July 2005 in Singapore.

Geography favors a European city, because the 2008 Olympics will be in Asia (Beijing), and the 2010 Games will be in North America (Vancouver, British Columbia).

Paris, which last hosted the games in 1924, is viewed as the front-runner. It successfully hosted soccer's World Cup in 1998, and it is seen by IOC members as having paid its dues after failed bids for the 1992 and 2008 Olympics.

London has a strong bid featuring some of the capital's most famous sports venues and tourist landmarks, including tennis at Wimbledon and triathlon in Hyde Park.

Madrid is the only major European capital which has never hosted the Olympics. Neither has New York.

"We're cautiously optimistic" of making the short list, New York bid leader Dan Doctoroff told The Associated Press. "We're not taking anything for granted. There's nothing we can really do." Peter Ueberroth, who ran the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, recently said New York has a good chance of getting the 2012 Games because it's "the only major, major" city in the world yet to host the games.

But New York has to contend with anti-American sentiment fueled by the invasion of Iraq, as well as the geographical disadvantage of having the 2010 Olympics in Canada. Also, the proposed $1.4 billion Olympic stadium on the West Side of Manhattan, which would also serve as a new home for the New York Jets, has run into some opposition.

The IOC board's three-day meeting that starts Monday also will review the frantic preparations for the Athens Olympics, less than 90 days away. But the main issue on the agenda is the 2012 contest, which shapes up as the most glamorous bid competition in Olympic history.

IOC president Jacques Rogge said last year that the board could let all nine cities stay in the running, but he recently acknowledged that some will be weeded out.

"We have all agreed to that," IOC board member Gerhard Heiberg of Norway told the AP. "All of us have the same point of view: Nine finalists would not be right. Let's get it down." Based on the bid documents he has read, Heiberg said, "Five or six deserve to go through." British IOC member Craig Reedie was part of the evaluation committee for the 2008 Olympics, when a 10-city field was reduced to five.

"The 2012 process will work better with a smaller number of candidate cities," he said. "Four cities would be a brave decision, and six might be a practical alternative." Among the secondary cities, Moscow -- which hosted the 1980 Olympics -- might have the best chance of surviving the cut.

Leipzig is hurt by its small size and shortage of hotels.

Istanbul, making a fourth straight bid, has not made much of an impact.

Rio, seeking to become the first city in South America to host the Olympics, has a major crime problem. In addition, Brazil is expected to be awarded soccer's 2014 World Cup, and it would be a major challenge to host both events so close to each other.

The IOC board will make its decision after studying a report by a group -- headed by executive director Gilbert Felli -- analyzing the nine cities.

Three members of the 15-member board won't take part in the decision because they come from countries with bid cities: Thomas Bach of Germany, Vitaly Smirnov of Russia, and Jim Easton of the United States.

The nine bidders are currently considered "applicant cities"; those accepted Tuesday will become official candidate cities. Each finalist will have to pay the IOC $500,000 to help cover the cost of the remaining judging and selection process. AP-ES-05-16-04 1609EDT

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

May 18th, 2004, 10:07 AM
New York Times
May 18, 2004

New York Named a Finalist to Host 2012 Olympics


New York City leapt into the final phase of bidding for the 2012 Summer Olympics today, along with four European capitals: London, Madrid, Moscow and Paris.

The executive board of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, decided to cut four other cities from the running: Havana, Istanbul, Leipzig, Germany, and Rio de Janeiro.

The I.O.C. will choose the host city at a meeting in Singapore on July 6, 2005.

James Easton, an American member of the I.O.C. executive board, was one of three board members who had to recuse themselves from voting because they represent the countries of candidate cities.

The I.O.C. board had a busy agenda on Monday, a day of developments that included doping-related issues.

Joseph S. Blatter, the president of FIFA, soccer's international governing body, said the group was unwilling to adhere to the current World Anti-Doping Agency code and threatened to pull soccer out of the Athens Games unless an agreement were reached with the agency.

The I.O.C. board closed cases of two dozen United States Olympic medalists who had failed drug tests from 1985 to 2000. The I.O.C., according to The Associated Press, determined that the United States Olympic Committee had handled most of the cases properly. Information provided by the United States committee showed that 19 of the 24 cases involved stimulants commonly found in over-the-counter medications.

The board also cleared transsexuals to compete at the Olympics, provided they have completed a two-year period of hormone treatment and have received legal recognition for the sex change.

A celebration in anticipation of New York's remaining in the running to be the 2012 host was scheduled for this morning in Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan. Gov. George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg are expected to attend. The founder of New York's bid, Daniel L. Doctoroff, traveled to Lausanne on Sunday in preparation for the announcement.

"There's a lot of talk, and I would say that in virtually all of it, we're one of the cities that moves on," Doctoroff said on Monday. "We really put our best foot forward with years' worth of work. We feel very good about what we have."

Members of the executive board were given the results of technical evaluations late Monday night in Lausanne. This morning's meeting at I.O.C. headquarters had two purposes: to review the evaluations, which were based on a 25-point questionnaire and which the candidates handed in on Jan. 15, and to choose whether to cut any candidates.

"I am taking nothing for granted," Doctoroff said. "I will probably be tossing and turning all night."

One member of the I.O.C. who was not voting, Patrick Hickey of Ireland, had predicted that New York was a lock. "In my humble opinion, there is no danger of New York not being in the cut," Hickey said on Monday. "The I.O.C. would be committing suicide by not including them." Most of the I.O.C.'s income and sponsorships are based in the United States, Hickey noted.

Today's announcement shaped the competition among the prospective host cities. The remaining candidates will receive the breakdown of the technical reports and how they ranked against the others.

A new bid book will be due Nov. 15; after that, cities can aggressively promote themselves internationally.

"I think it's not like, all of a sudden the process will turn that much more intense," Doctoroff said. "You're going to see a spike up in terms of attention and intensity right after Athens, and then again after Nov. 15."

Today's announcement might be considered a formality to some, but not to Doctoroff, who has worked on this plan for 10 years. "Given the alternative, it's extremely significant," he said.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

May 18th, 2004, 10:45 AM

May 18th, 2004, 12:42 PM






May 18th, 2004, 11:21 PM
New York Times
May 19, 2004

New York's Course to 2012 Olympics Takes Uphill Turn


New York advanced to the final stage of the selection process for the 2012 Summer Olympics yesterday when the executive board of the International Olympic Committee trimmed the nine candidates to a group of five cosmopolitan cities. But Paris emerged as the front-runner in a field that includes three other European capitals: London, Madrid and Moscow. The winning city will be named on July 6, 2005.

Havana, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro and Leipzig, Germany, were deemed not strong enough to stage an event on a world scale.

Yesterday's announcement, made at the I.O.C. headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, was greeted with relief by New York's representatives, both in Lausanne and in Bryant Park in Manhattan, where Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki celebrated the early morning announcement.

But a sober reality quickly set in. New York was ranked fourth among the five cities — behind all but Moscow — based on an evaluation of 11 technical criteria that included accommodations, infrastructure, security and transportation. Paris was ranked first, followed by Madrid and London.

New York's ranking reflected concerns about its transportation system, the structure of its security force, the plans for the athletes' village and the source of financing. A member of the I.O.C. executive board also expressed concern about whether construction of the proposed $5.5 billion stadium and convention center redevelopment project on Manhattan's West Side will have begun before the vote next July.

The report is regarded as a guide for each city, pointing out issues that must be addressed over the next 14 months. The final decision on the host city will most likely include other factors, not all of them so easily measured.

Perhaps most problematic for New York is whether anti-American sentiment within the I.O.C. will sway the 125 voting members, representing more than 40 countries, who will choose the host city. That represents a change from two years ago when New York defeated San Francisco's bid to become the United States Olympic Committee's designated city for the 2012 Games. Then, New York was viewed with sympathy in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Daniel L. Doctoroff, the founder of the New York bid committee, said he has been talking to I.O.C. members in Lausanne this week and while it was difficult to predict what sentiment would affect the vote, he felt confident. "There's a degree of anti-Americanism in the world generally," he said. "The other thing that is more important is that I have gotten a sense for is how much people love New York."

That New York made it to the penultimate stage was considered unlikely 10 years ago when Mr. Doctoroff, then a little-known investment banker, first proposed the idea. Now, 412 days remain for Mr. Doctoroff and his committee, NYC 2012, to make their final push.

"Everything intensifies, the effort accelerates," Doctoroff said yesterday from Lausanne. "We're excited to move on. It gives us an opportunity to improve and explain the plan."

New York's Olympic budget is $3.7 billion, which does not include the privately financed athletes' village in Queens, or the $1.8 billion for the West Side stadium.

New York, which has never played host to an Olympics, will be competing against three cities that have already held them - Paris and London twice each, Moscow in 1980.

Paris has been viewed as a favorite, in part because of its experience in the bidding process when it lost the 2008 Summer Games to Beijing.

"It's hard for me to know why they were so highly ranked," said James Easton, a vice president of the I.O.C. from the United States and one of three members who did not vote yesterday because his nation had a candidate city. "It's just been that way all along, even before there was any evaluation out there."

But he added, "There's no question they've got a great city."

Mr. Easton said New York's bid committee might be able to resolve some of the questions about its bid when I.O.C. members visit next winter, but the committee needs to address others immediately.

"I think they've got to straighten out the stadium issue; I think it will be pretty important," said Mr. Easton, who is also the president of archery's international federation.

New York's top government leaders have pledged their support for the plan. "We will get the stadium done," Mr. Bloomberg said firmly last week.

Yesterday Mr. Bloomberg acknowledged some public dissent for the Olympics. "Sadly, not everybody agrees, but it's something worth supporting," he said.

The stadium is at the center of local opposition to the Games, which could explain why the I.O.C. report said New York registered fourth among the five cities with 68 percent of public support - London was last among the remaining cities with 67 percent.

Mr. Doctoroff said the next step toward building the stadium is for the city to submit its draft and environmental review, some five or six thousand pages long, within the next few weeks.

Opposition groups maintain that New York should build the stadium in Queens.

"I am very glad we made the cut," Christine Quinn, a city councilwoman, said. "But I hope that in coming fourth in this technical vote, I hope the city hears the message in that and looks at developing the secondary site in Queens. There is a tremendous amount and growing opposition to the West Side stadium.

"That will play itself out in the city council vote on the zoning. The grass-roots opposition is growing, and that will play out in the public endorsement of the plan."

David Oats, who leads an ad-hoc group called the Queens Olympic Committee, which wants to put the stadium in Flushing Meadows, sent a letter to the I.O.C. in Lausanne stating that there is tremendous opposition in the city. Such letters sent to I.O.C. headquarters are not uncommon during the bid process.

"I don't know why they are so obsessed with this West Side stadium," Mr. Oats said. "They could solve money problems, community problems, legal problems, international problems by bringing the stadium to a site that is so logical."

Mr. Easton, the I.O.C. vice president, had concerns about New York's financial plan and what parts were publicly and privately funded. But the I.O.C. report seemed to have the most fundamental problems with New York's so-called Olympic X-plan. That plan puts the athletes' village in Queens at the center of the intersecting axes, north-south, east-west, each governed by rail and ferry, rather than dependent on the traditional bus transportation used in the Olympics.

"The X-plan is innovative, but, given its special nature, an assessment of the proposed infrastructure and performance and capacity would be required in order to ascertain its adequacy for Olympic Games transport requirements," the I.O.C. report said.

"There are differences in our system and differences in our plan we've got to focus on," Jay L. Kriegel, the executive director of NYC2012, said. "There are also issues about transportation and security that we are examining very closely."

New York's committee is still limited in the lobbying it can do until Nov. 15, when it will submit its final, voluminous bid book. The amount of contact representatives from the bid city can have with I.O.C. members was curtailed in response to the bribery scandal surrounding the Salt Lake City Olympics.

Mr. Doctoroff said the remaining process would have two other key thresholds, the period after this summer's Athens Games and in February or March when I.O.C. members visit New York for the official site evaluation. That is when New York can rise in perception, Mr. Easton said.

"There will be other cities that have strengths equal to Paris," he said. "It's a matter of being there and you start seeing the stuff and being on the ground."

There has been Olympic precedent for a city not in the lead at this stage to win. Paris was considered a front-runner in 2008. So was Salzburg for the 2010 Winter Games before Vancouver won.

Some have suggested that New York could be at a disadvantage because those 2010 Winter Games will be held in North America, but Mr. Doctoroff has dismissed that concern. He noted that the Games were held in Los Angeles in 1984 and in Calgary in 1988 and will be held in Athens this year and in Turin in 2006.

A possible advantage for New York is that I.O.C. members will most likely keep in mind that many major Olympic sponsors are companies based in the United States and that the I.O.C. has negotiated a $2 billion television contract with NBC for the 2010 and 2012 Games.

Mr. Doctoroff has been emphasizing what the Olympics could mean for New York in terms of a legacy. "Looking at it over the longer term," he said, "this can be and should be a watershed event for the city."


Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

May 22nd, 2004, 10:27 PM
May 23, 2004


Why New York City's 2012 Olympic Chances Are Dim


IN its furious campaign to be the site of the 2012 Summer Olympics, New York has to overcome much more than having faded to fourth in the International Olympic Committee's current appraisal of possible sites — behind Paris, Madrid and London.

As if Paris's being ahead of New York in all 11 preparation categories and Madrid's being ahead in 9 wasn't daunting enough, as announced last Tuesday, New York's chances won't depend only on a go-ahead for the proposed West Side stadium that the Jets will eventually use for football.

More important, New York's chances will also turn on the United States' worldwide political and Olympic image when 125 I.O.C. members from more than 40 countries gather in Lausanne, Switzerland, for the vote that will precede the July 5, 2005, announcement of the 2012 site.

At the moment, America's political and Olympic images need to be cleansed. But is there enough time? And enough soap?

Even before photos of prison atrocities embarrassed the United States around the world, the Iraq war fueled anti-American feeling, particularly among Muslim nations. And with the American sprinter Kelli White suspended for evidence of performance-enhancing drugs, an expanding steroids scandal would stain New York's résumé further.

To those anti-American members, a vote for Paris or Madrid or London would be more a vote against the United States than a vote against New York. Considering the United States' recent Olympic history, such sentiment is quite likely, going back to the I.O.C.'s distaste for the last Summer Games here, in Atlanta in 1996, when a bomb exploded among a throng of midnight revelers in Centennial Park, killing two and injuring dozens.

Many I.O.C. pooh-bahs also thought that Atlanta's country-fair atmosphere was too relaxed for what they like to call the Olympic movement. In other words, Atlanta wasn't respectful enough.

To make matters worse, the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City erupted in a scandal and the United States Olympic Committee had to be reorganized. And with the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which suspended White from competition for two years, now scrutinizing candidates for the Summer Olympics that begin Aug. 13 in Athens, other athletes are expected to be suspended.

All of which diminishes New York's chances. Unfairly perhaps, but understandably.

Yes, there will surely be some sympathy votes for New York after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center. To balance that, some I.O.C. members might fear that New York remains a prime target of terrorists. But Olympic arguments alone may be enough to turn many I.O.C. members away from rewarding a United States city.

Why would they vote to return the Summer Games to the nation where a bomb went off the last time? Where the Winter Games provoked a scandal involving several I.O.C. members? Where its Olympic committee had to reorganize? And where there is now alarming new evidence that some athletes have used performance-enhancing drugs, especially in the Olympics' showcase sport, track and field?

The crackdown by the anti-doping agency may persuade some voters to credit the United States for its suddenly sterner drug policy, but others may consider it just another reason not to vote for New York.

On preparation alone, New York created I.O.C. concerns for its transportation plans to use waterways, the not-strict-enough structure of its security force to protect athletes and spectators, the plans for the athletes' village in Queens rather than in Manhattan, and the source of financing where all those zillions are yet to be approved for the proposed West Side stadium that would be the site of the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the track and field events.

Will those zillions be approved before Nov. 15, when New York submits its final bid book? Will construction of the stadium begin before next July's vote?

If those zillions and the stadium construction don't develop, say goodbye to New York's chances — no matter how cleansed America's worldwide image is.

But even if New York's résumé improves, Paris remains the 2012 favorite. The anti-Paris people smirk that Paree has had the Olympics twice, but the Summer Games were there a long time ago: in 1900, the second modern Olympics, when Alvin Kraenzlein of the United States won four track and field events, and in 1924, when Paavo Nurmi, the Flying Finn, won five track gold medals and Johnny Weismuller won three swimming golds.

Kraenzlein never got a gold medal; the winners that year were awarded silver medals, the second-place athletes bronze medals. Weismuller went on to be the movies' Tarzan of the Apes.

But now Paris, despite the infamous French judge of the Salt Lake City figure skating circus, is the 2012 leader heading into the stretch. Madrid is second, but with Barcelona having been the 1992 site, the I.O.C. is unlikely to go to Spain twice in 20 years. London is a distant third, Moscow a tiring fifth.

New York is a faded fourth. Its Olympic stadium doesn't have an official go-ahead, and America's political and Olympic images must be cleansed. But is there enough time? And enough soap?

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

May 23rd, 2004, 08:08 AM

Kalikow waiting for $1.2 Billion M.T.A. olympiad

by Blair Golson

There was little surprise when New York was selected on May 18 as one of five finalist cities in the competition to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. "Two hurdles down and one to go!" beamed Mayor Michael Bloomberg immediately after the announcement. The Mayor joined Governor George Pataki at an NYC 2012 celebration breakfast outside Bryant Park Grill, where officials broke out the champagne and raspberry danishes to celebrate the announcement.

Conspicuously absent from the celebration was Peter Kalikow, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The M.T.A. happens to own the rail yards where the city wants to build a stadium that is the linchpin of its Olympics bid. Mr. Kalikow has long insisted that his agency expects to be paid fair-market value for ceding development and air rights on the property, which is located between 11th and 12th avenues and 30th and 33rd streets. He also expects the agency to be compensated for another set of rail yards one block east of the stadium site, where the city wants to build a park, high-rise towers and cultural buildings.

Mr. Kalikow has declined to say publicly what he considers to be fair-market value. But The Observer has learned that in several recent private conversations, Mr. Kalikow, a real-estate developer, has estimated that those rights could fetch more than $1.2 billion on the open market.

"Kalikow has in fact used that number in some private conversations he had with certain individuals," said Tom Kelly, an M.T.A. spokesman, "but he has not given the M.T.A. staff working on the projects any non-negotiable figures that the agency would be seeking."

That figure has the potential to wreak havoc with Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff’s financing proposal for the stadium. Mr. Doctoroff has long contended that the rail yards are essentially worthless until the city builds platforms above them. The platforms would support the new stadium, which also would be used by the New York Jets.

Mr. Kalikow, who is under tremendous pressure by M.T.A. bondholders to extract as much money as possible from the rail yards, apparently disagrees with Mr. Doctoroff’s assessment. And if he stands firm on his compensation demands, someone will have to pony up the cash. It’s not likely to be the Jets, who have agreed to contribute $800 million toward construction costs. The team will pay some yet-to-be-determined fee to the M.T.A., but nothing in the neighborhood of what Mr. Kalikow considers fair-market value.

That leaves the city and the state, which have already pledged a $600 million subsidy to pay for the platform and a retractable roof to allow the stadium to function as a convention center. Neither will relish the prospect of lavishing even more public funds on an already controversial project.

"This is the main weakness of the West Side plan, and it always has been," said a prominent stadium supporter who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "There’s lots of other stuff you can waffle on, but the M.T.A.’s cut for its air rights? There’s not much wiggle room."

The stadium project faces several obstacles. Local groups appear to be preparing to sue the city to prevent the project from breaking ground. Meanwhile, the State Legislature in Albany could vote against Mr. Doctoroff’s complex financing plan for the stadium and other West Side development.

Meanwhile, cost estimates for hosting the Olympics continue to climb higher. According to a report in the New York Post, the clean-up bill for many potential Olympic venues has climbed from $70 million to $100 million. NYC 2012 now estimates the total cost of the Games at around $3.7 billion, although that figure doesn’t include expensive projects like the stadium or the Olympic Village, which are not included because they are designed to be used long after the Games’ closing ceremonies.

But when the big-ticket items are factored in, the price tag for the Games becomes truly Olympian—$12 billion, according to a tally by Brian Hatch, a former Salt Lake City deputy mayor who runs the Web site newyorkgames.org. Salt Lake City held the Winter Olympics in 2002.

The larger figure means that financing for mammoth sums of money needs to be in order very soon. To make the recent cut, cities only had to satisfy certain logistical requirements: existing transportation infrastructure, hotel rooms and a basic financing plan. Havana, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro and Leipzig, Germany, failed to make the second, and next-to-last, cut.

But in the next and final stage of the competition, the International Olympic Committee will be considering impressive bids by early favorites London and Paris, in addition to long-shots Madrid and Moscow. The I.O.C. will announce its decision in July 2005.

With New York in the final five, the Mayor and Mr. Doctoroff will have to move forward with a package of Olympics-related building projects. Mr. Doctoroff, who initiated and helped finance the city’s Olympics bid, skipped the victory breakfast in New York on May 18 to attend the I.O.C.’s official announcement in Lausanne, Switzerland. At Bryant Park, NYC 2012 president Jay Kriegel couldn’t help but make a joke about how Mr. Doctoroff’s micro-management of the Olympics bid could be felt across the Atlantic.

"While Dan Doctoroff may not be here physically, I can tell you he is here in spirit," Mr. Kriegel said. "The angry e-mails came at 5 o’clock this morning that we weren’t doing enough today for the event. So now you can all send him an e-mail in Lausanne saying we have done enough today here."

Mr. Doctoroff’s next challenge will be to bring Mr. Kalikow and the M.T.A. on board. Mr. Kalikow has come under tremendous pressure recently to ensure that his cash-strapped agency reaps a relative windfall from its rail yards, which are among the agency’s most potentially valuable assets.

The city has floated the idea of compensating the M.T.A. by paying for the construction of the extension of the No. 7 line—which now ends at Times Square—into the heart of the so-called Hudson Yards district, and letting the M.T.A. share in the benefits. Mr. Kalikow, however, apparently has shot down that idea, because extending the No. 7 line is not one of the agency’s top priorities.

"It’s not time for the M.T.A. to give away its assets by barter. It’s time for them to think about cold, hard cash," said former M.T.A. chairman Richard Ravitch.

A Vision Comes True

In the late 1970’s, Mr. Ravitch oversaw a development project that put supporting columns in the rail yards, which would enable engineers of the future to build a platform without having to first rip up the tracks. Although the area surrounding both rail yards was a wasteland of auto-body shops and empty lots when he initiated the project, Mr. Ravitch reasoned that the yards’ air rights would eventually be extremely valuable. That vision was borne out in Mr. Doctoroff’s master plan for the Hudson Yards district, which includes a rezoning of the 59-square-block area to support high-rise developments, the extension of the No. 7 line, and the construction of public open spaces and parks.

A source close to Mr. Kalikow said that the M.T.A. chairman realizes that the fair-market value of the rail yards will end up being diminished because the city and state will have to pay for the platforms. Nevertheless, the source said that Mr. Kalikow still valued each yard at around $400 million to $500 million each.

While it’s possible that Governor Pataki could end up helping to compensate the M.T.A, which he controls, it seems more likely that the city will end up having to foot the bill, in one way or another. For one thing, it is an open secret Mr. Pataki believes that his legacy will hinge upon the fate of Ground Zero, as opposed to the West Side of Manhattan. For another, the state just lost a court showdown with the city over the city’s refinancing of its 1970’s-era debt payments. The State Court of Appeals, in a 6-0 decision, ruled that legislation transferring repayment from the city to the state was constitutional.

"That complicates a lot of things," said the prominent stadium supporter, "but it makes Albany … less interested in helping the city financially."

Outside Bryant Park at the Olympics celebration, Mayor Bloomberg downplayed any ruptures between the city and the M.T.A. over the compensation issue.

"The city and the M.T.A. are coming along," he said. "I don’t think that’s a problem. There are a lot of details to be worked out, but the Governor and the M.T.A. are 100 percent supportive."

You may reach Blair Golson via email at: bgolson@observer.com.


May 23rd, 2004, 06:26 PM
I rather the olympics for 2016 anyway.

May 24th, 2004, 10:00 AM
Carrying a torch for the Olympics

Now that New York is a finalist for hosting the 2012 Olympics, expect to hear more from Brian Hatch. Mr. Hatch is a vocal critic of the city's plans for the Olympics and West Side projects. But New York's biggest Olympic-bid boosters say that he doth protest too much.

Mr. Hatch moved here four years ago from Salt Lake City, where he was deputy mayor, shepherding that city through a seven-year buildup to the 2000 Olympics. People close to the West Side developments say he was turned down for jobs with NYC2012 and the city's Economic Development Corp. and dismiss his complaints about this city's plans as sour grapes.

Mr. Hatch insists that he never applied to NYC2012. He admits that he had several interviews with city agencies in 2001, at the invitation of Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff, that did not pan out. But he says he's not bitter.

His views, including the premise that the Olympic stadium should be built in Queens, are posted on the Web site NewYorkGames.org.

"It was my concern that office towers on the West Side would compete with lower Manhattan's recovery," Mr. Hatch says.

Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

June 4th, 2004, 08:22 AM

June 4, 2004

Mayor Bloomberg secretly flew to Mexico City last week to meet with a high-ranking International Olympic Committee official, as he seeks to boost New York's chances to host the Games, The Post has learned.
Bloomberg, along with his 2012 Olympic point man, Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, jetted off last Friday for a powwow with Mario Vazquez Rana, a member of the IOC's executive board, according to a source close to the administration.

With New York City now on the short list of possible venues for the 2012 Summer Games, Bloomberg and Doctoroff sought advice from Rana as they compete against Madrid, London, Paris and Moscow for the right to host the Games, the source said.

The winning city will be announced on July 6, 2005.

Rana, a media magnate in Mexico, is also the president of the Pan American Sports Organization and is viewed as a heavy hitter within the international sports community.

"The mayor had previously met Mr. Mario Vazquez Rana during his trip to Santo Domingo, and invited the mayor to visit him in Mexico City," a Bloomberg spokesman said, adding that the visit was approved by the IOC.

The trip to Santo Domingo was for last summer's Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic. The reason Rana originally invited the mayor to Mexico was for a book interview.

"Rana also writes profiles of world leaders," said a City Hall source, "and he interviewed the mayor for his upcoming book."

Bloomberg's unannounced trip to Mexico City didn't appear on his public schedule last Friday.

He even called in to co-host his weekly radio show on Friday morning, with WABC's John Gambling saying the mayor wasn't in his normal studio chair due to "scheduling conflicts" — and not revealing Hizzoner was actually out of the country.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg yesterday announced the names of about 100 people who will carry the Olympic torch through the five boroughs on June 19 — including rap mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, CNN anchor Paula Zahn, New Jersey Nets star Stephon Marbury and football great Boomer Esiason.

The torch today is in Sydney, Australia, where it begins a 34-city tour before being lit in Athens during the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 13.

"Carrying the Olympic flame is a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Bloomberg said.

Additional reporting by Stephanie Gaskell

June 7th, 2004, 10:32 PM
June 8, 2004


Fighting City's Olympic Bid With His Web Site


"I think they are very sincere, but I think they are wrong."
Brian Hatch

BRIAN HATCH is no firebrand, and he would be the first to admit it. He is rather unassuming, mild-mannered even. Yet every night about 11, Mr. Hatch lets loose. He goes online in his Upper West Side apartment, tapping furiously into his Web site, www.NewYorkGames.org, to deliver some most trenchant criticism of New York City's bid to become the site of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Mr. Hatch, a former deputy mayor of Salt Lake City, says online that New York's Olympics plan is too costly, too complicated, too congested and too controversial to win, and would cripple Lower Manhattan's recovery to boot.

But is anyone listening? Hint: Officials like Daniel L. Doctoroff, a New York City deputy mayor and a former investment banker who conceived New York's bid 10 years ago and is its powerful champion? Not that Mr. Hatch has noticed. Even so, Mr. Hatch, a tall, earnest 42-year-old with rimless glasses and a thatch of blond hair, remains hopeful.

"I think they are very sincere, but I think they are wrong," he says cheerfully about the effort's supporters on a recent morning, sipping a Coke at an Upper West Side bistro.

For one thing, he says it is a lousy idea to build an expensive stadium on the far West Side of Manhattan as part of the Olympics bid. On this point, he is not alone; the city's plan has drawn an angry chorus of critics, many of whom showed up last week for a clamorous hearing on the proposed stadium, which would also be the home of the New York Jets.

Yet Mr. Hatch, a transportation and municipal consultant who works out of his apartment, has emerged as one of the most knowledgeable critics of the Olympics plan.

On his Web site, he provides insider analyses of how the Olympic movement works. He has charts and tables detailing the characteristics of previous Olympic cities and the proposals being made by the cities now competing for the games. He correctly predicted the five finalists for the 2012 Games before they were announced last month: Paris, Madrid, London, New York and Moscow, in that order.

"Almost everyone said Rio would go through, and I said no," he recalls matter-of-factly. "I think it's Paris, Madrid and Moscow right now. Moscow had a slow start, but it's coming on strong."

Mr. Hatch dishes out his critique in a confident, reasoned way. He is a milquetoast compared with some of his fellow partisans. O.K., he is a wonk. In 1992, he was appointed the deputy mayor of Salt Lake and served for eight years as that city readied itself for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. He does not talk this up much, though, noting that Salt Lake is the size of one of New York's 51 City Council districts, with fewer than 200,000 people.

"Salt Lake is a much smaller city, but the issue is similar," he says. "You have to add a zero or two."

Mr. Hatch says he began tracking New York's bid in 1996. He liked what he read of Mr. Doctoroff's idea to use the Olympics to create a legacy beyond the two-week event. Mr. Hatch was trying to do something similar in Salt Lake, helping to oversee the development of a modest light-rail system and a retail and commercial area west of downtown before the Winter Games.

"When Salt Lake got the Olympics, there was a surge of support, particularly in Washington," he says. "It opens up an opportunity to do things otherwise you could not do because of regulations."

Mr. Hatch remained a big fan of New York's bid when he moved four years ago to Manhattan, where he lives with his wife, Antoinette, a senior editor for a publishing house, and their 2-year-old son, Benjamin. But a year ago, he became convinced that a West Side stadium was the Achilles' heel of the project.

He argues that the stadium is too far from a proposed athletes' village in Queens. He also says Lower Manhattan's recovery could be hurt by competition from the Olympic plan, which includes an office district near the West Side stadium.

MR. HATCH says he feels like a true New Yorker, even though he grew up in Salt Lake, the son of a traffic engineer and a social worker. He says his move here was inevitable. "I've always been an urbanist," he says.

He is a distant cousin to Senator Orrin G. Hatch, the Utah Republican. In Salt Lake, he, too, was a Republican, working for a Democratic mayor, but now says he is politically unaffiliated.

His Salt Lake experience, he asserts, has given him the confidence to speak out against the New York plan. But he says he got even more insight about the Olympics race from his two years as a graduate student at Oxford University, conversing with dons and visiting professors at High Table in the dining hall. He says members of the International Olympic Committee are "international elites," much like those guests at High Table.

"They have the same world view," he says emphatically.

To that end, Mr. Hatch offers a parting thought on why New York's Olympic campaign needs a drastic overhaul. He says the International Olympic Committee's new leadership wants desperately to control the cost and complexity of the 2012 bid so that the plan can be a model for future sites in South America and Africa.

"They won't be able to do it in 2012, but they want to pick a city that has a plan that is portable, sustainable," he says. "The plan we have only a rich city can do."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

June 7th, 2004, 11:35 PM
Mr. Hatch, a former deputy mayor of Salt Lake City, says online that New York's Olympics plan is too costly, too complicated, too congested and too controversial to win, and would cripple Lower Manhattan's recovery to boot.

Oh he is so negative. Why doesn't he go back to Salt Lake City and help that city instead. :evil: NYC doesn't need more people like this. We have too many antidevelopment people already.

June 8th, 2004, 01:00 AM
He's not anti-developement, he just supports a Queens Jets stadium and after reading the arguments made on his site, I agree with him.

June 8th, 2004, 01:57 AM
He's not anti-developement, he just supports a Queens Jets stadium and after reading the arguments made on his site, I agree with him.

Still not sure if he's bitter about not getting those jobs he wanted, though.

June 8th, 2004, 09:26 AM
Problem is, the Jets don't want that.

Why does everyone fail to see that?

Queens is also a PITA for the Jets fans in NJ to come out and see them (yes, there ARE some Jets fans in NJ). If youhave ever had to cross Manhattan you know how much of a PITA it really is....

As for an Olympic bid, the locations are just too scattered. The one thing that does NOT come to mind when I think NY is Sports. NYC has Baseball, but no real other facilities of an olympic scale. Their proposed layout can't even be fully contained in their 10 mile circle (was it 10?0 nevermind within easy access. Who wants to ride on a subway for an hour to get from one event to another?

NYC will not get it (I hope it does, that might give our firm more work) but I don't think it will...

June 8th, 2004, 09:52 AM
Problem is, the Jets don't want that.

Why does everyone fail to see that?

I know that but that doesn't change the fact I think the stadium is more suitable for Queens.

June 8th, 2004, 09:58 AM
Problem is, the Jets don't want that.

Why does everyone fail to see that?

I know that but that doesn't change the fact I think the stadium is more suitable for Queens.

Again, that brings up the question, why do you think it is more suitable for Queens?

Is it more suitable for Manhattan IN Queens, or more suitable for the Jets IN Queens?

I think it is more PRACTICAL in construction terms, but it is less accessable to everyone but the people of Long Island.

Also, you think the Jets want to market a stadium in Queens? Look how well that has worked for the Mets! ;)

June 8th, 2004, 10:39 AM
Mr. Hatch moved here four years ago from Salt Lake City, where he was deputy mayor, shepherding that city through a seven-year buildup to the 2000 Olympics. People close to the West Side developments say he was turned down for jobs with NYC2012 and the city's Economic Development Corp. and dismiss his complaints about this city's plans as sour grapes.

Mr. Hatch insists that he never applied to NYC2012. He admits that he had several interviews with city agencies in 2001, at the invitation of Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff, that did not pan out. But he says he's not bitter.

Aha....Whatever... :roll:

June 10th, 2004, 11:20 AM
Daily News
June 10, 2004

NY'ers: Let Olympic Games begin, but not on our dime

Associated Press

A majority of New Yorkers said they would welcome the 2012 Olympics to the city with open arms — but not open wallets, according to a poll released Thursday.

The Quinnipiac University Poll found that 67 percent of New York City voters said they support the city’s bid to host the summer games, while 25 percent said they oppose it. The number of supporters dropped to 37 percent when New York voters were asked if they would stand by the city’s effort to host the games if tax dollars were used to help pay for the costs, the poll said.

Fifty-five percent said they would not approve of holding the 2012 Olympics in the city if tax revenues were used, according to the poll.

The largest percentage of opponents was in Manhattan, where 64 percent said they disapproved.

“So let the games begin, voters say, as long as we don’t have to pay for it,” Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

A slight majority of New York voters, 51 percent, said they thought hosting the Republican National Convention this summer would help the city’s chances to win the games, the poll found. Forty-three percent said they thought the convention would be good for the city, while 21 percent said it would be bad for the city and 30 percent said it would make no difference.

The poll surveyed 1,226 New York City registered voters between June 1 and June 7. It has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

© 2004 Daily News, L.P.

June 10th, 2004, 11:49 AM
He's not anti-developement, he just supports a Queens Jets stadium and after reading the arguments made on his site, I agree with him.

Still not sure if he's bitter about not getting those jobs he wanted, though.

It's politics. I would guess he is hoping his criticism will be silenced by the city offering him a job. He's trying to demonstrate how knowledgeable he is - which he might be. It's like an audition. But, I am sure he would sing a different tune if he was hired by the 2012 committee.

He's playing a tricky game.

June 11th, 2004, 03:42 AM

June 11, 2004

A majority of New Yorkers said they would welcome the 2012 Olympics to the city with open arms — but not open wallets, according to a poll released yesterday.

The Quinnipiac University survey found 67 percent of New York City voters said they support the city's bid to host the Summer Games, while 25 percent said they oppose it.

The percentage of supporters dropped to 37 percent when voters were asked if they would stand by the city's effort to host the Games if tax dollars were used to help pay their costs, the poll said.

Fifty-five percent said they would not approve of holding the 2012 Olympics in the city if tax revenues were used, according to the poll. The largest percentage of opponents, 64 percent, was in Manhattan.

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc

June 19th, 2004, 11:08 PM
June 20, 2004


Olympic Torch Illuminates a Risky Business


Bob Beamon, the former long-jump champion, started the Olympic torch relay as it traversed New York, from Athens Square Park in Queens to Times Square. In Athens itself, cost overruns are shedding light on the risk of holding the Games.

Vincent Mazzone of Brooklyn, left, carries the Olympic flame across the Brooklyn Bridge.

THE Olympic torch wended its way through New York yesterday, carrying the glow of human glory.

Having been chosen for its grand role in staging the ancient Olympics, Greece prepares for its next encounter with history when the Summer Games open in Athens on Aug. 13.

But the torchbearers around the five boroughs might also have been ancient Greek warriors, bearing a warning to all cities that would even think of staging future Games: "The budget overruns are coming! The budget overruns are coming!"

The latest estimate is that the cost of building for the coming Summer Games in Athens may exceed the government's original $5.5 billion estimate by about $1.7 billion.

This projected deficit may very well make New Yorkers wonder if a couple of weeks of fun and games are worth the hidden or unanticipated costs. The city is one of five finalists to be host of the 2012 Games, to be chosen in July 2005.

"We don't do it for 17 days; we do it for years to come," said Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, the president of the Athens organizing committee, adding that her committee's budget is balanced.

Mrs. A., as she is often called, was in town for the torch procession, which in a gracious gesture has touched corners of the earth, like Africa and South America, that may never be able to afford the Games.

She spoke idealistically of watching icons like Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Pelé of Brazil take part in the Olympic pageantry.

"We forget what divides us," she said. "Athens will be good for the athletes. We will show what we can give back and hope that things can be better."

This is serious business to Greeks, who live with their heritage every day. One Greek friend said carrying the torch in his homeland was the proudest moment of his life, so far.

The mental worry beads worked. The Calatrava roof — the soaring symbol, for better or worse, of these Games — is in place over the main stadium. Pierre Kosmidis, a media official with the organizing committee, recalls the moment the roof finally began to inch its way into place a few weeks ago: "I felt my knees shake." Then Italian workmen started to sing, and produced a bottle of red wine and paper cups, and they all toasted the Calatrava roof.

The Greeks believe they are ready to throw a good party. The country, I am here to tell you, is a delightful place for a vacation, under normal circumstances. The Games will undoubtedly look great on NBC. And we won't even get into security issues.

Realists that they are, however, the Greeks also know that the lasting stigma of the Games could turn out to be one missed bus by one cranky American sportswriter, too many logistical snafus at events, piles of construction rubble, hotel and travel complications, a general unfinished feeling, all arising from the three lost years from 1997 to 2000, before Mrs. A. was invited to take over the Olympic responsibility.

At least the pressure is off Athens to gain the title of "best games ever," which Juan Antonio Samaranch used to bestow at every closing ceremony.

In Atlanta in 1996, when Samaranch said the Games were merely "exceptional," the impact was like a stinging slap in the face in a tony restaurant.

During a recent interview, Dr. Jacques Rogge, who succeeded Samaranch as president of the International Olympic Committee, said that he would not be calling the Athens Games the best ever, which annoyed Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, and hastened Rogge to explain:

"My predecessor, who I respect very much, used to say each time `the best Games ever,' " Rogge said on June 12. "I thought that in my humble opinion you cannot compare Games that are held at a different time, in different continents, in different countries, which have their own cultural, political and economic systems."

Rogge called the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, the first under his regime, "superb Games." On June 12 he said he would not be calling future Games "the best ever," saying, "It's a general policy that I have taken."

Still not amused, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said Thursday, "The Games will be judged by thousands of people at the Games." She added, "They will also be judged by people sitting on their sofas in Moscow, Bali, New York."

Angelopoulos-Daskalaki speaks glowingly of the Greek legacy of the Games but sounds less upbeat about the economic viability of smaller countries being Olympic hosts.

"Baron de Coubertin said the Games had to go around the world," she said, referring to the French patron of the modern Games. "Does the I.O.C. have a strategy? This is not just a sporting event. The I.O.C. asks a city to change its face."

In theory, the I.O.C. favors using existing facilities, but in reality the Games demand gigantic new projects.

"And once the Games are over, once the real price of the budget is known," Rogge said, "then our Greek friends will have to look at it and see, with the success of the Games, how it's a great legacy that will be given to Greece."

Citizens of New York might very well applaud the Olympic torch passing through their town. But it is the citizens of Greece who are bearing the expensive burden of their glorious heritage.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

June 20th, 2004, 05:03 PM
June 20, 2004


How to Win the 2012 Olympics


NEW YORK'S bid for the 2012 Olympics is in deep trouble.

The International Olympic Committee released its initial evaluation of the 2012 bids last month, and New York City has faded to a fourth-place contender. This is very worrying. In the current geopolitical environment, and with the sense that it's Europe's turn in the Olympic rotation, an American city has to have technical brilliance to win.

The committee found several flaws with the current plan. The Olympic village was rated seventh out of the nine applicant cities because the site is too small and congested. The transit plan was heavily criticized because athletes would have to navigate multiple transfers between buses, ferries and trains to get to their destinations. The public's 2-to-1 opposition to a West Side stadium factored into the last place finish in the "support" category.

Instead of heeding these warnings, our bid committee's response has been to accelerate the carrying out of its old, discredited plan. The Olympic village design was just announced, but it's on the same small site, using a plan developed before the committee's critique. Instead of using a standard all-bus transit system for athletes, bidders say they will educate the committee on how Olympic transportation should operate.

The root of the bid's problems can be found in its underlying philosophy: the construction of several major projects, much of it financed by a new central business district. This approach was developed in the mid-1990's, and is completely out of date. It's too costly for the city, and completely at odds with the direction of the Olympic movement.

The Olympic committee's goals have been laid out by its president, Jacques Rogge, who has said, "It's a dream of the I.O.C. to have games in Africa and Latin America, but I think that would entail reducing the games' costs and their complexity."

Fifty Olympiads have been awarded since 1896, yet not one has gone to Africa, South America, or South Asia or to a Muslim country. The committee told the 2012 cities to avoid "gigantism," and to focus on sustainability and thus produce a cheaper model for the games that developing countries could follow.

Yet the mayor's office has ignored this instruction, stubbornly sticking to an elaborate $12 billion plan that only a very wealthy city could hope to stage. The speculative office district next to the West Side stadium would not only be the most complicated financial plan in Olympic history, it would compete with Lower Manhattan for office tenants, hindering that area's recovery.

Fortunately, there is time to rescue the bid, as the final decision isn't until July 2005.

The most important change is to move the Olympic stadium to Queens. The Manhattan stadium's estimated cost is more than $1.4 billion, hundreds of millions more expensive than any stadium ever.

Instead, Shea Stadium should be designated as the Olympic stadium to best respond to the call to control costs. This was the plan for New York's most successful bid to date: the 1984 Games that we narrowly lost to Los Angeles. The estimated cost to make the necessary modifications was $75 million at the time. In 2002, Shea was designated as the backup, after the United States Olympic Committee asked for an alternative to the West Side stadium.

The decision to use Shea would help New York rejoin the front-runners in the 2012 competition. Paris and Moscow have existing stadiums. Madrid also plans to renovate an existing stadium.

The debate over whether to build a new West Side stadium can be resumed next year, after the International Olympic Committee votes on the 2012 city. The Jets request for $600 million and four blocks of Manhattan waterfront would then be decided on its own merits, without Olympic pressure tactics.

The most unusual aspect of the current stadium plan is the mayor's desire to "have a shovel in the ground" by next year. There is no way a Manhattan stadium could make it through all the approvals - including litigation - by the time of the Olympic committee vote in July 2005. Successful cities have wisely chosen to avoid controversial venues in the run-up to the vote, keeping the spotlight on the positives of their cities and citizenry instead. In the history of the Olympics, no new stadium has ever been started just before the committee vote.

But the mayor says we must impress the committee before next year's vote by immediately spending $5 billion to build the Olympic stadium, Olympic Plaza, Olympic Boulevard and an extension of the No. 7 subway line. In fact, doing so would greatly reduce our chances. At a time when the members of the Olympic committee are working to contain costs, they will not want to set such an expensive precedent. Future bid cities would believe they'd also need to go billions of dollars into debt just to compete. This would be antithetical to the committee's new approach.

The 2012 decision will be made with little input from North America. Half of the 124 members of the International Olympic Committee are from Europe, most of the rest are from the developing world. Because an American city is in the running, the three members from the United States can't vote on who will be the 2012 host.

Some cities might choose to ignore international guidance and propose an Olympic plan that developing cities couldn't hope to emulate. New York shouldn't be one of them.

Brian Hatch, deputy mayor of Salt Lake City from 1992 to 2000, runs NewYorkGames.org.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

July 7th, 2004, 07:51 AM
I'd like to underline a point made in the article posted just above:

The most unusual aspect of the current stadium plan is the mayor's desire to "have a shovel in the ground" by next year. There is no way a Manhattan stadium could make it through all the approvals - including litigation - by the time of the Olympic committee vote in July 2005. Successful cities have wisely chosen to avoid controversial venues in the run-up to the vote, keeping the spotlight on the positives of their cities and citizenry instead. In the history of the Olympics, no new stadium has ever been started just before the committee vote.

Risk needs shaping, not wishful thinking. New York's prospects may improve with a follow-on candidacy for the games of 2016, but could the Olympic Village still be located in the same place? How about using Governor's Island creatively? I think it offers the potential for excellent TV footage.

Regarding security, an interesting article that covers preparations for the games in Greece appeared in the NYT on July3 (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/03/sports/othersports/03OLYM.html?hp). Some excerpts:

The huge event, spread over 17 days and more than 100 sites, presents an enormous security challenge. And while any threat of a major attack remains paramount for security officials — even if some of them view the risk as small — they are also mindful of potential disruptions from a number of other sources, including Greece's small anarchist groups and Chechen and other rebel groups.

"We have done everything humanly possible," said George A. Voulgarakis, the Greek minister of public order. "We have spent more than we could afford." The expected $1.2 billion security bill is four times that spent in Sydney, Australia, for the last summer Olympics in 2000.

"We have the most modern and sophisticated technologies," Mr. Voulgarakis said. "We have the maximum intelligence that a country could have." And he said all systems will be ready on time.

But comparable security and communications systems for the Sydney Olympics, as well as those for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, were operational more than a year before the Games began, officials said.

In those cities, the stadiums were far enough along to hold several big events, including the world track and field championships in Barcelona and the National Rugby League finals in Sydney, permitting real-life testing of security systems, as opposed to the mock exercises predominately used here.

Athens 2004, the local Olympic committee, declined a request for an interview about security.

July 7th, 2004, 01:35 PM
We'll see what happens in Greece. All this shows that a city needs to have money to put on a good, safe show. This "cheapie" olympics is a pipe-dream.

August 5th, 2004, 05:44 PM
August 5, 2004

City unveils 2012 Olympic venues

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a revised plan for several Olympic venues Thursday as part of the city's proposal to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

The new proposal, which will be submitted to the International Olympic Committee in November, would more tightly group many of the events into three areas:

- Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, which would be the site of six events including tennis and water polo.

- A section of upper Manhattan and the Bronx near Yankee Stadium, which would be host to four events including baseball and boxing.

- The West Side of Manhattan, the site of the proposed Olympic Stadium, the Javits Center and Madison Square Garden, which would host seven events including basketball.

"We are proud of this tremendous venue plan that will strengthen our bid for the Olympic Games in 2012, and enrich the legacy that the Games will leave for our city," Bloomberg told a news conference at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Previously, the city has planned an "Olympic X" design, setting up venues along a cross-shaped pattern.

Along with New York, London, Madrid, Paris and Moscow are finalists host the 2012 Games. The IOC will select the host city in July 2005.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

August 5th, 2004, 06:13 PM

New York is competing against London, Paris, Moscow and Madrid for the 2012 Games. The IOC will select a host city on July 6, 2005, in Singapore.

IOC officials reviewed bids in May and the comments were taken to heart by the New York crew, whose plan to use waterway and subway access to venue areas and housing areas took advantage of existing "Big Apple" transportation.

"Our revised venue plan responds to the concerns of the IOC," said deputy mayor Dan Doctoroff. "Every venue will have a striking post-Olympic benefit for New Yorkers and athletic federations worldwide."

Aquatics events were moved to the waterfront in the Williamsburg section of the city, allowing for separate swim and diving areas in the same complex to meet a new requirement by international governing body FINA.

Expanding the planned facility meant shifting sites from the Astoria Park location in the original plan. The new site is nearer the planned Olympic village and the beach volleyball venue.

Basketball was moved into historic Madison Square Garden while indoor volleyball will replace it at New Jersey's Meadowlands arena.

All gymnastics events will be moved from the Garden in Manhattan to Brooklyn's proposed Atlantic Yards Arena, where the National Basketball Association's New Jersey Nets plan to relocate.

Non-finals water polo matches were shifted to the planned Flushing Pool near the US Open tennis center, a planned Olympic venue. Archery was moved into the same Corona Park area with rowing and canoe-kayak to better cluster venues.

Boxing was moved to the Armory which will put them in a new Harlem River venue cluster near Yankee Stadium, planned site for baseball. Badminton and track cycling would be staged nearby at a planned 5,000-seat velodrome.

A redesigned plan for the Olympic Village would quadruple the number of low-rise apartments to be built across the East River from the United Nations, in the center of the transportation system cross through the city.

Athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies would remain in a planned Olympic Stadium projected to serve as the new home of American football's New York Jets.

The stadium site is near Madison Square Garden and the Javits Center, planned Olympic home to fencing, judo, table tennis, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling.


August 6th, 2004, 12:55 AM
Updated plan:


August 6th, 2004, 02:22 AM
August 6, 2004

City Condenses Locations for 2012 Olympic Bid


The Bloomberg administration has made a final revision of its 2012 Olympic bid, tightening the area through which athletes would have to travel and moving a few of the sporting sites to better please the International Olympic Committee.

As part of that plan, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg also announced a plan to create an Olympic-size pool and ice-skating rink in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Mr. Bloomberg said that the new proposal would compact many of the events into three areas: the far West Side, a section of upper Manhattan and the Bronx, and the Flushing Meadows park in Queens.

"The I.O.C. suggested that such clusters would make our bid more athletic friendly by concentrating more events in a more geographically compact fashion," Mr. Bloomberg said during a news conference at the Queens Museum of Art.

New York City has been chosen to represent the United States in the competition for the 2012 summer games. Next July, the Olympic committee will choose New York, London, Madrid, Paris or Moscow for the honor.

"Hosting the Olympics would create both immediate benefits and also a lasting legacy," Mr. Bloomberg said, "and that's why the vast majority of New Yorkers by every poll want the games to be here."

The final plan, which will be submitted to the Olympic Committee in November, hews to the city's original concept, which places all the Olympic sites along a giant "X." The north/south axis of that "X" would flow from Northern Manhattan to Staten Island along the water, and an east/west axis ends in Queens and starts at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

The Meadowlands, where indoor volleyball would be held at the Continental Airlines Arena, is an exception to the city's plan to group events into tight clusters. One major cluster - a section of upper Manhattan and the Bronx near Yankee Stadium - would be host to four events, including baseball and boxing. Along the West Side of Manhattan, where the city has proposed building a new stadium for the New York Jets, numerous events would be held. Basketball games would be held at Madison Square Garden. The Flushing Meadows park would offer archery, rowing, slalom and whitewater canoeing, tennis and water polo.

Mr. Bloomberg said yesterday that the city's hopes of playing host to the games would be severely hampered if the city lost its fight to build the stadium with the Jets on the West Side and a proposed New Jersey Nets stadium in Brooklyn.

"You would not get the Olympics, there is just no question about that," Mr. Bloomberg said when asked how the bid would go if community opposition scuttled the stadium plans. "The Olympic committee takes this plan, and if they're not convinced that you are going ahead and building it, we won't be selected and we won't have the privilege of hosting it."

Mr. Bloomberg will attend three days of the Olympic games in Athens this month, to meet with committee members and see how that city handled the event.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

August 30th, 2004, 07:19 AM
August 30, 2004


For Greece, Olympics Leave Pride, Relief and a Huge Bill


ATHENS, Aug. 29 - The last heart-pounding race of the Summer Games ended Sunday in a white marble arena in the heart of Athens, bringing the modern Olympics full circle - back to the precise spot where they were revived 108 years ago.

The finish of the men's marathon at Panathinaiko Stadium, followed by the traditional parade of athletes under the sweeping roof of the new polymer-and-concrete Olympic Stadium, crowned 16 days of competition, which were marked by moments of individual triumph and a record-breaking number of athletes thrown out on doping charges.

The Athens Olympics, in which more than 10,000 athletes from nearly 200 countries competed, also broke records as the most expensive and most fortified international sporting event ever staged. It could become the prototype for securing other major gatherings against the threat of terrorism.

Yet the costs for security were only a part of the expense of putting on the Games, officials here have said. The morning after, when Greece totals the complete and final bill, is likely to feature a pointed debate here and around the world over whether the Olympics have become too big and too demanding for the host cities.

Those questions were generally pushed aside in the celebratory mood of the closing ceremony, when Greeks prancing in traditional costumes swept onto the field and the last olive wreaths of the XXVIII Olympiad were placed on the heads of the men's marathon medalists.

"These have been unforgettable dream Games," Dr. Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, said to deafening cheers from the crowd gathered for the ceremony. "These Games were held in peace and brotherhood. These were the Games where it became increasingly difficult to cheat and where clean athletes were better protected."

More than 3,500 drug tests were administered to athletes - before and after their events - in a sweeping effort to eliminated illegal performance-enhancing drugs from the world of sport. Rogge said that 22 athletes tested positive during the Games, although two Greek sprinters withdrew from the competition after failing to appear for their pre-Games drug tests.

For many Greeks, it was victory enough that their country had managed to pull off a smoothly run Olympics, an effort that required the care and handling of more than 16,000 athletes and team officials, 30,000 journalists, uncounted dignitaries and members of the International Olympic Committee with their assorted bodyguards.

Just days before the opening ceremony, the organizers were still planting trees, installing seats in stadiums, paving the marathon road and working out the bugs in the computerized security system. Despite the cost overruns and extra pay for laborers rushing to complete the preparations on time, the nail-biting finish only added to the self-congratulatory mood at the end.

"I know and followed very closely all the concerns and fears about whether Greece would be ready, whether the venues would be there, whether the security questions would be addressed satisfactorily," Prime Minister Costas Caramanlis said in an interview Sunday, shortly before the closing ceremony.

"And the answer would be real performance: I think the Games were a successful and a secure Games," he added. "This is a message that open and free societies with good organization can keep up their way of living, their values and ideals and celebrate major cultural events."

Government estimates over the past two weeks have put the price tag for the Olympics at nearly $10 billion. Officials have yet to make public a breakdown of the costs, other than to say that the bill for police training, bonuses, surveillance equipment and other security items is expected to come to at least $1.2 billion.

That would be four times the amount paid for security by Sydney, Australia, the host of the 2000 Summer Games.

Caramanlis said the costs should not be overplayed, because the Games forced Greece to undertake needed road, public transit and other public-works projects and provided a deadline for their completion.

"Greece also had the golden opportunity to get the rest of the world to know her in her modern nature," he said.

While no specific terrorist threat was picked up, general security fears prompted Greece to mobilize much of its army, navy and air force and to call in NATO surveillance planes to provide a protective cover. Military helicopters patrolled the skies above the sports stadiums and a blimp loaded with audio and visual equipment floated overhead each day.

Some Greeks, in interviews in the newspapers and calls to radio talk shows, have started to blame their country's high security costs on the United States, which they saw as the principal terrorist target during the Olympics.

Caramanlis rejected the notion of asking the United States government to pitch in and pay part of the bill. But he said that some mechanism for sharing the cost of the Games among members of the international community should be created for future Olympics.

"I see that it's fair enough to develop an approach to disseminate the costs over the international community," he said. "Security is not a question to be answered by anybody by himself. It's out of the question. It's very clear in our world, because the threat is all over."

Greece won the bidding war for the Games in 1997, but it did little toward its promised renovations of existing stadiums and construction of new ones until the last four years. Most of the work was completed only in the last two years.

The gold standard for the Summer Games had been set by Sydney, which was widely praised for its friendly and near-flawless organization. Athens, in contrast, suffered the ignominy of nearly having the Olympics taken away by the I.O.C. in 2000 and handed to a better-prepared city.

After a last-minute sprint of construction, however, the arenas and stadiums were ready for the Games. But the government is only now starting to study what to do with the swimming pools, the equestrian center, the hundreds of apartments in the Olympic Village, the multiple stadiums in Athens and other cities, and the vast amounts of office space created specifically for the Olympics.

"The whole process was handled in a carefree way," said Christos Hadjiemmanuil, the president of a state-owned property management company that was formed recently to try to market the Olympic facilities.

He said he could not provide an estimate of maintenance costs for the various facilities, although he expressed guarded confidence that Greece could use them for conventions and sports events once they are refitted for commercial purposes.

"Despite the negative publicity, the Olympics have contributed to the rebranding of the country," Hadjiemmanuil said. "The low expectations that were created are a good starting point for rebranding. It makes the country more likable and puts it in a more favorable light in the eyes of investors."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

September 19th, 2004, 08:43 AM
September 19, 2004

New York Hopes to Win Olympics by Dividing Votes


After talking privately with nearly every person who will vote on the site of the 2012 Olympics, the people behind New York City's bid for the Summer Games now think they have a realistic chance to win by adopting a divide-and-conquer strategy against the four European capitals that are their competitors.

They have also brandished American economic power by promising marketing and media assistance for governing bodies in lesser-known sports that have key votes on the International Olympic Committee.

Many American boosters and some independent experts now say New York may be trailing only Paris, which is presumed by many people to be the front-runner, in part because it is the only finalist with an Olympic stadium in place.

But it is a long, twisting road. United States foreign policy is widely viewed as hurting the city's bid, and 9/11 sentiment has worn thin, according to people who have talked with voters. In May, New York placed fourth among the five cities in a preliminary evaluation by the Olympic committee's staff. Since then, the city has changed plans for housing, transportation and sites.

The Olympics sweepstakes will end with secret balloting by the I.O.C. in July. In addition to New York and Paris, the other finalists are London, Madrid and Moscow. Daniel L. Doctoroff, a deputy mayor and the founder of NYC2012, the committee organizing the Olympic bid, said he had talked individually with 119 of the 121 Olympic committee members by the end of the Athens Games last month. Mr. Doctoroff will be in Athens again tomorrow and Tuesday during the Paralympics, involving about 4,000 disabled athletes from 136 countries, to do more lobbying.

If no city obtains an absolute majority of votes cast in the first round of voting by the I.O.C., the city with the fewest votes is eliminated and successive rounds are held until a city has a majority. If only two cities remain, the one with the greatest number of votes is elected. New York's advocates are counting on picking up support when the vote goes beyond the first round, as has consistently occurred. Many American officials, including Peter V. Ueberroth, the chairman of the United States Olympic Committee, say they think New York can win in later rounds by picking up support from European cities as they are eliminated.

The I.O.C. is dominated by European members. Because of a desire to share the Games among the continents, a Paris victory for 2012 would make it unlikely that other European cities could play host to the Summer Olympics until at least 2020.

"It's a factor not just in those four cities, but it's a factor in other places,'' Mr. Ueberroth said in a telephone interview Thursday. "I know, for instance, Milan is interested in bidding in 2016, so their chances if Paris or Madrid were chosen makes it a little more of a reach.''

Budapest, Prague, Lisbon and Berlin have also shown interest in the 2016 Olympics, along with the current contenders for 2012.

Mr. Ueberroth, Mr. Doctoroff and other New York boosters have found many committee members are focused on promoting their sports. To meet that demand, the NYC2012 team is developing detailed plans to help sports like track and field, swimming, badminton and table tennis raise their profiles in America. The plans include staging events before and after the 2012 Summer Games. New York has presented a seven-year marketing plan to track and field's governing body.

Dale E. Neuberger of Indiana, a vice president for FINA, the world governing body for aquatic sports, said, "I'm not familiar with its plans in every one of the Olympic sports, but in swimming - which represents four disciplines, swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming - New York leadership has demonstrated vision and enlightenment related to how facilities built for the Games would be useful for many years to come.''

There is big money behind the New York bid, including Mr. Doctoroff, who donated about $2.5 million to NYC2012, and multinational corporations based in the United States.

Of course, not everyone thinks New York's strategy will win the votes of a majority of the Olympic committee. Brian J. Hatch, founder of NewYorkGames.org, a Web site opposed to the Olympic bid, criticized the NYC2012 plan as driven more by a desire for real estate development than for Olympic ideals or athletic legacies.

Mr. Hatch said there were serious flaws in the New York boosters' assumption that New York could come from behind to win the I.O.C. vote. No Olympic winner has finished lower than second on an initial ballot, he said. In 32 contested races, the front-runner has won 26 times and the city that was second in the first round has won six times, Mr. Hatch said.

"You've got to be the front-runner,'' he said.

A New York City Olympics would please NBC and many leading corporate sponsors of the Olympics, said Kevin B. Wamsley, a professor of history and the director of the International Center for Olympic Studies at the University of Western Ontario.

NBC signed contracts to pay $5.7 billion for television rights for the Games from 2000 through 2012. Other sponsors, including Coca-Cola, John Hancock, Kodak, McDonald's, Sports Illustrated, Visa and Xerox, pay about $60 million over four years for branding rights. "If the Olympics came to New York, there would be unprecedented opportunity for making money, beyond the imagination,'' Mr. Wamsley said. "That would be the windfall NBC is looking for, and the corporate sponsors.''

But money does not play as large a role as it might have in the past, Mr. Wamsley said, because the I.O.C. is now financially stable.

Mr. Ueberroth, widely credited with helping to save the Olympics by running the 1984 Games in Los Angeles after the 1980 boycott in Moscow, said Olympic revenue takes a huge leap any time the Games are held in the United States. The New York bid documents estimate that the Games would yield $800 million more in New York, because of higher ticket sales and sponsorships, than in Paris, London, Madrid or Moscow.

Dick Ebersol, the chairman of NBC Universal Sports, declined to comment. Kevin Sullivan, a spokesman for NBC Sports, said in an e-mail message, "We have no say and play no role in the selection of Olympic host cities.''

James L. Easton, an American member of the I.O.C.'s executive board and the president of the archery federation, also talked with committee members in Athens. He and Mr. Doctoroff said a lot could change in how the United States is perceived between now and July.

"It's not looking bad,'' Mr. Easton said. "Yes, Paris is the front-runner, because they've bid a couple times and haven't been successful, and they also came out ahead on the initial technical analysis of the first bid documents that were submitted.

"And Paris is a wonderful city. But the last Summer Games for which they were a contender, they also were first in the technical analysis, but didn't win the vote.''

In fact, Paris captured only 18 of the 105 committee votes for the 2008 Olympics, finishing third behind Beijing and Toronto. Paris also lost the 1992 bid to Barcelona, Spain. But Paris built an 80,000-seat stadium to play host to the 1998 World Cup soccer final and to attract an Olympics, which it last staged in 1924.

"It cannot go wrong every time,'' Valérie Amant, a spokeswoman for the bid committee Paris2012 Global, said Friday. But she added: "I can't remember seeing such competition among five of the greatest cities in the world. It's quite amazing.''

During the Olympics last month, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg spent two and a half days in Athens and talked to about 35 I.O.C. members. Mr. Doctoroff said the conversations he and the mayor had with I.O.C. members ranged from five minutes to many hours. "The vast majority have been substantive conversations,'' Mr. Doctoroff said.

Part of the substance involved learning about the members' connections to New York.

"I can think of many who have either gone to school here or have a child who went to school here,'' Mr. Doctoroff said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "There have been many who came to New York on exchange programs when they were young. And then many who have business interests here or other personal connections.''

Mr. Doctoroff and Mr. Bloomberg have repeatedly said that construction of a stadium on the far West Side of Manhattan, which would be known as the New York Sports and Convention Center, must be under way by the time of the vote next summer. In fact, Mr. Bloomberg said last Sunday that New York would have to "drop out of the competition for the Olympics'' unless the stadium project began soon.

In an e-mail message Friday, Mr. Bloomberg expressed confidence that the stadium would be built. "I am totally committed to our Olympic bid, and my visit to Athens confirmed that it is strong and well positioned to win,'' he said.

If the city can begin construction on an Olympic stadium, Mr. Doctoroff and other proponents said they thought New York's bid could overcome international opposition to American foreign policy, memories of the bomb that went off at the Atlanta Games in 1996 and bribery charges in Salt Lake City's bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Thomas K. Welch, the former president of the Salt Lake City Olympic bid committee, who was acquitted by a judge last year of charges that he illegally influenced I.O.C. members for their votes, said he thought the Salt Lake City scandal would not hurt New York's chances.

Mr. Welch said that if New York could get about 25 votes in the first round of voting, it might win the 2012 Games by becoming voters' second or third choice in later rounds. He said New York would need the votes of committee members from South and Central America along with some support from members in Asia and the Pacific. Members of the committee from the countries competing for the bid - including three from the United States - will not be allowed to vote.

"For us to win, you've got to pick up votes in Europe, and Europe's a tough place for us to pick up votes,'' Mr. Welch said in a telephone interview. "Now you've got to hope they get competitive enough that they get angry. You know, Paris is the front-runner. And the French are capable of making mistakes.''

Many experts said it was too soon to count votes. The cities' final proposals are due Nov. 15, followed by site inspections by an I.O.C. subcommittee in February and March. The decisive Olympic committee vote will take place in Singapore on July 6, 2005.

John A. Furlong, chief executive of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Winter Games, saw parallels between his bid and New York's. Vancouver placed last in a technical report. Many people thought Salzburg, Austria, would win the voting. But Salzburg was eliminated in the first round, and Vancouver eventually beat Pyeongchang, South Korea, 56 to 53. "You can't for a second take a single vote for granted,'' Mr. Furlong said.

Mr. Furlong said his conversations with committee members indicated that most of them were just starting to learn about the bids for 2012. "It's all in front of them,'' he said. "It's a long way to go to the end.''

It is now 290 days until the International Olympic Committee votes.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

TLOZ Link5
September 19th, 2004, 01:08 PM
Los Angeles, I know, has shown a lot of interest in hosting the 2020 Games; Melbourne might also be on that list.

October 19th, 2004, 07:38 PM
October 19, 2004

Mayor, Olympians press for 2012 summer games in NYC

Staff Writer

Mayor Michael Bloomberg surrounded himself yesterday with medalists from the 2004 summer Olympics in an effort to rally support to bring the 2012 summer games to the city.

At least a dozen sprinters, swimmers, softball players and other medalists, including gymnast Paul Hamm and runner Shawn Crawford, met with students who packed the auditorium at A. Philip Randolph High School in Harlem yesterday morning.

Bloomberg drew parallels between the diversity of the Olympics and the city, saying that every Olympic event in New York would be sold out because of the large immigrant population.

"New York exemplifies the Olympic movement, I think, better than any other place on the face of the earth," he said. "I think we could stage a better Olympiad than the world has ever seen."

The mayor and Daniel Doctoroff, the deputy mayor who's behind the effort to bring the games here, deflected questions about the strength of the West Side stadium plan and shot down any theories, once again, that there's a need for a back up stadium plan.

"The Olympic Committee has made their requirements reasonably clear, I would even say crystal clear: If we don't have, or if they don't believe that we will have the kinds of facilities that they want for the Olympic games, they will take them elsewhere," Bloomberg said. "There's no guarantee that if we build, they will come, but the reverse is pretty clear."
Bloomberg said the Jets offer of $800 million to build the stadium next to the Hudson River is only valid if the stadium is in Manhattan.

Doctoroff said he was optimistic the city will prevail and the stadium will be built.

"We will have the shovel in the grounds by the time the IOC votes," he said.

In addition to New York, four other cities are contending for the 2012 games: London, Madrid, Moscow and Paris. The final bid is due Nov. 15 and the winning city will be announced on July 6, 2005.

The city's plan calls for all five boroughs to host various games, such as archery and whitewater canoeing in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, and for an Olympic Village in Long Island City where all athletes would stay during the games.

Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

October 20th, 2004, 07:36 AM
keeping fingers cross for NYC. Wich city do you think will pobably be chosen?

October 20th, 2004, 11:37 AM
I hope that NYC will be chosen. It is one of the biggest cities in the world and a big culture center - how hasn't it been chosen until now ?

October 20th, 2004, 01:59 PM
I hope that NYC will be chosen. It is one of the biggest cities in the world and a big culture center - how hasn't it been chosen until now ?

Thats what I dont get

October 20th, 2004, 02:10 PM
I would guess that NYC has never held the Olympics because it has the least amount of developable space of any American city.

October 20th, 2004, 03:08 PM
I don't think the city has ever put in a bid.

Yeah, we're cool. We're bad.

October 20th, 2004, 03:31 PM
Yeah, New York has never bid so it couldnt have ever won.

TLOZ Link5
October 20th, 2004, 03:35 PM
Yeah, New York has never bid so it couldnt have ever won.

I thought it competed for the 1984 Olympics, but didn't make the USOC cut in 1977.

October 20th, 2004, 04:12 PM
Hopefully the Olympics won't take place in any other city tha NYC. Specially Paris or Moscow. I may be wrong feeling this way but i still have some poblems with how the French act towards America. Like when we asked for help in the begining of the Iraq War and refused knowing that we lost so many men and helped them so much to liberate France from the Nazis in WW2 and Moscow, ofcource because of the USSR but i prefer them than paris. Still keeping fingers cross for NYC. After all these poblems that had happend in the past few years, NYC deserves it.

October 20th, 2004, 04:18 PM
The Olympic games desrve it :D It is a shame for them not to chose NYC after more than 100 years :)

October 21st, 2004, 09:34 PM
^Sorry, I meant final round.

October 22nd, 2004, 10:51 AM
Here's a history of NYC olympic bids:

November 10th, 2004, 06:19 AM
November 10, 2004

Gazing Upon a Landfill, the Mayor Sees a Park of Olympic Dreams


Somewhere out there, beyond the rumbling trucks, chain-link fence and old tires poking up from the Fresh Kills muck, city officials tried yesterday to conjure a vision of Olympic mountain-bikers going for the gold atop the world's largest garbage dump.

But at a frigid, wind-whipped news conference, a scene thinly populated by shivering dignitaries and a few hardy bicyclists wearing spandex, it was hard to see eight years into the future, when the city hopes the former Staten Island landfill will be the site of mountain bike and BMX competitions as part of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The effort to convert part of the Fresh Kills dump into an Olympics site is the latest move by the Bloomberg administration to use New York's bid to play host to the Games as a vehicle to promote redevelopment in the city.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has hitched several projects to the Olympics bandwagon, including construction of a football stadium on the West Side of Manhattan, redevelopment of a two-mile stretch of Brooklyn waterfront and creation of housing and parkland in Queens.

The Fresh Kills project involves remaking the 2,200-acre landfill site, closed since 2001, into a public park with 30 miles of bicycle trails, 24 miles of walking paths, recreational boating and a running track.

The city said acceptance of its Olympics bid would speed up the project, partly because the private committee sponsoring the bid, NYC2012, has pledged $21 million to create the mountain biking and BMX trails needed for the Games.

"Should we be awarded the 2012 Olympic Games, a deadline will be in place," said Mr. Bloomberg, calling the project "a spectacular example of how existing city initiatives will benefit from the focus and deadlines imposed by the bid."

In choosing the Fresh Kills site, the administration abandoned an earlier plan to stage the bicycling events at the Greenbelt, a broad swath of parkland and preserved green space in the middle of Staten Island. Environmentalists had opposed that idea.

It was unclear when the landfill site would be ready for public use. Trucks carrying dirt and construction debris still come and go, and the old dump mounds have not finished settling.

"We'll have to see as the park develops what parts of it we can open up to the public," said John J. Doherty, the city's sanitation commissioner.

Yesterday's announcement came as the city was preparing to submit its formal 2012 bid to the International Olympic Committee on Monday.

It also followed the appearance of two new TV ads last week opposing the West Side stadium, which the mayor said is essential to convincing the committee that New York has the facilities to host the Games.

The advertisements are the latest from a group backed by Cablevision, the owner of Madison Square Garden, which fears competition from the new stadium.

Denouncing the ads as "outrageous lies," Mr. Bloomberg said they imply wrongly that the city proposes to help finance the West Side project at the expense of pay raises for firefighters and police officers.

He said the city's contribution would be paid with borrowed money, and would not come out of the city's operating budget, which pays employee salaries and benefits.

Mr. Bloomberg also took a shot at Cablevision, which owns the struggling New York Knicks basketball team, saying that if the company spent as much money on the Knicks as it has on the anti-stadium ads, then "maybe the Knicks would be a better team, and that would fill Madison Square Garden."

James L. Dolan, the chairman of Madison Square Garden, issued a statement in response, saying: "The mayor is trying to hide a flawed and financially risky plan by taking cheap shots at Madison Square Garden. He talks about debt as if it is free money, but city taxpayers will be forced to pay his hefty stadium bill. Anybody who uses a credit card knows that debt is not free."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Fresh Kills (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=1771)

November 15th, 2004, 04:30 PM
November 15, 2004

New York City Files Final Bid For 2012 Olympics


New York City submitted its formal plan Monday to host the 2012 Olympics, as the centerpiece of the bid, a West Side stadium, continues to spark heated exchanges.

The group handling New York's bid, NYC 2012, officially filed its bid book with the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland. New York's competition for the games includes London, Madrid, Moscow and Paris, which is considered the front-runner.

The committee is expected to announce its choice on July 6.

If the Olympics come to New York, the events would be held in venues in all five boroughs, mostly along a transportation “X” comprised of the East River and rail lines that would intersect at an Olympic Village on the Queens waterfront.

The International Olympic Committee will be in the city in February for an evaluation of the proposed sites.

The Olympic Stadium is also the new home for the Jets proposed as part of a controversial redevelopment plan for Manhattan’s Far West Side. The chairman of the United States Olympic Committee, Peter Ueberroth, told reporters that without the stadium, the city’s bid would probably fail.

“It would be maybe not a death knell, but it would be a serious blow to your country's and your city's and your state's Olympic bid,” said Ueberroth.

Cablevision, which owns nearby Madison Square Garden and stands to lose business if a new, bigger stadium is built, is the most vocal critic of the plan. The cable company has stepped up its ad campaign blasting the project, claiming that taxpayer funds pledged for the construction could be better spent elsewhere.

In his radio address Sunday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg continued the war of words.

“Cablevision continues to lie,” the mayor said. “Clearly, they don't respect New Yorkers enough to play it straight. The fact is the stadium would pay for itself. Even the Independent Budget Office reported that the tax revenues created by the development would more than make up for the necessary infrastructure investment the city has to make.”

The city and state are contributing $600 million for the project with bonds that they predict will eventually be paid off with additional tax revenues generated by the development. Critics say the plan is risky because there is no guarantee it will generate enough revenue to pay off the debt.

Cablevision responded with a statement saying it challenges “the mayor put these stadium subsidies – the $600 million as well as the additional costs that are now coming to light – to a vote.”

The Jets, who would play their home games in the retractable-roof stadium, has agreed to put up $800 million. The stadium would also be part of an expanded Jacob Javits Convention Center.

The redevelopment plan also includes new office, residential, retail and park space and an extension of the No. 7 line.

Copyright © 2004 NY1 News

November 16th, 2004, 07:15 AM
November 16, 2004

New York and 4 Others Submit Bids for 2012


New York and four European capitals submitted their final bids to be host of the 2012 Summer Olympics by yesterday's deadline, the International Olympic Committee announced.

New York is competing against Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow for the Games.

The two major steps remaining in the process are visits to each city by an 11-member I.O.C. Evaluation Commission and a vote by the 122 members of the International Olympic Committee on July 6 in Singapore. The evaluation committee is to visit New York on Feb. 21-24.

Details of the cities' final bids are to be revealed tomorrow, although much was already known from the preliminary bids and an earlier I.O.C. evaluation.

Previous criticism of New York's bid was that it was too costly and complicated, and in the case of its stadium plans, controversial.

But Peter V. Ueberroth, chairman of the United States Olympic Committee, promoted the advantages of New York yesterday at a breakfast, sponsored by the Association for a Better New York, at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan.

"This city offers an outstanding combination of marketing, financial and media power that can help the Games achieve a new level of global prominence," Ueberroth said. "There is no doubt in my mind that New York has produced a bid that can win."

Ueberroth announced yesterday that Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for economic development and a longtime Olympic booster, would serve as the unpaid president and chief executive of the New York Olympics Organizing Committee if the city were selected.

Doctoroff was named in a document signed by the City of New York, the State of New York, the State of New Jersey, Nassau County, the U.S.O.C. and NYC2012. Doctoroff is the founder of NYC2012.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said the Games would add more than $12 billion to the economy and create more than 135,000 jobs. He is promoting a stadium as a necessity for Manhattan.

New York is promising to build an Olympic stadium on the far West Side, with $800 million contributed by the Jets, who would own the stadium.

The city would also create an Olympic Village in Queens, facing the East River and the United Nations; the site would provide new housing after the Games.

New York sent 120 copies of its 562-page bid book, formally called a candidature file, to I.O.C. headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. The document was printed in French and English, the official languages of the I.O.C.

The bid packet for New York also included a number of maps and an attachment of about 1,500 pages that contained the required guarantees, licenses and contracts to assure the I.O.C. the city could hold the event.

The NYC2012 Olympic budget is $3.7 billion, which does not include the privately financed athletes' village in Queens, or $1.8 billion for the West Side stadium.

Paris is widely considered the front-runner for the 2012 Games. It has twice been a host of the Summer Games (in 1900 and 1924) and has an Olympic stadium in place.

Kevin B. Wamsley, a professor of history and the director of the International Center for Olympic Studies at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, said the I.O.C. vote on the 2010 Winter Olympics foretold a problem for New York in next year's vote. The I.O.C. bypassed a strong Austrian bid and awarded the 2010 Games to Vancouver, British Columbia.

"That was a clear indication that they thought a European city should get the 2012 Summer Olympics, which they regard as more important," Wamsley said by telephone yesterday.

Asked whether New York really had a chance, Wamsley said: "At this point I don't think so. I think Paris is probably a good bet. But stranger things have happened."

Olympics are traditionally rotated among continents. By surviving into the later rounds of the I.O.C. vote next year, New York could pick up votes from supporters of European cities that are eliminated in earlier rounds and want to keep their own hopes alive for 2016.

"If there is a way for New York to win, that's it," Wamsley said.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

November 16th, 2004, 09:54 AM


British betting against NYC

STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS; Staff writer Dan Janison contributed to this story

November 16, 2004

What are the odds the city's Olympic dreams will come true? Not that great, according to British bookmaker Ladbrokes.

Five cities - New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow - submitted their official bids to host the 2012 summer games yesterday, each turning in applications totaling more than 550 pages.

Ladbrokes put its money on Paris, calling it the 1-2 favorite to host its third Olympics, having staged the games in 1900 and 1924. London, the 1908 and 1948 host, was at 3-1, and Madrid at 4-1.

New York scored a lowly 14-1, although those odds looked good compared with Moscow's, at 33-1.

"Well, you've got to tell me who the 'smart money' is, because ... I'd like to meet 'smart money,'" Peter Ueberroth, the chairman of the U.S. Olympic committee board of directors told the Association for a Better New York yesterday morning. Putting the city in fourth place was "ludicrous," he said.

"All of the media sat in a meeting and told me in '88 that the Japanese would have the Games...and Korea won it on the first vote."

New York is anchoring its bid on a plan for a stadium on Manhattan's West Side that would also be home to the Jets.

The IOC will evaluate such credentials as venues, security, transportation, hotels and financing as it reviews all the applications. Its 11-member evaluation commission will visit New York Feb. 21-24.

The commission will then make recommendations to the 100-plus IOC members a month before they vote by secret ballot July 6 in Singapore.

Staff writer Dan Janison contributed to this story

November 17th, 2004, 01:50 PM
November 17, 2004

New York Unveils Sweeping Olympic Bid


A sweeping plan to attract the 2012 Summer Olympics to New York, promoting the city's diversity, financial strength and news media power, was unveiled today by the city's deputy mayor, Daniel L. Doctoroff.

It presents a depth of detail that ranges from the anticipated ticket prices ($25 to $1,500) to the total budget ($3 billion), from the banners that will adorn 250,000 street poles to the 1,793 rooms at the Waldorf-Astoria and New York Palace hotels already set aside for members of the International Olympic Committee.

The official bid promised an "electrifying celebration" of global sport as well as the biggest environmental transformation in city history.

"We've never really bid before,'' Mr. Doctoroff said. "We've managed to pull it together for this moment. I think this is our moment."

He presented the 562-page bid book to the press at NYC2012 headquarters on the 33rd floor of One Liberty Plaza, overlooking the site of the World Trade Center.

Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow are also finalists. The 117-member I.O.C. will pick a winner on July 6, 2005, in round-robin, closed-door voting in Singapore.

NYC2012 has already signed firm contracts with more than 200 hotels for nearly 45,000 rooms, about a third of the city's entire supply, at a formula rate that is intended to avoid gouging. It has also signed deals for 95 percent of the city's 600,000 advertising signs, including billboards, bus, subway and street furniture, around the time of the Olympics.

An Olympic Brand Protection Board has been created to try to prevent non-sponsors from "ambush advertising." If Coke sponsors the games, don't expect to see many Pepsi signs in town. If a member of the public spots any counterfeit merchandise, he or she may call a special toll-free phone line. Under this system, New York will be able to protect its planned $822 million in local and domestic sponsorships.

In addition, Olympic rings would be projected in the night sky, like the Batman signal. The Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and other landmarks would also be lighted. A ribbon of light would traverse the East River. Skyscrapers, buses and subways would be draped in Olympic murals.

Under the proposed plan, about one-third of the 36,000 police force would be devoted to Olympic security.

The plan culminates 10 years of work by Mr. Doctoroff. He said he was inspired by a 1994 World Cup match between Italy and Bulgaria at Giants Stadium. Mr. Doctoroff, a real estate investor, founded and financed NYC2012, was appointed deputy mayor for economic development by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and recently promised to guide the project through 2012 if New York is selected.

Paris is the presumed frontrunner because it was a finalist twice in recent years. The head of the Paris bid, Philippe Baudillon, unveiled that city's plans today as well, basing its proposal on Paris's "Love of the Games," its existing infrastructure and a smooth transportation system.

French officials also said they believed their candidacy could be helped by global resentment toward the United States.

Jean-Paul Huchon, the vice president of the Paris Olympic bidding committee, said the war in Iraq and general anti-American feelings would reinforce the French capital's candidacy.

Still, New York has high hopes, and is pinning them in large part on what it feels are the competitive advantages of multiculturalism and money.

The New York book promises the world's athletes a home away from home, and fans who would cheer in their native languages. The book, edited by Sophia Hollander, described neighborhoods of every ethnicity. It said nearly 40 percent of the city's residents were born outside the United States, and an additional 20 percent had at least one immigrant parent.

A program known as the "international homestay" program, run through the Nations of New York network, promises free living arrangements for family members of athletes with people from their own country.

The bid book also features testimonials to New York from the Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, describing fans in Madison Square Garden holding signs in Mandarin; the Kenyan runner Tegla Loroupe, who became the first African woman to win the New York City Marathon in 1994; Nadia Comaneci, the Romanian gymnast who scored the first perfect 10 in New York in the American Cup in 1976; and the Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, who recalled was going to his hotel to get a camera before planning to go to the World Trade Center on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

"I have since returned to New York and have seen how resolutely New Yorkers have rebuilt their city without sacrificing what made it great: its diversity and energy," Mr. Thorpe wrote.

As for the financing and exposure , Mr. Doctoroff is confident, pointing out that New York is home to more than 900 news media outlets from 83 countries and to 7 of the 10 largest global advertising companies. The bid book also promised unprecedented ticket capacity in New York, which would be a selling point following the sparsely attended Athens games this summer. The committee said it would print 9.4 million tickets that would generate $852 million at a sell-out rate of 81 percent. Most tickets would cost $50 or less, the committee said, though opening and closing ceremonies would cost $450 to $1,500. Local youth would be given 25,000 free tickets.

New York is also promising solutions to the potential gridlock, crowding and transportation problems.

An earlier version of the plan suggested ferries, subways and trains to take athletes from a new Olympic Village in Queens to their events. That changed at the suggestion of a preliminary I.O.C. review. The 16,000 athletes as well as coaches, dignitaries, family members and the news media will be transported in buses using "Olympic Priority Lanes" monitored electronically for any trouble.

The committee also believes the subway system - already down an average of 1.1 million riders a week that time of year - will easily handle the spectator traffic.

The Olympic Village forms the center of a big X in the plan. The 61-acre village is closer to the central city than the housing proposed in the European capitals, and because it is to be surrounded by water on three sides, it was said to be relatively secure.

In an attempt to sway the I.O.C. voters, the book rhapsodizes at points about what it promises will be the ideal experience for athletes.

"At night, athletes will look out from their windows and see the lights glittering just across the river,'' reads one passage. "They will know that all across New York City thousands of people are still celebrating their achievements - dancing outdoors at all-night festivals, standing in Central Park and Times Square to watch replays of the day's events on giant screens, and feasting on meals in the city's hundreds of international neighborhoods.

"But the village will be quiet and peaceful. As the Games continue, athletes will appreciate the added privacy of the spacious apartments, the freshness of purified air and water, and secluded gardens along the waterfront to clear their minds before competition."

The village would have 4,400 apartments, housing four athletes in each apartment. They would live in an average of 301 square feet per resident, more than twice the I.O.C. minimum, the book points out.

According to the plan released today, "A compact waterfront settlement filled with people from everywhere will become the ultimate urban village in a city that has always welcomed the world."

The village is to be privately financed. The land for the village is already owned by the Queens West Development Corporation, a government agency. Governments have already spent $120 million on the site, according to the bid book. One or more private developers will be asked to bid to build the village.

The schedule calls for final approvals by mid 2006, site development starting in 2007, and putting up apartments from 2008 to 2011. Afterward, the developers can sell them for market rates.

The New York plan piggybacks with New York Jets and New Jersey Nets ambitions for new homes in Manhattan and Brooklyn, respectively.

The proposed stadium along the Hudson River, to be built with $800 million from the Jets and $600 million from government bonds, would be temporarily expanded to 78,000 seats for the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies and track and field.

Mayor Bloomberg and Mr. Doctoroff say it's important to break ground on the project before the I.O.C. vote. Opponents of the stadium plan dispute that, and point out that no host city has ever begun construction on a stadium before winning the bid.

The proposed new home for the Nets would arise starting next year, allowing a gymnastics showplace seating 16,000 in a building designed by Frank Gehry.

Both the Jets and Nets proposals and the Olympic village in Queens still face some community opposition.

The bid book said New Yorkers "have consistently expressed broad and passionate support" for holding the Olympics. Nine independent polls over the last four years have shown support from 64 percent to 79 percent, it said.

Every major daily newspaper, including The New York Times, is represented on the boosters' board. The Times has also donated money to NYC2012.

Iconic oldies would make new stages for some Olympic events. The triathlon would fill Central Park - swim the reservoir, bicycle four laps on the road, run a double lap on outer footpaths. Olympians would play baseball at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, basketball at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, football at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands, and tennis at the home of the United States Open in Queens.

Handball would go to Nassau Coliseum, field hockey to Columbia University's Baker Field. Pentathlon and shooting would be staged, on different days, at Pelham Bay Park, now a lead-contaminated brownfield and police shooting range.

A new waterfront park on a 35-acre industrial site in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, would feature an aquatics center for swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water polo, and a beach volleyball arena with seating for 14,000 and a view across the river to the Empire State Building.

Soccer matches would be held in stadiums in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington before the men's finals in at Giants Stadium.

Most competition sites were detailed in the bid book with computer-generated pictures and seating diagrams, including specific seats set aside for "the Olympic Family," some of whom will vote on the bid.

After the games, the committee said, New York would be left with new world-class sites for sporting events. These include rowing, canoe and kayak courses, seating 25,000 on a dredged, purified, man-made, 168-acre lake in a 1,255-acre Olympic Park in Queens; a new park for equestrian events built over Fresh Kills, formerly the nation's largest landfill, on Staten Island, seating 32,000; a cycling velodrome in the Bronx velodrome that could seat 5,600; and an archery range at Flushing Meadows Park, seating 5,000.

The New York Committee for the Olympic Games promised to set aside $75 million for a legacy foundation. It would help maintain the facilities, support youth programs, promote opportunities for elite athletes and attract championship events to the city after the games.

Boosters have promised to donate about $25 million in sports equipment to regional youth programs and developing nations at the end of the Olympics.

The plan also discussed a Paralympics, which traditionally follow the Summer Games, at a cost of $76 million.

Total capital investment was estimated at $7.6 billion. Mr. Doctoroff said 99 percent of that will be spent whether or not New York gets the Games. The biggest items are $1.8 billion for the No. 7 subway line extension, $400 million for Intelligent Transportation System technology, $381 million for ferry terminals, and $360 million for an International Broadcast Center.

The $2.8 billion operating budget includes $792 million to operate the competition sites, $429 million for salaries, $373 million for technology, $257 million for administration, $110 million for ceremonies, $170 million for transportation, $101 million for security, $54 million for promotion, $39 million for catering and $10 million for doping control.

New York expects to raise $3 billion in income for the games, including $600 million from TV rights, $300 million from corporate sponsors already lined up, and $1.7 billion from other local sponsors and ticket sales.

In 2001, the State Legislature pledged $250 million in financial guarantees for a New York Olympics. The committee budgeted an additional $200 million in contingency funds.

NYC2012 has also reached agreements with the city's construction and hotel unions not to strike any Olympic-related projects.

The bid committee attached about 1,500 pages of contracts and legal documents to the final bid delivered in Lausanne this week. Some but not all of that material is considered privileged or proprietary; none was released this morning.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

November 17th, 2004, 02:08 PM
$101 million for security,
Are they kidding? Was this estimate made before Sept 11, 2001?

Athens spent $1.39 billion on defending the games against a potential terrorist attack — about the cost of the entire Sydney Olympics in 2000,

November 17th, 2004, 02:39 PM

November 17th, 2004, 03:45 PM
Thanks for the link, Christian. The (online) bid book is an amazing document.
An interesting tidbit re NYC's multiculturalism: "Of the 201 nations that competed in Athens, 198 of them are represented by immigrant children in New York City schools."

November 17th, 2004, 05:33 PM
Who are the other three?

November 17th, 2004, 07:02 PM
Those from East Timor, Liechenstein, and the Vatican City (City state)

November 17th, 2004, 08:34 PM
Do the children of citizens of Vatican City even exist? And what was the sport the Vaticanians were competing in?

November 17th, 2004, 09:07 PM
Synchronized swimming?

First thing that popped into my head.

November 18th, 2004, 06:29 AM
November 18, 2004

City Unveils Its Last and Best Bid to Gain 2012 Summer Olympics


Daniel Doctoroff

Interactive Feature: NYC's Olympic Proposal (http://www.nytimes.com/packages/khtml/2004/11/18/sports/20041118_NYC2012_FEATURE.html)

New York City's Olympic boosters revealed their last and best plan yesterday before their final efforts to convince the International Olympic Committee that the city should hold the 2012 Summer Games.

While Paris, considered the favorite, also unveiled a comprehensive proposal yesterday, leaders of the NYC2012 committee highlighted New York's advantages in multiculturalism, money and media power.

The other finalists are London, Madrid and Moscow. They also staged events to mark their final bids to the I.O.C., which will pick a winner July 6 in secret balloting in Singapore.

Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for economic development and founder of NYC2012, said that New York would deliver an unprecedented experience for Olympic athletes as well as aggressive marketing to make Europe's and Asia's favorite sports more popular in the United States.

He said that New York could not be surpassed for athletes' experience and sports legacies, two factors believed crucial to many of the 117 members of the I.O.C. who will vote.

Mr. Doctoroff also said that the plan addressed past criticisms of housing and transportation of the athletes, and he insisted that a proposed $1.4 billion stadium on the far West Side of Manhattan was essential to the bid and would receive final approval before the I.O.C. vote.

While New York has never bid for the Olympics, Paris has won twice (for Games in 1900 and 1924) and has been a finalist twice in recent years.

French officials said they believed their plan also responded to I.O.C. guidance by clustering sites for competition around the Stade de France and planning a village not far from the Champs-Élysées. Jean-Paul Huchon, vice president of the Paris Olympic bidding committee, said that the war in Iraq and general anti-American feelings in the world would also help its candidacy.

London provided its first look at a planned 80,000-seat Olympic stadium in a 500-acre Olympic park to revitalize its east end. Sebastian Coe, the two-time track gold medalist and chairman of London's bid, said that it responded to I.O.C. criticism of the competition sites it proposed earlier as too dispersed and its transportation system as obsolete. London pulled more competition sites together and won government commitments to upgrade mass transit.

Madrid announced $1 billion in Spanish federal support, but the 1992 Olympics were held in Barcelona and it may be too soon for Spain to hold them again.

Moscow, a long shot, shot fireworks over Luzhniki Olympic Stadium and set up an electronic device near Red Square for Russians to register their support for their city's bid.

Mr. Doctoroff said New York had made two major changes in its final plan to address I.O.C. concerns.

Gone are the planned high-rises in an Olympic Village in Queens across the East River from the United Nations. Instead, the village would feature low- and midrise buildings with 4,400 of the largest apartments ever offered to Olympians.

Also gone are the plans to transport athletes from the village to events by boat, subway and train, replaced by buses in specially designated Olympic lanes, with satellite vehicle tracking.

Mr. Doctoroff said a New York Olympics would bring $7.6 billion in capital projects and cost $2.8 billion to run, without raising taxes. He said that NYC2012 had signed contracts with one-third of the hotel rooms in the city and nearly every surface that can display an advertising sign.

"We've managed to pull it together for this moment," Mr. Doctoroff said. "I think this is our moment.''

He promised an "electrifying celebration" of global sport in "the world's second home," plus "the biggest environmental transformation in city history."

Councilwoman Christine C. Quinn, a Democrat who represents the West Side, said that she would be thrilled with a New York Olympics but that Mr. Doctoroff, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other boosters should have given the I.O.C. an alternative to the proposed Olympic Stadium.

The stadium is planned along the Hudson River, with $800 million from the Jets, who would own it, and $600 million from public bonds backed by taxes on anticipated new office buildings.

Mr. Doctoroff reiterated that the stadium, which would hold opening and closing ceremonies and track and field events, and the attached convention center were essential to the Olympic bid. He said there was no suitable alternative, especially one where a tenant, the Jets, would put up $800 million.

"They should have had a Plan B," Ms. Quinn said in an interview yesterday. "It will be very ironic and really unfortunate if at the end of the day their tunnel vision prevented them from submitting a fully comprehensive bid, and if that does them in, they really will have only themselves to blame."

Mr. Doctoroff said he expected final approval of the stadium project by the Empire State Development Corporation in December and the Public Authorities Control Board by February. Ms. Quinn said those agencies were rubber stamps largely appointed by Gov. George E. Pataki, who supports the Olympic bid.

David F. D'Alessandro, the chairman of John Hancock, a global Olympic sponsor, said the stadium controversy was overblown. He said that all five finalists could build good facilities and that I.O.C. members looked at other factors.

New York gains from its media power and diversity, Mr. D'Alessandro said, and loses from European anti-Americanism.

In addition, Vancouver is bringing the 2010 Winter Games to North America, but arguments can be made several ways regarding geographic balance. Greece, the host to the Olympics this year, is a member of the European Union, so it may be North America's turn for the Summer Games after Beijing in 2008.

"The other real question that will weigh heavily on I.O.C. members is whether or not New York is really ready to dedicate those two weeks to the Olympic Games," Mr. D'Alessandro said in an interview. "They don't want to be in a city where they're just absorbed like another event. They want to be the center of attention. If Bloomberg and Doctoroff have to prove anything to anybody, it's that you will be the center of attention for two weeks in New York.

"You know, if you have the World Series or Super Bowl here, it's almost like you're throwing potato chips into the fire. That's very, very important to them."

Under the NYC2012 plan, Olympic rings would be projected in the night sky, as if they were the Batman signal. The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and other landmarks would be specially lighted. Each borough would have its own Olympic color. Skyscrapers, buses and subways would be draped in Olympic murals.

The village is to be privately financed. The land for it is owned by the Queens West Development Corporation, a government agency. Governments have already spent $120 million on the site, the bid book says.

If New York wins the bid, it has a year-by-year plan to keep the flame burning hot: 2005 to 2008, launching an Olympic Sports Marketing Council to help the international federations grow; 2008 to 2011, advertising and campaigns to recruit 60,000 volunteers; 2011 and 2012, "install massive countdown clocks in Times Square and other locations throughout New York City."

New York's 562-page bid book promised unprecedented ticket capacity, a possible selling point after the sparsely attended Athens Games this summer. The committee said it would sell 9.4 million tickets that would generate $852 million at a sell-out rate of 81 percent. Most tickets would cost $50 or less, the committee said, although tickets to the opening and closing ceremonies would cost $450 to $1,500.

For I.O.C. members, New York has set aside 1,793 rooms at the Waldorf-Astoria and Palace hotels, special seating and other amenities.

Cristyne L. Nicholas, head of the city's convention and visitors bureau, has guaranteed that the city will not have any other important national or international event during the Games or a week before or after.

Under the plan, about a third of the 36,000-member police force would be devoted to Olympic security. Mr. Doctoroff said security would be financed by $110 million from Olympic revenues and federal assistance if needed. He said the athletes' village would be relatively easy to protect because it would be surrounded on three sides by water.

Before the the I.O.C. votes on the bids in July in Singapore, an Olympic commission will scrutinize every city, starting with Madrid (Feb. 3-6) and then London (Feb 16-19), New York (Feb. 21-24), Paris (March 9-12) and Moscow (March 14-17).

New York's strategy is to tout not only its financial might, but also its multiculturalism. Mr. Doctoroff said that New York was every nation's second home; 40 percent of New Yorkers were born outside the United States.

New York wants to be at least the second or third choice of every I.O.C. member. The strategy is to divide and conquer the European capitals by surviving early rounds of voting and picking up the votes of cities that are eliminated but do not want Paris, for instance, to win, because that would kill their own chances in 2016.

Iconic sites would make new stages for some Olympic events. The triathlon would fill Central Park - swim the reservoir, bicycle four laps on the road, run a double lap on the outer footpaths. Olympians would play baseball at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, basketball at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, soccer at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands, and tennis at the home of the United States Open in Queens.

A new waterfront park on a 35-acre industrial site in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, would feature an aquatics center for swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water polo, and a beach volleyball arena across the river to the Empire State Building.

Soccer matches would also be held in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, before the men's finals in the Olympic Stadium.

After the Games, the committee said, New York would be left with new world-class sites for sporting events. These include rowing, canoe and kayak courses, on a man-made, 168-acre lake in an Olympic Park in Queens; a new park for equestrian events built over Fresh Kills, formerly the nation's largest landfill, on Staten Island; a velodrome in the Bronx; and an archery range at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

The plan also detailed plans for a Paralympics, which traditionally follow the Summer Games, at a cost of $76 million.

The New York Committee for the Olympic Games promised to set aside $75 million for a legacy foundation. It would help maintain the facilities, support youth programs, assist elite athletes and attract championship events to the city after the games.

The boosters also promised to donate about $25 million in sports equipment to regional youth programs and developing nations.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

November 18th, 2004, 06:32 AM
November 18, 2004

Front-Running Paris Plays the Resentment Card

International Herald Tribune

PARIS, Nov. 17 - The city considered the front-runner to win the 2012 Olympic Games unveiled its bid Wednesday, and French officials immediately suggested that global resentment toward the United States could help Paris defeat at least one rival, New York.

Jean-Paul Huchon, the vice president of the Paris Olympic bidding committee, said the war in Iraq and general anti-American feelings would reinforce the French capital's bid to win the Summer Games.

"The position of the French government on the international scene, especially after the re-election of George Bush, is going to allow us to have more unity around the French candidacy," he said. "This is indisputable."

"If these are supposed to be Games of brotherhood and solidarity," Huchon said in an interview, "this will be more easily achieved in Paris."

Paris is considered the front-runner to win the Games based on its top ranking in an International Olympic Committee report in May that evaluated the bid cities on 11 technical criteria. Along with Paris and New York, London, Madrid and Moscow are also bidding.

Paris publicly released details of its bid, including information on sites, accommodations and ticket prices, after submitting it to the I.O.C. on Monday.

Mayor Bertrand Delanoë of Paris promised Parisians a refurbished city and the creation of 42,000 jobs.

"Paris needs these Games," he said. "It's a fantastic accelerator for urban renewal."

The Games would be financially accessible, with 10 percent of tickets to the events available for 10 euros, or about $13, he said.

Delanoë said the city had set aside more than 50,000 hotel rooms at a guaranteed rate. Children, he said, would learn to appreciate the Games because courses on the Olympics would be taught in school between 2008 and 2012.

The head of the Paris bidding committee, Philippe Baudillon, a former diplomat, announced financing guarantees of 4.1 billion euros (about $5.3 billion) from the public and private sectors.

Baudillon was more cautious than Huchon in weighing the importance of geopolitics on the final vote by I.O.C. members, which will be announced July 6 in Singapore. While those members will consider what he called emotional factors, the technical aspects of a city's bid - the stadiums and infrastructure - would be more important, Baudillon said.

In what seemed like a gesture that symbolized the confidence of the French bidding committee, waiters offered Champagne to visitors in the fresco-filled chambers of city hall.

Officials said they had forged political unity on the bid and won the backing of 79 percent of the French population, a number cited in a recent French newspaper poll.

More than a dozen of France's largest companies, including the aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the carmaker Renault, have agreed to help finance the bid.

And at least one French labor union has vowed not to strike during the Games after a request by Delanoë for a truce in the strike-prone country.

The mayor announced plans to use many existing sites for the Games. Tennis matches would be held at Roland Garros, the stadium on the western fringes of the city where the French Open is held. Track and field events would take place at the Stade de France, the stadium used during the 1998 World Cup and again for the world track and field championship last year.

All together, 65 percent of the sites for the Games already exist, organizers said.

Left to be constructed would be a covered gymnastics stadium with a capacity for 25,000 spectators in northern Paris, a swimming complex and a velodrome.

The Olympic Village, including housing for athletes, would be built on a railyard in northern Paris, about two miles from the Champs-Élysées. Athletes could reach 80 percent of the sites within 10 minutes, Baudillon said.

Baudillon vowed that the Games would produce "zero white elephants," with boxing, wrestling, handball and basketball held in temporary buildings that would be torn down afterward.

The British oddsmakers Ladbrokes put Paris as a 1-2 favorite on Monday, according to The Associated Press.

London had a 3-1 chance, Ladbrokes predicted, with Madrid at 4-1, New York at 14-1 and Moscow at 33-1.

The next step for Paris comes in March when the evaluation committee from the I.O.C. visits. That committee will prepare a thorough review of each bid that it will present to I.O.C. voters in May.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Miss Liberty
November 19th, 2004, 12:00 PM
Hey, I live close to the city from Germany that was in competiton with all the other big cities. We didn't survive the second round (I guess) and everybody was so upset. Now all the people are expecting New York to become the winner of this battle of cities. What do you think, will NYC win?

November 19th, 2004, 01:59 PM
I sure hope so! :D

November 19th, 2004, 02:48 PM
I think Madrid's plan looks to be the best of the bunch.

Are people really that worked up about the idea of the Olympics here? Everyone I've spoken with thinks it would be an incredible nuisance.

November 19th, 2004, 03:03 PM
I think Madrid's plan looks to be the best of the bunch.

Are people really that worked up about the idea of the Olympics here? Everyone I've spoken with thinks it would be an incredible nuisance.

If people can't deal with this "nuisance" for a couple of weeks, maybe they're in the wrong city. Really, give me a break. It would be huge in so many ways for the city to get this. I would be great if people would not thing solely about their little lives once in a while. I'm sure if this was the "Democratic Party" Olympics, people would be lining up to volunteer.

TLOZ Link5
November 19th, 2004, 03:22 PM
If not New York (at this point I'm doubtful), then I'd love to see Madrid win.

November 19th, 2004, 04:05 PM
I'm sure if this was the "Democratic Party" Olympics, people would be lining up to volunteer.

I can't wait till NYC is passed over and then all these New Yorkers will come out of the woodwork and blame the Bush administration for fostering anti-American sentiment around the world and denying them the olympics.

November 19th, 2004, 05:37 PM
Are people really that worked up about the idea of the Olympics here? Everyone I've spoken with thinks it would be an incredible nuisance.
Some of my friends think the same, we sure have a lot of grouches in this city.

November 20th, 2004, 09:45 PM
November 21, 2004

Sweating Over Gold


The site of the proposed Olympic Village is on the Queens waterfront.

A rendition of the complex, 4,400 units in low- and high-rise buildings.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki led thousands of Olympic athletes and their supporters across the Brooklyn Bridge 10 days ago with the city's official bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, echoing the parade 121 years ago that opened what was then the longest suspension bridge in the world.

For supporters of the city's enormous Olympic effort, having the Games in New York City would be almost as important a link in the city's economic life as the bridge itself. Mr. Bloomberg says the Olympics would leave a legacy critical to the future of the city: drawing more tourists to New York; creating new sports fields, parks and housing; and producing important public works projects, including an extended No. 7 subway line, an expanded Javits Convention Center and a new stadium on the West Side of Manhattan.

The prospect of seeing the Olympic Games played across the five boroughs instead of watching it on television has excited members of a largely Haitian-American soccer league in Queens and many of the 2,000 students in the Intermediate School 96 after-school sports program in Bensonhurst, as well as hotel and tourism executives who see the Games as a way to enhance the city's international popularity and strengthen the industry. The city's construction industry and several unions have also embraced the Olympics as a jobs bonanza.

"There is no bigger stage in the world than New York City to put on an event," said Jonathan M. Tisch, chairman of the city's convention and visitors bureau and chief executive of Loews Hotels. "This is not about putting us on the map. We're already the No. 1 city in the world. This'll reinforce that position and allow us to bring a future vitality to the economy through the travel and tourism industry. The construction jobs and the infrastructure for the Olympics will benefit us for decades to come."

The Games are expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors and a worldwide audience. Mr. Bloomberg and the city's bid committee, NYC2012, say they hope to sell 9.4 million tickets for the Games, which they say would add more than $12 billion to the economy and create more than 135,000 jobs. For many supporters, in fact, the city's very identity is at stake in the bid.

"If New York can't host large conventions, if it can't have a home for its football team, or if it can't host a Super Bowl or the Olympic Games, then New Yorkers have to think about the unthinkable: New York is not the greatest city in the world," said Frank J. Sciame, a developer and the chairman of the New York Building Congress, a trade group. "It's been too long that we've been playing second fiddle to cities that can do these things."

But just like the crowd in the bleachers of any stadium, opinions vary widely. Although few people oppose the idea of a New York Olympics outright, many critics question major elements of what is a $10.6 billion plan, including at least $600 million in state and city tax money for an Olympic stadium on the West Side that would also be used for New York Jets games and other events. Some New Yorkers say the inconvenience of the sizable security precautions, which are expected to cost more than $100 million, and the traffic tie-ups caused by the Games make the city a poor location.

Thomas Bender, a history professor at New York University, said that tying the city's public works needs to the Olympic Games might establish a distorted set of priorities.

"I don't know that we have a problem with the world knowing where we are," Mr. Bender said. "If we need athletic fields, subways or roads, I think we should do them on our own, instead of having the Olympics, which will produce a distorted version of what we need."

Robert A. Baade, an economist at Lake Forest College near Chicago who is analyzing the impact of this year's Games in Athens for the Greek government, said the short- and long-term benefits could differ depending on a city's needs and its prominence. The Olympic deadlines galvanized the Greek government to build subways, a modern airport and highways, he said, all of which were greatly needed, as well as softball fields and other sites that may now go unused. Barcelona redeveloped its waterfront for the Games and became a popular tourist destination after the Olympics.

"But Barcelona was a relatively undiscovered city," Mr. Baade said. "Paris, London, New York and the other cities vying for the 2012 Games are already discovered. You're not going to see people flocking to London or New York because they saw images of those cities during the Games."

It is also debatable, he said, how much demand there will be after the Games for some projects that would be built, including the $30.2 million Olympic Whitewater Center at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, or the $65.3 million Greenbelt Equestrian Center in Staten Island. The annual cost of keeping those sites open is also not clear.

But despite the criticism of individual projects or skepticism about the long-term benefits of the Games, few New Yorkers have said the city should not have submitted a bid. Even the Dolan family, which controls Madison Square Garden and has spent millions on ads opposing the proposed West Side stadium, says it is in favor of the city's bid. So do other stadium critics, like Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum and City Councilwoman Christine C. Quinn.

Michael T. Cohen, a local real estate executive who said he was skeptical that the city would win the Games away from Paris, expressed concern that the city had tied its shaky proposal for the stadium to other projects like the subway extension. He is one of the rare real estate executives to say publicly that such projects are more important than the stadium.

"I personally would love to see the Olympics come to New York," said Mr. Cohen, president of GVA Williams Real Estate. "But New York doesn't need the Olympics. New York does need the No. 7 subway line extended and the Javits expanded."

Peter J. Solomon, a former deputy mayor for economic development in the Koch administration, said he disagreed with Mayor Bloomberg's insistence on equating opposition to the West Side stadium with opposition to the Olympics. But he also said the Games would unify the city and create the political will to build projects that would not otherwise be possible.

"If you look at the Olympics not as a sporting event, but as the revitalization of New York City, the brilliance of the city's plan is that it incorporates almost every idea we've been working on for 30 years," Mr. Solomon said. "It would open up the waterfront. It builds housing and expands the Javits."

Under the city's bid, for instance, a private developer would build a $1.6 billion 4,400-unit Olympic Village for the athletes on the Queens waterfront. After the Games, the village would become market-rate housing. And the Brooklyn site for beach volleyball and aquatics would be converted into the Williamsburg Waterfront Park.

But for Pierre St. Fleur, who runs a predominantly Haitian soccer club in St. Albans, Queens, the attraction is the Games themselves.

"It would be an exciting thing for immigrants and New Yorkers," he said. "In New York you find every country in the world and every country in the world is represented in the Olympics. People would want to go to see the Games, especially when their own country is playing."

For many supporters, in fact, the attraction of the Games is principally one of emotion and proximity. Sandro Martorella, vice president of the American Juniors Soccer Club in Flushing, Queens, and coach of an under-14 soccer team, the Blue Angels, said he was particularly glad the committee was planning to build sports facilities at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

"They'll see things they haven't seen before," he said of his soccer players. "They'll feel very proud of New York City."

In Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, Darrien Huntley and Andrianna Collesso, both sixth graders in the I.S. 96 Beacon after-school program were clearly excited about the possibility of the Games coming to New York. Darrien, 11, said that he was particularly interested because he had raced in his school's mini-Olympics for the last three years, coming in either first or second.

"I hope it actually comes," said Andrianna. "I'd like to see it up close, live. I'm very excited."

In Queens, Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park would be transformed into the 2012 Olympic Regatta Center at an estimated cost of $83.2 million.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

December 6th, 2004, 06:16 AM
December 6, 2004

City Locks In Space for Ads in Preparation for Olympics


New York's Olympic organizers have reserved almost all outdoor advertising space in the city - some 600,000 billboards, subway signs and the like - for the 2012 Summer Games, part of an unprecedented marketing plan that includes roving squads of "brand enforcement agents" to prevent others from profiting from unauthorized ads tied to the Olympics.

NYC2012, the group coordinating the city's Olympic bid, struck deals in November with nine billboard companies, as well as several city agencies and public authorities, which together control 95 percent of outdoor advertising venues.

The agreements, in the form of options guaranteeing the right to buy the space if needed, came shortly after Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed an executive order creating a special board to crack down on "ambush marketing" by advertisers who are not official Olympic sponsors.

The steps are intended to convince the International Olympic Committee and its corporate sponsors that New York, which has played up its reputation as the world's media capital in its bid to hold the 2012 Games, can adequately police its sprawling and unruly advertising landscape.

Not one of the four other cities vying for the Games comes close to matching the marketing potential, and risks, of outdoor advertising in New York.

Money from companies that buy Olympic sponsorships makes it possible to put on the Olympics, said Gretchen Dykstra, the city's commissioner of consumer affairs.

"We're not just talking about protecting the interests of the sponsors, but ensuring that the people of New York can even get the Olympics," she said.

Sponsorships, whose terms typically begin several years before the Games even start, can cost millions of dollars, an investment sometimes undercut by nonsponsors looking to associate themselves with the Olympics through unauthorized ad campaigns.

But the city's efforts to tame the media beast may not be enough to satisfy the Olympic committee.

That is because the committee requires that host cities, in addition to locking up all available outdoor advertising space for Olympic sponsors, guarantee that prices charged to those sponsors will be capped "at 2004 rates adjusted solely for inflation."

Deep in the 562-page bid package it submitted last month, New York revealed that it failed to meet that requirement, and could promise only that the cost of ad space would be based on the average of rates from 2007 to 2010, plus a 20 percent premium and an inflationary adjustment.

The organizers said those terms were the best they could negotiate with the private outdoor advertising companies. Paris, Madrid and Moscow each reported that they had met the committee's rate cap, which is intended to prevent price gouging. London has not made available for public inspection the portion of its bid package dealing with advertising.

New York's organizers insist their proposal meets the spirit, if not the letter, of the bid requirements, and that any concerns about advertising costs are easily balanced against the extraordinary opportunity afforded to sponsors.

"They've never been in a city on the scale of New York, with the kind of maturity of the advertising market we have here, the level of signage, the vibrancy of it," said Jay L. Kriegel, executive director of NYC2012.

Still, said Mr. Kriegel, "there is a flip side to this being the largest media and marketing environment in the world."

The double-edged nature of New York's supercharged advertising market has only recently become an issue for Olympic organizers, who have viewed it primarily as a way to get a leg up in the competition.

The portion of New York's bid package that outlines its marketing strategy opens with glossy photographs of Times Square in all its flashy potential, as if to say, "Imagine your Olympic insignia here!"

Advertising on billboards and electronic signs in Midtown Manhattan is the most expensive in the world, marketing executives say. Monthly rates for outdoor displays in Times Square range from $30,000 to $250,000, and a single panel on the side of a telephone kiosk runs from $1,000 to $2,000.

New York's bid documents say that organizers expect "a record $822 million in local and domestic sponsorships" for the 2012 Summer Games, and they assure the committee that the city will use "all of its resources to protect the value of Olympic sponsors and the rights of Olympic marketing partners."

To do that, the mayor has authorized an Enforcement Board on Olympic Brand Protection to "recruit and train auxiliary Olympic brand enforcement agents," run a special city hot line to field complaints about ambush marketing and counterfeiting of Olympic-related goods, and seek legislation to increase fines for violators.

Ms. Dykstra said such a commitment on behalf of commercial sponsors was needed to bolster New York's chances of being selected.

"In New York, which is so iconic in its signage, this posed a real challenge to us," she said. "It was a matter of getting the tiger by the tail."

"All of this is based on the fact that the Olympic sponsors are responsible for making it possible to build these Olympic venues," she said. "We're not just talking about protecting the interests of the sponsors, but ensuring that the people of New York can even get the Olympics."

Meeting the concerns of corporate sponsors is a priority of the International Olympic Committee, which has fielded complaints from companies in the past that the value of their Olympic investments were diluted by unapproved ad campaigns from nonsponsors trying to associate themselves with the Games.

The complaints began in earnest following the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, said Jed Pearsall, president of Performance Research, a marketing analysis firm based in London and Newport, R.I.

Polling by his firm found that while American television viewers that year seemed to be aware that Visa and McDonald's were official sponsors, many of those same viewers believed, wrongly, that competing credit card and fast food companies were also sponsors.

Conflicts over sponsorship grew during the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, where Samsung, not an official sponsor, set up shop in a parking area on the outskirts of Centennial Olympic Park.

As a result, Mr. Pearsall said, the committee has placed more demands on bid cities to guarantee protections for sponsors, and New York has tried to comply through its unusual long-term agreements with the billboard companies, backed by promises of support from the city.

"Having that component in place is extremely important," Mr. Pearsall said. "For the people in New York, I believe it's mostly to create the impression they have everything under control for the I.O.C."

Under the terms of NYC2012's agreement with the outdoor advertising companies, 5,000 billboards and 13,000 telephone kiosks will be available to Olympic sponsors beginning in 2009.

In addition, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the city transportation department have agreed to offer 580,000 advertising spots on buses, subways, light poles and newsstands, and at the airports.

Should the city not get the Olympics, it would surrender those advertising rights, which were secured by NYC2012, a group financed by private donations.

Agreeing to the rate limits, even if they are higher than what the committee requested, did not come naturally for the media companies involved. Richard Schaps, chairman of Van Wagner Communications, said his first reaction when told what the bid organizers wanted was, "What is this, communism?"

"But if we want the Olympics to come, all of us have to cooperate within the realm of legitimacy, and to price-gouge is not what we're looking to do," Mr. Schaps said. "The rate has got a premium in there. But it's a reasonable one. My attitude is, I'm a New Yorker, and it would be fabulous to see the Olympics here."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

January 13th, 2005, 08:58 AM

Meet the Frenchman Who Aims To Deny New York the Olympics

BY IRA STOLL - Staff Reporter of the Sun

January 13, 2005

PARIS - For Philippe Baudillon, the former French diplomat who heads up Paris's effort to outmaneuver New York and win the 2012 Olympic Games, it's difficult to escape America's shadow.

A street named after President Wilson runs by the front of his office, where a traffic island holds a statue of George Washington, sword raised, astride a horse. The public-relations firm keeping track of the Paris bid's image, Weber Shandwick, is part of the Interpublic Group, which has its world headquarters at New York. The consulting firm that completed the economic impact study on the Paris games is the Boston Consulting Group, with headquarters at the Massachusetts city.

Nevertheless, if some press accounts and London odds makers are to be believed, it is Mr. Baudillon and the Paris bid that have the best chance of prevailing in July, when the International Olympic Committee will choose a host for the 2012 summer games.

That would deny America the 2012 games and would hand a setback to Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Pataki, who have pressed New York's bid as a catalyst for redevelopment of Manhattan's West Side and of desolate waterfront tracts throughout the city.

Olympics rules discourage officials of bidding cities from speaking publicly about bids other than their own. Even so, a visit with Mr. Baudillon and a lunch with one of his close aides provide a comparative perspective that may be useful to New Yorkers curious about the Big Apple's chances of playing host to the world's greatest athletes.

One difference becomes obvious to anyone taking a train into Paris from the Charles de Gaulle Airport: a stadium so big it looks as if a giant flying saucer has parked and landed in a Paris suburb. Opened in 1998, the Stade de France seats 80,000 spectators for soccer, 75,000 for track and field. New York's stadium, in contrast, exists as architectural renderings and as a matter of political debate, but not in reality.

"We are really, really happy to have the stadium," Mr. Baudillon said in an interview this week with The New York Sun. "It's here. We have plenty of time. ... We will take advantage of the fact that it is already existing."

Mr. Baudillon called the stadium "one of the strongest assets" of the Paris bid. Publicly owned but run by a private concessionaire, the stadium has been used for the 1998 World Cup of soccer, a Paul McCartney concert, and an auto race.

Another marked difference between the New York and Paris bids is that while this is New York City's first serious Olympic bid in recent memory, it is Paris's third. Mr. Baudillon began his career 20 years ago, working on an unsuccessful bid for the 1992 games. A more recent bid, for the 2008 games, also failed.

"We are pushed by the two former bids in terms of the mobilization of the population and the key decision-makers," Mr. Baudillon said.

That mobilization is significantly more visible than the effort in New York. The Eiffel Tower, store windows, and street lamps are festooned with the Paris 2012 logo, two months before a delegation of the International Olympic Committee visits.

Not that anyone is counting New York out of the 2012 competition. In terms of the international politics, New York can reap the benefits of America's status as a global superpower, while, as part of a "blue" state, it can dodge international resentment of President Bush. New York's large immigrant populations are also considered a plus.

The executive director of New York's Olympic bid committee, Jay Kriegel, told the Sun that the "unequaled" diversity of New York's population meant that athletes from nearly every country would essentially be competing before a hometown crowd.

He called New York's case for the games "very strong" and said the bid committee will in the next week announce a "bold and creative and disciplined" campaign to increase its visibility in the city.

London's bid is also considered a strong contender. Of the other five finalists for the 2012 games, Moscow and Madrid are considered much longer shots.

If New York does lose out to Paris for the 2012 games, it can always try again for 2016, much as Paris has persisted. A Paris Olympics isn't necessarily a bad thing for America, either. The last time the games were held here, in 1924, American swimmer Johnny Weissmuller won five gold medals and some of the fame that helped him later in Hollywood as the movies' "Tarzan."

Mr. Baudillon, having seen Paris already lose twice in the contest to be host of the Olympics, said that if the city loses out this time around, it will be the end to his own involvement.

"This project is very important for France," he told the Sun. He is a former regional champion in the 110-meter hurdles. He knows New York from a diplomatic posting at the United Nations in 1984.

A visiting New Yorker senses no hostility, just an athlete's competitiveness, when Mr. Baudillon wraps up the interview by saying "I am dedicated to only one thing: Paris wins in July. We must win."

January 13, 2005 Edition

January 13th, 2005, 04:50 PM
I think Madrid's plan looks to be the best of the bunch.

Are people really that worked up about the idea of the Olympics here? Everyone I've spoken with thinks it would be an incredible nuisance.

All my friends loath the idea, I'm the lone voice in our circles that is in favor of it.

January 13th, 2005, 05:02 PM
Neoscape NYC2012 Animation (http://www.neoscape.com/clients/neoscape/movie1.asp?mstat=1&msize=3&movie=http://www.neoscape.com/clients/neoscape/gallery/NYC2012_Logo&project=NYC2012%20Logo%20Animation&lo cation=&owner=NYC2012&architect=)

Pretty lame (and vaguely disturbing) :?

January 13th, 2005, 06:42 PM
Yes - it is lame. I'm sure they can do a better logo and animation. This one looks like an old one.

January 13th, 2005, 07:22 PM
I just saw the NYC2012 logo. I don't like it. (At least the games are not at 1991 (imagen..) hope don't offend anybody with it)
I heard bad things about the Logo of Madrid. I would like Madrid has the games, but I think Paris will win
I VOTE FOR MADRID (if not get it,I VOTE FOR NewYork)

January 14th, 2005, 02:12 AM
I VOTE FOR New York no matter what logo it will have.

January 31st, 2005, 11:40 PM
February 1, 2005

New York's Olympic Bid No Longer a Long Shot


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/t.gifhe sincerity of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's desire to bring the 2012 Olympics to New York has passed its most important test. It did not happen in a big moment in front of a large crowd, but in a series of small moments.

For two days at a gathering of European sports leaders in December in Dubrovnik, Croatia, people approached Bloomberg in the hotel lobby or in hallways outside of meetings. Mostly, they wanted to tell him about a relative who lived in New York or about a visit they had made to the city. They were people from all over the world, from International Olympic Committee members to minor figures in minor sports.

Those who watched him said that instead of repeating his pitch, Bloomberg listened. He shared stories. By the end, even people from cities competing for the Olympic bid were describing him as charismatic and charming. And that is a big reason New York, once a hopeless long shot, used the gathering to jump-start its chance of winning the bid. Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow are the other finalists.

The I.O.C.'s evaluation commission will begin its series of four-day visits to the bid cities on Thursday in Madrid. It will then visit London before coming to New York on Feb. 21. Visits to Paris and Moscow are scheduled for March.

"He was a very powerful figure in the presentation," Kevan Gosper, an I.O.C. member from Australia, said in a telephone interview. "But he is also intelligent and approachable and he understands the Olympics. He sees the Olympic Games as a great unifying event for New York and its future."

I.O.C. members are careful not to indicate how they will vote when the selection is made July 6 in Singapore, but members of NYC2012, the organizing committee for New York's bid, sense a chance to win and will use Bloomberg's charm and confidence for all it is worth.

Bloomberg will be at center stage when the evaluation commission visits later this month, taking part in the presentations and participating in tours of proposed sites.

Bloomberg says the energy he spends on New York's bid is entirely appropriate. In addition to flying to Dubrovnik on his private plane, he attended the Summer Games in Athens to lobby I.O.C. members.

"That's my job," Bloomberg said in an interview last week. "I'm supposed to be involved. It's my job to bring in business. One of the reasons the public elected me is because I know how to do this. I have lots of international experience."

Bloomberg supported the Olympic bid even before he ran for office. He had heard the plan laid out by Daniel L. Doctoroff, who was an investment banker before he started the bid a decade ago, seizing on the idea that the Games would be a boon to the city. Bloomberg loved the idea of a stadium that would stimulate the rejuvenation of Manhattan's Far West Side.

Now Bloomberg, who appointed Doctoroff his deputy mayor for economic development after taking office in 2002, calls the West Side project New York's most important urban development and the Olympics its catalyst. He has thrown his political might behind it, using Olympics-related deadlines to push the project forward, despite substantial and passionate opposition to the stadium.

Community groups and members of the City Council have argued against spending $600 million in city and state money on the stadium, which is estimated to cost $1.4 billion. The Jets have offered to put up $800 million for the stadium, which would also become their new home.

Largely because of Bloomberg, the proposal is just two steps from final approval, having blazed through what is normally a lengthy process in less than a year. Only the Empire State Development Corporation, which is run by the state, and the Public Authorities Control Board, which is controlled by Gov. George E. Pataki, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, have to give their blessings. Silver has not yet indicated whether he will support the stadium. Beyond that, there are at least two lawsuits challenging the proposal.

In deciding to compete for the Olympics, New York put itself in competition with four European capitals trying to win the votes of the I.O.C., a Eurocentric organization.

"I have learned there is one way you cannot win and that's to not try," Bloomberg said. "Short of that, you can win anything."

But wooing the I.O.C. involves issues much bigger than geo-politics, and some much smaller. Delays in preparations for the Athens Olympics prompted the I.O.C. to wonder more than once if Athens could stage the Games at all, so the Olympic committee is looking for a bid with unwavering political support. And they are looking for intensely personal assurances of that support.

To I.O.C. members, having the mayor of New York shaking hands and chatting with the president of the Slovenian Olympic Committee at a meeting he did not have to attend answered both halves of their biggest question.

"It's essential," said Charles H. Battle Jr., the managing director of international relations for NYC2012. He previously worked on Atlanta's bid for the 1996 Games and the bid by Vancouver, British Columbia, for the 2010 Olympics. "A lot of this is all about relationships and commitment. All of the bids have very talented people, but sometimes it comes down to, 'Will these be good people to work with?' "

Each of the competing cities is lining up its political stars for the final presentations this summer in Singapore. President Jacques Chirac of France and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia are expected to attend, as are Spain's Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia. Neither Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain nor President Bush have plans to be there.

Bloomberg set himself apart with his two-day stay in Dubrovnik. The other bid teams and their political supporters flew in and out on the first day, making their presentations, then their exits. Mayors from two of the five cities did not come at all.

Bloomberg's informal chats in the hallway became the talk of the I.O.C.

"He is very direct and he is very honest," Doctoroff said. "The city will be changed by the Olympics. He is very effective in expressing that. It is fascinating to watch people's reaction to him."

What Bloomberg tried to convey, in a way that was confident and approachable, was his vision of New York as a great Olympic host. He said he sat at several events during the Olympics in Athens and watched Greek fans cheer for Greek athletes and no one else.

"Here, for every single sport, sports we've never heard of, where competitors come from countries we've never heard of, the stands will be full of people from their own country, waving their flag, yelling and screaming," he said. "The spirit would be something quite wonderful for all those groups of people who make this city what it is."

Bloomberg also has a much more personal view of the Games, because of his 21-year-old daughter, Georgina, who is an accomplished competitor in equestrian. Over the past year, she has represented the United States in international competition and is aiming for a place on the Olympic team.

New York's bid proposes to put the equestrian course at the Staten Island Greenbelt.

"My great dream," Bloomberg said, "would be to go to Staten Island and watch my daughter win a gold medal in the equestrian."

He said that when he first decided to support Doctoroff's Olympic plan, he had no idea how the selection process worked and how much of a long shot New York would be. He had little grasp of the politics of the I.O.C.

In Dubrovnik, Bloomberg saw those politics and says those two days turned things around.

"Maybe before that they were nice to us," Bloomberg said. "But we walked into the lion's den. Remember, it's a European city, a European Olympic committee meeting, the other four contenders were all Europeans. Nobody paid attention to us. When we walked out of there, we've got to be tied. You can argue who the others are, but nobody takes us lightly anymore."

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 2nd, 2005, 09:09 PM

February 3rd, 2005, 01:18 AM

I tell you the truth, I'm having a little trouble figuring out the number 5 picture...Flushing Meadows.

What the hell is going on there?

February 3rd, 2005, 01:40 AM
February 3, 2005

An Olympic-Size Saturation Is Planned to Impress 2012 Evaluators


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/w.gifherever the 13 members of the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission turn during their visit to New York City this month, they will be confronted by a very simple message: New York really wants the Olympics.

Yesterday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg presented what will most likely rank as one of the most expensive and extensive municipal advertising campaigns ever tailored to such a small group of people.

The city and the nonprofit group most aggressively lobbying the committee are grabbing every piece of available advertising space it can for a campaign promoting New York as the best place for the 2012 Summer Games. The campaign, which officials estimate could benefit the city financially up to $20 million, is timed for the committee's mid-February arrival. The commission members' visit could prove critical to whether the city will be awarded the Games, beating out four other finalists: Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow.

But the ads, largely focusing on New York's international diversity and to be paid for by corporate donors, will remain omnipresent until the committee renders its decision this summer.

"You're going see ads on phone kiosks and bus shelters and subway entrances and street poles and open spaces in each of the five boroughs," Mr. Bloomberg said at a news briefing at City Hall. "You're going to see them on 7,000 subway cars and 4,000 city buses and 13,000 taxis. You'll hear them on the radio, you'll see them on television - newspapers, magazines, Internet - we're not going to slack on anything."

The new campaign is a very visual example of just how much the 2012 Summer Olympics mean to the mayor, who has poured tons of political capital and time into an effort that has drawn a fair share of criticism.

Mr. Bloomberg has made securing the Olympics a main component of his economic development plan, arguing that the Games would help transform the city while creating jobs. But an important part of the plan is the proposed stadium on the Far West Side, and polls suggest that most New Yorkers oppose the mayor's plan to finance it publicly.

Corporate donors are covering the costs of the new advertising campaign, though much of it with in-kind contributions. Every major television station in the city is donating time for NYC2012 commercials, officials said. The print advertisements will run, without cost, on phone booths, billboards, tops of taxis, in some subway cars and on some buses.

Private companies like Viacom and ClearChannel control most of that space. Officials said no publicly controlled space would be used that would otherwise fetch a profit. For instance, the campaign would appear only on spaces in subway cars that are otherwise earmarked for public service announcements.

The print ads feature the NYC2012 logo and rainbow-colored slogans like "Every Country Gets Homefield Advantage" and "Every Flag Will Wave."

The NYC2012 logo - with a blue and green rendering of the Statue of Liberty - will be affixed to every city taxi, every city bus and every subway car, officials said. NYC2012, the officials said, is picking up production costs.

At $15 million, the advertising campaign would cost $1.15 million per International Olympic Committee member.

But officials said the campaign was also intended to influence the scores of international reporters who will cover the visit, while trying to excite the public as well.

"We certainly want to make sure that it's in everybody's face," Mr. Bloomberg said.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 14th, 2005, 01:41 AM
February 14, 2005

I.O.C. Lets News Media Have All the Fun


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/u.gifnder old International Olympic Committee rules - actually more of a free-for-all with few rules at all - New York and the other four cities bidding for the 2012 Olympics would have been overrun with groups of I.O.C. members. While checking out the city and its bid plans, they would have expected V.I.P. treatment, complete with gifts and fawning.

That bidding bacchanalia died at the hands of the Salt Lake City bribery scandal. Now, the red-carpet treatment is reserved for the 13-member I.O.C. evaluation commission, which is charged with judging the bids for the 117-member I.O.C., and its trailing pack of international news media.

And oddly enough, in this era of I.O.C. restraint, the news media will get the better of the fawning.

On their visit to New York next week, the commission members will be bound by strict rules. Yes, they will be lodged at the Plaza Hotel, ferried to Jazz at Lincoln Center in horse-drawn carriages and treated like visiting royalty. But they are allowed only one over-the-top lavish evening. The I.O.C. pays for their hotel rooms and their other meals. They are, by all accounts, treating these as serious business trips.

The news media, though, are free to be wooed with no restraints, so NYC2012 will turn its charm on the nearly 200 reporters it expects to cover the visit. They hail from everywhere from the Netherlands to Japan and include particularly interested parties from the other bid cities - Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow.

They will be provided with a 24-hour work space at the Plaza, free personal concierge service and wireless Internet access everywhere they go, including the tour buses.

"The evaluation commission is so important because it is, to some extent, the eyes and ears of the I.O.C.," said Dan Doctoroff, the deputy mayor and the founder of NYC2012. "And the media becomes the vehicle for delivering the message to the I.O.C. members who can no longer make the visit."

The goal is to present New York in the best possible light, so there is a news media reception planned at the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center one night, another at the New York Athletic Club. A visit to Madison Square Garden will include pickup basketball with N.B.A. players.

On the journalistic side, there will be lunch interviews with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Peter V. Ueberroth, the chairman of the United States Olympic Committee. The reporters will be taken on the same tour of the proposed competition sites as the evaluation commission and get briefings on all the same presentations, on topics like Olympic transportation, security and the post-Olympics use of the facilities.

The evaluation commission is allowed by the I.O.C. to hold only one news conference, on the final day.

Based on what commission members said after their trip to Madrid last week, they will offer little information. The chairwoman of the evaluation commission, Nawal el-Moutawakel, a former Olympic runner from Morocco, emphasized that the commission would not rank the cities or say much about their chances before the commission issues its report in May or June.

In the absence of the commission's input, the news media coverage can lapse into hyperbole. The Madrid 2012 executive director, Feliciano Mayoral, used a daily news conference to say that the commission members at one point applauded while viewing the plans, a claim reported with pride across Spain. When asked about the applause at their news conference, the commission members reportedly stared blankly at the questioners and then urged the Spanish news media to strive for "a measure of balance."

The bidding cities, though, are intent on wowing the commission members as well as the news media. In Madrid, the commission was treated to a dinner at the Royal Palace, with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia as hosts. In London this week, it will dine at Buckingham Palace with Queen Elizabeth and drop by 10 Downing Street for a visit with Prime Minster Tony Blair. Paris and Moscow, whose visits come after New York's, have not detailed their plans.

Doctoroff will hold a news conference today to offer more details of New York's hospitality. And he is a bit wistful that the I.O.C.'s old days are gone. He believes the New York bid becomes more convincing when the plans are seen in person.

"We had the opportunity to have the international federations come here and they were very impressed with what we're doing," Doctoroff said. "The more people we can have see our plan, the better off we are. But I do think the I.O.C. has created a pretty level playing field for the bidding cities."

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 15th, 2005, 09:59 AM
February 15, 2005

New York Will Soon Make Its Case for 2012 Olympics


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/a.gifs Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff described the details of next week's presentation to the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission, he made it clear yesterday that he would do everything shy of personally installing the NYC2012 banners that will drape storefronts, buildings and utility poles around New York City.

Of course, if needed, he might do that, too.

Doctoroff is tackling the four-day visit with the same full-throttle energy that I.O.C. members have come to know during his extensive lobbying efforts.

Doctoroff estimated that he was in eight countries in the past few weeks. In the past year and a half, Doctoroff said he had 300 meetings with I.O.C. members and had gotten to know almost all of the 117 members who will select the 2012 Summer Games host city on July 6. New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow are competing for the prize.

The evaluation commission's visit will be pure Doctoroff; his now eight-year-old dream to bring the Olympics to New York will be presented in the finest details.

"We've planned it down to the minute," he said. "And in four days, there are a lot of minutes."

The New York stop will be the third of five for the 13-member commission, which is chaired by the former Olympian Nawal el-Moutawakel of Morocco. Madrid has already been visited and London's visit begins Wednesday. Paris and Moscow will follow in March.

For an hour yesterday, Doctoroff outlined the agenda, from the commission's arrival on a flight from London on Sunday through its final news conference Thursday. It will be the commission's job to probe the plausibility of New York's bid, to scour Doctoroff's details for strengths and flaws.

For two days, the commission will be largely holed up in a conference room at the Plaza Hotel, albeit one with a grand view of Central Park and the exhibition "The Gates."

"It's kind of like what you get during a Ph.D. presentation and defense," Doctoroff said. "There will be 13 people on one side of the table and us on the other side, making presentations and answering their questions."

On the two other days, commission members will be escorted to the proposed Olympic sites, where experts will highlight their Olympics and post-Olympics uses. Their travel routes will be lined with NYC2012 banners. There will be flourishes: fencers will compete on the steps of the New York Public Library, and a public rally will be staged Monday afternoon at Rockefeller Center.

Doctoroff promised as much fanfare as is allowed under the new I.O.C. rules, which were created to curtail over-the-top wooing. The events will include a horse-drawn carriage ride, a performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center and a dinner at Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's home.

Although Bloomberg turned his charm into an asset for New York when meeting I.O.C. members in Athens during the Summer Games and in Dubrovnik, Croatia, during a European Olympic Committee meeting, the underlying momentum of the bid has been driven by Doctoroff. He founded NYC2012, has pitched the bid's merits around the city since 1998 and has turned his attention internationally since 2002, when New York became the United States entrant.

"We are making steady progress," he said after returning from his latest jaunt, which included stops in the Netherlands, Paris and Turin, Italy, site of next year's Winter Games.

The steady progress has not included a resolution on the Olympic stadium proposed for the Far West Side. Doctoroff and Bloomberg hoped to drive the stadium through its final approval steps by the time the commission arrived, but it is now stalled while the Metropolitan Transit Authority considers a competing offer for the land from Cablevision, the owner of Madison Square Garden and a stadium opponent.

The stadium has yet to be approved by the Public Authorities Control Board, whose three members are appointed by Gov. George Pataki, State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno. Bloomberg had hoped for a vote this week, but Silver and Bruno have said recently they want to wait until after the July 6 vote on the Olympics.

That is an idea that triggers an immediate recoil from Doctoroff.

"It would be a tragic mistake for New York City," he said yesterday. "With all due respect to Senator Bruno and Speaker Silver, I've been spending a lot of time over the past year and a half meeting with I.O.C. members.

"And the single most important factor is the people that they hope to partner with can deliver on their promises. They are not going to vote for us unless they believe that the single most important venue will be able to be delivered."

Doctoroff says he realizes that the commission will come and go before the stadium issue can be resolved. It is not an ideal situation for him, but one he is dealing with by stressing how far the process has been advanced in a year's time.

Doctoroff and Bloomberg have recently backed off their assertion that it is vital to approve the stadium before the commission begins its questioning.

"Would I have preferred to have it all wrapped up? Yes," Doctoroff said. "But what's critical is that when they begin deliberations, when this committee delivers this report, and when they vote, most importantly, we can look them in the eye and say we not only will get it done, we did get it done."

The stadium has become the one big detail Doctoroff cannot plan down to the minute. For the commission visit, though, he is trying to make sure it is the only one.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 15th, 2005, 10:22 AM
A Come-From-Behind Plan to Land the Olympics (http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/news/sports/features/11078/index.html)

February 15th, 2005, 08:26 PM
#5 is wrong....thats yankee stadium-the bronx. central park is not too far off, and you can see the citicorp building (in queens) in the far background.

February 17th, 2005, 02:04 PM
The Mike-athalon

by Robert Sullivan (rsullivan@observer.com)

It’s tour time for the visiting members of the International Olympic Committee, and the tour comes down to two parts. Part one is the easy part: You spend the night at the Plaza. You have some drinks at Rockefeller Center. You ride around in a horse-drawn carriage and then catch some jazz with Wynton Marsalis, the actual Mayor of New York as far as charisma goes. All of the stops on part one of the tour (with the possible exception of dinner at the Mayor’s mansion) are no-brainers for the average New Yorker with some bucks to blow; the schedule reads like a list of places where you might celebrate your wedding anniversary or take your out-of-town relatives just in for the weekend.

Part two of the tour, on the other hand, is the tour for real New Yorkers. It is a tour to lands that are within the five boroughs of New York and yet can feel as if they’re thousands of miles away. It is to places where few New Yorkers ever tread if they are not regularly treading in that area—with their dog, maybe, or while jogging or being mugged. The second part of the tour is the tour’s meat, in other words, and it’s to these places that Daniel Doctoroff, the deputy mayor and the city’s unofficial Olympic cheerleader, and his NYC 2012 Olympic cheerleading squad will schlep the unsuspecting Olympic visitors this week, without the benefit of horse-drawn carriages and pretty drinks.

And so to see what they will see, we head out, too: off to the far reaches of Queens, to the industrial-edged waters of the Bronx, to the sleepy Hudson River inlet that is Inwood, and to the dumped-on meadowlands of that most dumped-upon of dumped-on outer boroughs, Staten Island.

Our first stop is Rodman’s Neck, and to reach it we drive way up to the farthest reaches of the Northeast Bronx, the Maine of geographical New York. We take a subway and a bus, et voila!—to use the second language of the NYC2012 candidate file—we’re there. (Even President Bush speaks French in his French version of a letter to the president of the Olympic Committee: "Je vous prie, Monsieur le President, de croire en l’expression de ma consideration distinguee …. ") Named for Samuel Rodman, who died in 1780, Rodman’s Neck has also been called Asumsowis, by the Lenni Lenape Indians, and Pell’s Point and Pell’s Neck, for the Pell family, the original owners of Pelham Manor, which is now (in addition to Montclair, N.J.) one of the predominant settlement areas for New York Times staffers. Rodman’s Neck is what NYC2012 proposes as the Olympic shooting competition site. Today it’s home to the NYPD’s firing range, and it’s also the place where the Bomb Squad takes "packages" to detonate. In 1994, the police shot 98 people, 32 fatally, and then proceeded to train police to shoot less via paint-ball exercises at Rodman’s Neck. (In 2001, cops shot 29 people, 11 of whom died.) The police also ran tests on the malfunctioning Glock 19 handgun at Rodman’s Neck.

Robert Moses originally connected Rodman’s Neck to Orchard Beach when he transported sand from the Rockaways in Queens, though now the soil at Rodman’s Neck is contaminated by the lead casings left from years of target practice. Since 1994, Rodman’s Neck has undergone some "georemediation," to use the term of the soil-remediation company involved. In the summer, Orchard Beach—a.k.a. the Bronx Riviera—is packed with people who either swim in Long Island Sound or just look at it, depending on the health risk. On a recent winter afternoon, one man walked his Rottweiller, cleaning up the mess.

Our next stop, Inwood—way up at the very tip of Manhattan, where the Harlem River turns over the top of the island and meets the Hudson, where the Nos. 1 and 9 trains take about 40 minutes from Times Square—is the proposed site for the Olympic field-hockey stadium, an 18,000-seat pitch that will sit in the rough area that is thought by some to be the very place where Peter Minuit did the deal that made Manhattan. (A plaque in Inwood Hill Park notes the site where a tree once stood that Minuit is said to have stood near.) Inwood is currently the site of Baker Field, the home of the Columbia University football team, a team that in the 80’s held the losingest record in sports (they have since been replaced by Prairie View University in Texas). The Baker Field environs were once the site of a munitions factory that employed Native American workers. The Indians lived in a nearby settlement that disappeared in the 1920’s, after the munitions factory closed; Indian Road, off 218th Street, is a remnant in the nomenclature. Inwood Hill Park, adjacent to the would-be field-hockey stadium, is home to the last stand of primeval forest in Manhattan and several bald eagles; three weeks ago, the bald eagles were floating down the Hudson on ice chunks. A woman walking through the park on a recent crisp morning, a longtime resident of the neighborhood, recalled a time in the 50’s when families used to sleep in the park in the hot summer months. She remembered when the park was taken over in the 60’s by people who lived there; she also remembered when the lights were put in along the walkways that wind up into the hilly woods, and when they were all shot out. She lamented the death of trees in the park, blaming the traffic on the Henry Hudson Bridge—which, along with the Gil Hodges Bridge in Far Rockaway, is, for the moment, the cheapest bridge-and-tunnel toll in New York City ($2). The Twin Donuts is too big for a whole Olympic committee, but it ought to be on any tour.

From the tip of Manhattan, we head back to midtown and grab a subway for Queens, which is where Olympic residents would theoretically be able to rest easy after a day of Olympic competition: The Olympic Village is planned for Long Island City, a collection of old warehouses and low-rise buildings and car-repair places that is the largest neighborhood in Queens. In addition to two lonely-looking luxury apartment buildings, Long Island City is home to the Noguchi Museum and the former Silvercup Bakery, which was converted into Silvercup Studios, where popular HBO series like The Sopranos and Sex and the City are filmed, not to mention motion pictures like Private Parts, the film based on Howard Stern’s autobiography, and Two Weeks Notice, in which Hugh Grant plays a real-estate developer who is about to destroy the old New York neighborhood of the woman he falls in love with (played by Sandra Bullock). The Olympic Village would be adjacent to Newtown Creek, which, while most likely not highlighted on the Olympic tour, is a highlight nonetheless: It’s considered by many to be the most polluted waterway in New York City. "It fails to meet even the most basic goals of the 1972 Clean Water Act. Nearly the entire stretch of the creek is heavily industrialized, there is virtually no public access, and water-dependent industries have stagnated," states a report by Riverkeeper. "A boat trip up the creek is a journey into the heart of darkness …. " Underlying the polluted creek, and unseen by Plaza Hotel–rested Olympic Committee’s eyes, is a 17-million-gallon underground oil spill, courtesy of corporate sponsors such as ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco and others, which covers 55 acres. More visible last week was a huddle of beer trucks near the Anheuser-Busch facility: There’s a faint tinkling sound, the clatter of beer-bottle empties. Mario Neri, a beer-truck driver who is not an Olympic tour guide, recommends a nearby food truck until the Olympic cafeteria is built. "You name it, he’s got it," he says.

We continue on to Flushing Meadows, in the heart of Queens, to get a look at the proposed site of the Olympic whitewater boating course and regatta center. Just to begin with, the history of Flushing Meadows goes roughly like this: Covered by glaciers during the Ice Age that receded a few thousand years ago, leaving salt marshes; inhabited by the first humans, who fish and harvest shellfish in the marshes; inhabited by the second humans, who do the same but also dump trash in the salt marshes; spoiled by the city of New York, which burns trash in the salt marshes; described by F. Scott Fitzgerald, who sees the burning dumps while passing on a train to the beach, as "a valley of ashes"; covered with parks by Robert Moses in order to hold the 1939 World’s Fair, which, among other things, fans the creation of highways; used as the headquarters for the first United Nations in the building that is today the cool-if-unvisited Queens Museum of Art; and then surrounded by highways prior to hosting the World’s Fair again, in 1964. The flatwater canoe and kayaking events will take place in the waters of Meadow Lake and Willow Lake, each currently far too shallow for the sports and surrounded by the Van Wyck Expressway, the Grand Central Parkway and the Long Island Expressway. The water in the Moses-made lakes is partly from the sky, via rain, and partly from the highways, via oil and gas seepage. The sediments that clog them are the soup that results from years of pollutants seeping down from the roads. In the distance, the Unisphere, a large steel globe from the 1964 World’s Fair, and the sign that says "Boat Rental," and seems like a threat. On a Monday morning that seemed to threaten rain, the lakes were lonely and desolate, the fields surrounding them waving phragmites and crunchy with Canadian goose turds. On weekends, the parks fill with South American soccer stars from the 70’s and 80’s playing pickup games with mortals.

And now, as we arrive on the shores of Greenpoint, we are to picture a 14,000-seat stadium filled with spectators filing in to see beach volleyball. Concentrate not on the oil, coal and various other industrial toxins, though excavation at the site last year released fumes that sickened people in nearby buildings. And don’t worry about the water, though thank heavens the Olympic Committee is not visiting in April when, as the tradition of the river has it, each year, due to currents and climate, the bodies of suicides (and just bodies in general) float to the surface usually around the Williamsburg Bridge—it is known to the NYPD’s Harbor Patrol as Floater’s Week.

Then we are on to Harlem, where NYC2012 plans to show off the at-this-point imaginary Olympic Boxing Center at the 369th Armory, the first armory built for motorized transport in the United States, the home to the Harlem Hellfighters, which, when first organized, consisted of all black enlisted men and all white officers and, by the end of World War I, had served 191 days in combat, one of the longest in the United States Armed Forces. (It serves now, in Iraq, where a division protects convoys. "When I got activated, I cried like a baby," said a staff sergeant in the unit when he was told he would be separated from his 7-year-old son. ‘"The most crushing thing is to leave your children," he said.) The armory was first in a storefront beneath a dance hall in 1913. In the early 80’s, Rapper Doug E. Fresh, the first human beat box, hooked up with "Ricky D," a.k.a. "Slick Rick," at an M.C. battle contest in the current building. Now, the 369th’s brown-brick, Art Deco building—certainly one of the most convenient sites on the imaginary Olympic sights tour—is home to the Harlem Tennis Center. Enter the building from a door on 143rd Street and here the un-imaginary clop of tennis balls. Walk past a mural of Arthur Ashe and see all the tennis-playing young people of Harlem and thereabouts serving, lobbing and, in the litter of unused yellow balls, going to the net—point! "I think it’ll be an excellent idea to bring the Olympics here," says Nat Everhardt, a retiree, a Harlem resident, a longtime member of the club, as he reels off the name of tennis greats who have entered the Armory: Ashe, Althea Gibson, James Blake and Thomas Blake. "It’s right off the East River Drive, it’s close to major subways and it has a history. And it’s going to bring millions and millions of dollars into Harlem." Down the way, Barrie Mason disagrees: "We’ve heard that before." In a book, Langston Hughes says, " … there is so much to see in Harlem …. "

From Harlem in the high points of Manhattan, we stop into Central Park where the reservoir, recently renamed for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, is proposed as the triathlon site. No changes are proposed for the site, or for the reservoir, where last year, when two Canadians went swimming ("I’m sorry," one of the Canadians reportedly said), an emergency medical technician suggested that the sediments in the reservoir were like "quicksand": "The more you fight, the more you get sucked under," he said, cryptically. On to midtown, where we visit the site of the proposed Olympic stadium, the Long Island Rail Road West Side Storage Yard Complex. This, the site of the greatest controversy, neighbors a giant FedEx yard, the Javits Center, the Copacabana Club and a bar called O’Farrell’s; the site is on the edge of the neighborhood now called Clinton but which was once called Hell’s Kitchen, a place where Irish mobsters hacked people up and then went for breakfast at the then reasonably priced diners. In O’Farrell’s their fingers are crossed for a stadium—and a shot at a bar in the hotel that would replace O’Farrell’s.

From midtown, we are semi-conveniently located to visit the Harlem River Track Cycling Site Plan. (Fear not, the at-this-point-tentative Olympians will utilize buses utilizing "Olympic Priority Lanes," and then be "dropped off steps from their locker rooms," according to the NYC2012 proposal, which further suggests spectators use mass transit.) Here, just south of Yankee Stadium, and not too far from the exotic dance bar just south of it, they will be in turn convenient to Olympic Baseball, to be held in Yankee Stadium, the House that Ruth Built, a phrase that in the French I.O.C. literature doesn’t translate ("le parvis historique de Babe Ruth). If the Olympic Committee members have a day like the day last week, they will see their second Rottweiller of the proposed sites tour, this time without neither leash nor owner in sight, wandering through cars in various states of wreckage, parked along the sidewalks. The tags spray-painted everywhere may refer to the NYC2012’s proposal, they may not. It is difficult to tell with an unleashed Rottweiller running around.

And now, after logging dozens of miles between proposed venues, we are off one island and onto another—off to the Rockaway Peninsula, to the far southwestern reaches of Queens, to the place called, wonderfully, Breezy Point. Step out of your Olympic tour vehicle (because, really, the subway would take days) and see the ocean, see the beach, see the projected Gateway Park Olympic Marina. Once a tent camping site for immigrants, it is at the place where the subway ends, where the road ends, where there isn’t really any road to speak of. The site faces inland, toward the island-filled Jamaica Bay, and the gentle, mustard green shores of Brooklyn. See the Trump Housing projects (built by the father) that rise from the flats of Coney Island. See the Gil Hodges Bridge ($2 toll), and hear the ghostly whir of the cars on the metal-grated lanes. And then, as the seagulls laugh and dive into the clean-seeming bay, see, far, far a way, the tall shining spire of the Empire State Building. At 1:04 p.m. on Nov. 24, 2002, a birder named Angus Wilson saw a single cave swallow (Petrochelidon fulva) and a tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) flying in the breeze here. He made a cell-phone call and birders from all over New York and Westchester and Long Island showed up in a few hours. Amazing.

Will there be anyone left for Staten Island? Will the Olympic Committee make it out to the swamp-turned-dump that is the proposed Greenbelt Olympic Equestrian Center? Will they start the tour with this Superfund site or visit it in the middle of the tour so as to appear nonchalant about the Superfund-site aspect of it all? Or will they visit it in the end, when the committee members may have already made up their mind, or gone back to Manhattan, or any place that is not a dump? It will be a long slog out to Staten Island—along Arthur Kill Road, traveling roughly 20 miles from Times Square and in so doing feeling not as if you are in a faraway place in New York but in a faraway place somewhere else entirely—maybe in New Jersey, maybe somewhere along the Mississippi. The Dutch members of the team will recognize kill as Dutch for creek. But what will the British members think? Either way, they will be shuttled along Arthur Kill Road, then to Brookfield Road, then to a fence that encircles the landfill and is decorated with "No Trespassing" signs. A security guard seems bored in a large shed; there is a desk, a phone, and landfill maps decorate the walls. The security guard seems perplexed at questions regarding the Olympics. Why would anyone want to see an old landfill? You sign a sheet on her clipboard, and then suddenly the guard offers advice, which you appreciate even if you don’t know exactly what it means. "Watch where you go because it gets deep!" she says. You nod. You note the hazardous-materials signs. You start down a paved road that immediately becomes a muddy, rock-filled path. You are walled in by tall reeds, waving conspiratorially in the breeze. You could be lost in an Iowa cornfield but of course you are not. You are in a landfill, a place where people dump things expecting them never to be seen again. You turn around and walk out. The guard is on the phone, and though you think that now you’ve done it, now it’s all over, that now she’s calling the police or the Olympic Committee or somebody, it turns out that she’s arguing over a bill that she says she already paid. "O.K., honey, just sign out," she says. And you sign out and then drive away, having seen the Olympic sites, having taken the real New York tour.

—additional reporting by Lizzy Ratner, Jake Brooks, Anna Schneider-Mayerson, Tom Scocca, Shazia Ahmad, Michael Calderone and Jamey Bainer

You may reach Robert Sullivan via email at: rsullivan@observer.com (rsullivan@observer.com).

This column ran on page 1 in the 2/21/2005 edition of The New York Observer.

February 18th, 2005, 12:22 AM
Wow, surprisingly and unnecessarily bitter and nasty. What a great guy he must be...

February 19th, 2005, 07:34 PM
February 20, 2005

In Bloomberg's Sprint to a New Stadium, Rivals Keep Moving the Starting Line


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/t.gifonight 13 members of an evaluation commission of the International Olympic Committee will arrive in New York to assess the city's bid for the 2012 Summer Games. But it is increasingly clear that they will leave four days later without knowing the answer to the biggest question of all:

Will the city be able to build the Olympic stadium that is the linchpin of its multimillion-dollar gamble to get the Games?

A few months ago, leaving that question unanswered would have been unthinkable to the Bloomberg administration, which had hoped to have a firm political commitment for the stadium in time for this week's Olympic Committee tour. Along with the Jets, which would pay most of the stadium's costs, the city had warned that the stadium project had to have final approval by now, or opponents would put at risk the city's bid for the 2012 Olympics.

But in a tumultuous series of events over the past two weeks, most notably Cablevision's competing bid for the development rights over the railyards where the stadium would be built, the city's seemingly unstoppable drive for approval has veered into a ditch. The Cablevision offer ultimately forced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to open up the bids for the site to any developer, preventing a quick decision this month about a sale. And Albany's legislative leaders, who will have the final vote on the project, say there is no hurry to act.

As a result, the mayor's Feb. 16 deadline has come and gone. Since then, city officials have redrawn the line in the sand again and again, saying final approval must occur "over the next month, or so." Or, at the absolute latest, they say, the stadium's fate must be clear by July 6, the day the I.O.C. plans to select the winning city.

"This thing is going down to the wire," said Assemblyman Keith L. Wright, a Democrat, possibly the only one of nine candidates for Manhattan borough president who supports the stadium. "This is going to be a two-minute drill. Either you score a touchdown, or you miss a field goal at the end."

And as the stadium hangs in political limbo, the city's Olympics backers have backed themselves into an uncomfortable corner as the evaluation commission arrives - they say they have not prepared a detailed alternative to the West Side if the stadium plan collapses. Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff, the founder of the Olympic bid, said that no matter how bad things looked, there was no backup plan.

"We don't have one," he said in a recent interview. "We've said it all along."

That stance may have helped in building momentum for developing the stadium plan to this point, but it also means the city's Olympic proponents can offer the I.O.C. no cushion from the latest threatening developments.

Among the city's Olympic competitors, by contrast, Paris, Madrid and Moscow are using existing facilities as their proposed Olympic stadiums, although Madrid's and Moscow's will require renovation. London officials say they have the authority to begin building as soon as the bid is won.

The city's Olympic planners have over the years investigated alternative sites, particularly when the United States Olympic Committee asked for a backup plan in 2002 before choosing the United States city that would be a finalist for the 2012 bid. They proposed renovating Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows, Queens, on the assumption that the Mets would have already moved into their own new building next door - an unlikely move without a huge city subsidy that has not been forthcoming.

A renovated Shea without the Mets would have little use after the Olympics, but city planners did not publicly explore building an Olympics stadium in Flushing that could later be turned over to the Mets, similar to a plan used in Atlanta for the 1996 Games. That may be an idea that local Olympics planners will now have to consider, though there remains no public discussion of such an alternative.

Charles Moore, who led the United States evaluation commission in 2002, said he thought the city could offer a Queens alternative again and satisfy the international commission.

"I don't think it will hurt the bid," Mr. Moore said. "It might hurt that the leadership said they could do it and they couldn't do it. But Bloomberg and Doctoroff are really good." He said the city could come up with an alternative site that fits into the existing Olympics plan and make it look great.

Mr. Doctoroff said past discussions with the Mets did not produce a satisfactory solution for either the Olympic organizers or the team. He would not waver from his public position that killing the West Side plan kills the Olympic bid, but said he expected to be grilled by evaluation commission members this week about needing an alternative to the Manhattan stadium.

"There is no question they will ask," Mr. Doctoroff said. "We are going to have to explain how far we have come in a relatively short time. And we are going to have to express our confidence that it will get done. My expectation is that it will not be an issue at all when the time comes for the I.O.C. to vote."

In looking back on the events that led to the city's precarious position, Assemblyman John W. Lavelle, a Democrat from Staten Island who recently became a stadium supporter, said it might have been a tactical error to have set firm deadlines that have now come back to haunt City Hall.

"I think the mayor made a big mistake saying no stadium, no Olympics," Mr. Lavelle said. "I think it was something he used to push this along. No one in government thought it was true."

Mr. Lavelle recently left the stadium opposition out of a conviction that the New York Sports and Convention Center, as the stadium would officially be called, would be a significant job generator because of its ability to attract trade shows and conventions. But he also said that the city should listen to the views of local residents, many of whom oppose the stadium.

There is no question that final approval will not come quickly and without a lot of struggle. The Empire State Development Corporation, the state's economic development arm, must still reaffirm its support for the project. The project would then go to the state's Public Authority Control Board, whose three members are selected and controlled by Gov. George E. Pataki, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Senate majority leader, Joseph L. Bruno.

Charles A. Gargano, chairman of the state's Development Corporation, said there was no point in bringing the project before either state board until the Jets strike a deal with the transit authority on the sale of the development rights over the railyard. And that will not be resolved until at least March 31, when Peter S. Kalikow, the authority chairman, hopes to bring a deal to his board for approval.

"The control board will never act on it if the M.T.A. hasn't approved a deal to buy the development rights," Mr. Gargano said.

But even if the Jets buy the rights, their project is then subject to approval by Mr. Bruno and Mr. Silver, who both have expressed misgivings about the stadium. Earlier this month, both men said they saw no reason to make a decision on the stadium on the Far West Side before July 6, when the I.O.C. selects a city for the 2012 Games. Until last week, Mr. Doctoroff had insisted that would be a mortal blow to New York's bid.

If New York is given the Olympics in July, Mr. Bruno said, the roadblocks to a stadium would disappear. Stadium opponents, who insist they are not against the Olympics, are hoping that by then there will be momentum for a stadium in Queens, not Manhattan.

"Everyone knows that if the Olympics are going to come here they are going to be accommodated," Mr. Bruno told reporters on Feb. 9.

At the same time, New Jersey officials are hoping to persuade the Jets to stay in the Meadowlands, where the Giants are negotiating to build a new $700 million stadium. In talks with the Jets, New Jersey officials have shown them a report indicating that a two-team stadium could be a bonanza for everyone.

Assemblyman Wright warned skeptics not to underestimate Mr. Doctoroff's political will to deliver a West Side stadium for the Jets and the Olympics. A few years ago, few people expected him to get approval for an ambitious rezoning of a 42-block stretch of the Far West Side, or with the governor's help, an expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

"Even before he became deputy mayor, this was all he was talking about," Mr. Wright said of Mr. Doctoroff. "He's very focused."

But despite years of effort by Mr. Doctoroff, it is by no means assured that the Jets will gain control the development rights at the yard, now that the authority has opened up the rights to a virtual auction.

Jets officials, who have already spent $40 million, say they believe that they have an advantage over other bidders, who would risk buying property rights they may not be able to use for many years. But at least one major New York developer, who requested anonymity, said he and a partner were considering making an offer for the development rights.

He said they were weighing the time it would take to begin construction against the value of owning land near the waterfront in the last neighborhood available in Manhattan for large-scale projects.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 19th, 2005, 11:17 PM
February 20, 2005


They'll Take the Olympics, but Hold the Stadium, Please



http://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/n.gifew Yorkers are full of contradictions. While a recent poll found that New Yorkers strongly support holding the 2012 Summer Olympics in their city, the same survey, which was conducted earlier this month by The New York Times, also concluded that most New Yorkers oppose building a new stadium - the very one that Mayor Bloomberg says is crucial to the city's Olympic bid.

The odd pair of answers may have Olympic officials scratching their heads, just as they arrive this weekend to evaluate the city as a site for the Games.

Over all, two-thirds of the people surveyed support holding the Olympics in New York, with only a quarter opposed.

"I favor anything that would help the city financially, and I just think the Olympics might," said Lindsay Bradshaw, a refrigerator technician from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in a follow-up interview.

However, 53 percent of those surveyed oppose the new stadium, which would be on the West Side and would be used for both the Jets and the Olympics. Only 39 percent favor the stadium, and even fewer New Yorkers, 25 percent, support it if construction would involve public money.

New Yorkers who oppose plans for a new stadium are less enthusiastic than their fellow New Yorkers about the prospects of holding the Olympics in the city. But even among that group, more than half, 53 percent, back the city's bid for the 2012 Games. The telephone poll was conducted throughout the city from Feb. 4 to 13 with 780 adults who said they were registered to vote. The poll's margin of sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Among the minority of New Yorkers who have reservations about the Olympics coming to town, some expressed concern that the Games would make New York a terrorist target.

"I think the income and the revenue from the taxes would be good for the city, but I'm just worried about something going wrong," said Chris Dankel, an ironworker who lives in Jamaica, Queens. "There's going to be a couple of million more people here than there normally are, and it's hard to keep track of that many new faces."

For the most part, however, terrorist concerns do not diminish New Yorkers' strong support for the Games.

"We're not paranoid, and we'd love to have everybody from every nation here," said Maureen Duchatellier, an administrative assistant who lives in Arden Heights, Staten Island. In addition to helping the city's economy, Mrs. Duchatellier said, the Games "will show that New York is a safe place."

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 21st, 2005, 12:45 PM
February 21, 2005

Four Days to Sell a Perfect Olympic Vision


New York shares its 2012 message in Times Square. This week, evaluators will tour the city and learn about the bid.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/t.gifhe leaders of New York's 2012 Olympic bid will labor this week to impress the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission, which will spend the next four days scouring the city and investigating the bid details.

And then NYC2012 has to hope that it counts.

Despite the huge productions orchestrated by the finalists - New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow - for these visits by the 13 members of the evaluation commission, the decision rests with the entire 117-member I.O.C., which will vote on July 6. I.O.C. members are encouraged to use the evaluation commission's report to judge the bids, but the truth is, they may do whatever they please.

The London boosters wanted to proclaim it a triumph when Queen Elizabeth trumped tradition and waved at the commissioners from her balcony at Buckingham Palace on Saturday, but these visits go only so far.

New York, like the other cities, cannot win the race with these visits, but it can lose it.

If the commission sees a major flaw in the plans, it could place a red flag on the candidacy. Madrid was stung by the combination of a terrorist bombing and a skyscraper fire. London braces for the fallout from Mayor Ken Livingstone's comparing a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard and refusing to apologize.

The New York leaders have spent months planning these next four days, hoping to avoid any pitfalls. Although Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor and founder of the bid, insisted the commission would receive no special treatment from the city - aside from the wining and dining by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, that is - he would like to request that New Yorkers refrain from having any car accidents on the days when the commission is being shuttled about town.

Behind the Bid: The Issues


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/%21.gifThe Stadium: A Plan of Complexity and Controversy

New York's organizers have put themselves in a delicate position by making the planned West Side stadium the centerpiece of their Olympic bid.

For a year, Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff, the bid founder, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg have artfully used Olympic deadlines as a way to push along a stubborn process. But that pace came to a jarring halt three weeks ago when Cablevision, a stadium opponent, entered a competing bid for the site. The evaluation commission arrives with the project very much in doubt and with Doctoroff saying he has no backup plan.

The other four finalists have no such headaches. Paris plans to use the existing Stade de France, and Moscow and Madrid have existing stadiums they propose to renovate. If the bid is won, London organizers say they have the go-ahead to begin construction on a stadium in a proposed Olympic park.

New York's byzantine political process - not to mention the scale of the project and its location - is complicating the venture, and Doctoroff will take the unusual position of stressing to the commission that it is just this side of a miracle that New York has come this far.

Doctoroff and Bloomberg are still insisting that a stadium will be built despite the obstacles, but it is also possible that they will tell the evaluation commission about a backup plan for a stadium - possibly one in Queens - that they have not revealed publicly. After all, no Olympic rule says the Olympic stadium must be in Manhattan.

The Village: A Skyline View and Easy Access

The International Olympic Committee considers the athletes' experience as one of the most important factors in a bid. The host city is expected to cater to the athletes' every need. They are to be given recreation and dining options in the Olympic Village, as well as convenient transportation to anywhere they may want to go. The rooms should be nice, but easily convertible to post-Games use.

NYC2012's planned site at Hunters Point, Queens, is potentially spectacular. It offers ferry and subway access across the East River to Manhattan. The skyline views are stunning.

The first village design was chosen in a competition, but despite local fanfare, it was a nonstarter. A series of high-rises, normal in New York, was frowned upon by the I.O.C., so it was redesigned.

A plan with smaller buildings scattered amid attractive landscaping has drawn better support.

The Village is at the hub of what organizers believe to be the most compact of the five finalists' bids. Almost all the practice and competition sites would be within 30 minutes of the Village.

Transportation Challenge

This is the central question of every Olympic Games: How efficiently will athletes, officials, journalists and fans be shuttled around the host city?

The challenge is always complicated by dropping the Olympics into a major metropolis. But Athens showed that a brilliant plan could clear lanes in even the most traffic-clogged area (it also helps when large numbers of residents flee for the islands during the Games). Unfortunately for New York, Paris's bid leaders hired Athens's transportation guru.

New York's initial mock-up included a heavy reliance on ferries for athlete transportation, an idea the I.O.C. disliked, so the plan was adjusted to fit its tastes. The ferries will still be available, but buses will be the backbone of the system, as they are in every other Olympics.

New York's subway system is considered a strength, particularly when contrasted with London's notoriously finicky Underground, although Paris's Metro is also widely lauded.

Security: The Price of Safety Is Steep

Security has become one of the biggest expenses at any Games, an undertaking that saddled Athens with a bill of an extra $1 billion on top of an already staggering budget.

New York, despite the painful lessons of 9/11, rates strongly in this category for several reasons. First, New York City has agreed to foot the entire bill, a major headache removed from the organizing committee. The city has a lot of experience guarding major events and potential terrorist targets, like the Republican National Convention and the United Nations.

Not insignificantly, the United States' demands were a big reason Athens was prompted to spend so much on security, so the I.O.C. would be more than happy to let an American city handle that burden.

Although all of the bidding cities have endured terrorist attacks, Madrid may be particularly hurt in this category because a bomb exploded there shortly after the evaluation commission left. The Basque separatist group E.T.A. claimed responsibility. Train bombings in Madrid killed 191 people in 2003.

After the Games: Bearing the Burden

Many Olympic cities struggle to cope with the lingering expenses of staging the Games, so the I.O.C. has vowed a more responsible approach. Montreal spent decades digging out of debt from the 1976 Games. Sydney, site of the 2000 Games, pays about $34 million a year to maintain the stadium and arenas in its Olympic Park, now painfully underused. Athens has a huge debt and dozens of competition sites with few prospects for use.

Now cities are urged to have definite plans for a post-Olympic legacy, a "no white elephants" policy.

New York organizers say that every permanent competition site will have a post-Olympic use, from leaving a park behind in the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island, where the mountain biking course would be, to a new pool in Queens, to a rejuvenated Far West Side of Manhattan.

Some facilities, including the main swimming pools, would be temporary structures and taken down after the Games.

New York also stresses that the facilities left behind will be used to lure world-class sporting events back to the city.

Behind the Bid: The Players


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/%21.gifDaniel L. Doctoroff
Deputy Mayor

Daniel L. Doctoroff caught Olympic fever while watching a World Cup soccer game at Giants Stadium in 1994. His astonishment at the international flavor of the event turned into a burning desire to bring the Olympics to New York in 2012. A Michigan native and a multimillionaire investment banker, he became the city's leading salesman.

He founded NYC2012, invested $4 million of his money and set about to persuade New York's most influential businessmen to back him. His enthusiasm and intensity won him much support in those early days, but he has drawn significant criticism since becoming deputy mayor under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2001.

Doctoroff's position allows him to use the mayor's pulpit to push Olympic projects, the largest and most controversial being a West Side stadium, which has Bloomberg's full backing.

In the past year, Doctoroff has directed his sales pitch toward the 117 members of the International Olympic Committee, traveling extensively to meet them at every opportunity the I.O.C. allows. So far, he has succeeded in lifting the public perception of the bid, once considered a long shot, to serious contender. He refuses to discuss the other bid cities, aside from calling them all worthy, putting New York's bid above the stream of insults flying between London and Paris.

That nice-guy image is far from the hard-driving one he has developed in New York while pushing his stadium plan and Olympic vision. But then again, playing nice does not always work in New York.

Michael R. Bloomberg

Michael R. Bloomberg's feelings about the Olympic bid became obvious upon his election in 2001. He appointed Daniel L. Doctoroff, the bid founder and its tireless advocate, deputy mayor for economic development. But since then, Bloomberg has gone much further.

Not only has he taken a large political risk with his no-holds-barred approach to pushing for a West Side stadium, but he has also lent significant time and energy to the bid process. He went to the Athens Games in August to help woo International Olympic Committee members. He spent two days in Dubrovnik, Croatia, in December for the same reason. He will play host to the evaluation commission at a dinner at his home Wednesday night, and he will be involved in many of the bid team's presentations.

Bloomberg has made a good impression in his international forays, helping dispel some initial skepticism within the I.O.C. about New York's bid.

Nawal el-Moutawakel
Chair, I.O.C. evaluation commission

In the Olympic history books, Nawal el-Moutawakel's place is secure as the first Muslim woman to win an Olympic medal. But her victory in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1984 Los Angeles Games meant so much more. Fellow Moroccans stayed up in droves to watch on television - at 2 a.m. their time - and people flooded the streets in Casablanca to celebrate her victory.

Since ending her athletic career, Moutawakel has used her success to push for women's rights at home and in the international sports community. She speaks Arabic, French and English flawlessly. She was elected to the International Olympic Committee in 1998 and immediately bolstered its efforts to increase the participation of women in the Games. After all, she had overcome one of the hardest hurdles: many Muslims do not want women to compete in sports.

For all the I.O.C.'s efforts to help women in athletics, the I.O.C. membership is still made up mostly of men, and Moutawakel's appointment as the head of this commission was considered another of her breakthroughs.

Gilbert Felli
Olympic Games executive director

Gilbert Felli will not cast a vote for which city will be host to the 2012 Olympics because he is a paid staff member of the International Olympic Committee, not a voting member. His influence, though, reaches far deeper than one vote.

Felli, once a member of Switzerland's ski team and an architect by trade, essentially oversees every Olympics. He has guided the coordination commissions for every Games since 1992 in Barcelona, Spain, and will do the same for the Turin Winter Games in Italy next year. He understands the technical and logistical requirements so well that his word is trusted at the highest levels of the I.O.C.

When the I.O.C. barred members from visiting bid cities after the Salt Lake City bribery scandal and decided to send an evaluation team to judge the bids, it chose Felli be on the 13-member committee. He has been on every one since 2000.

He has great influence with the I.O.C. president, Dr. Jacques Rogge. After the experience of sweating out the problems and delays before the Athens Games last year, Rogge is particularly interested in the selection of a technically sound bid to spare the I.O.C. similar stress.

Charlie Battle
NYC2012 international relations director

Charlie Battle became involved in the Olympic bid business when a good friend, Billy Payne, persuaded him to help Atlanta land the 1996 Games. Battle, 62, who was a successful lawyer in Atlanta, found that his infectious Southern charm could work wonders, even on the European-dominated International Olympic Committee.

So winning is Battle's personality that no one blamed him for the many pitfalls of the Atlanta Games. He was a member of the I.O.C. evaluation commission that picked a city for the 2004 Games. Beijing and Vancouver, British Columbia, hired him as a consultant in winning efforts to land the 2008 Summer Games and the 2010 Winter Games. Everyone in the I.O.C. knows Battle.

NYC2012's founder, Daniel L. Doctoroff, brought Battle into New York's fold about a year ago, and Battle has been traveling to countless I.O.C. functions, the only places bid promoters are allowed to approach members. The visits are part of the charm offensive New York hopes will sway members when they vote for a host city July 6.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 21st, 2005, 07:47 PM
February 21, 2005

New York Tries to Get Olympic Panel to Look Beyond Stadium


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/v.gifalentine's Day may be over but the wooing has only just begun as members of the International Olympic Committee arrived in New York to evaluate the city's potential to act as host for the 2012 Summer Games.

The Olympic evaluation commission will be spending the next four days on a whirlwind tour of the city, from dinner at Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's residence to Jazz at Lincoln Center. The commission is staying at the Plaza Hotel on Central Park South where they can simply cross the street and wander through Christo's "The Gates."

"We're just excited about this day, delighted it's finally come" said Jay L. Kriegel, the executive director of the NYC2012, at a news briefing at the Plaza today.

Mr. Kriegel discussed highlights of the city's bid, from an Olympic Village along the East River to an Olympic Regatta Center at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. But there was little talk of the Olympic Stadium, considered to be the linchpin of the city's bid.

The Bloomberg administration wants to build the stadium over the West Side railyards and has warned that without the stadium, the city's bid for the Games is in jeopardy. The city's Olympics backers say they have not prepared a detailed alternative to the West Side if the controversial stadium plan should fall apart.

A media guide handed out at the briefing, containing an aerial photograph of the railyards and an image of the proposed stadium, lists the New York Jets as the future owner of the stadium. But that is not a done deal.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had hoped to be able to tell the Olympic commission that the stadium was a sure thing, with the Jets paying most of its costs. But Cablevision, which owns Madison Square Garden made a competing bid for the development rights over the railyards, leading the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to open up the bids for the site to any developer.

The city's proposal for the Summer Games' opening ceremony features athletes arriving at the Olympic Stadium on the West Side by boat in a procession along the Hudson River.

When a reporter asked Mr. Kriegel about the Olympic Stadium, he replied, "a shocking first question."

He then said that the evaluation committee would be looking at many things other than the Olympic Stadium and that "the question will be if the press is capable of discussing anything else."

The next three days are an "opportunity to present New York's story and New York's plan," Mr. Kriegel said, referring to New York as "a city of dreamers" where "the entire world would feel welcome."

Highlights of the city's Olympic bid include an Olympic Village alongside the East River, across from the United Nations, which could accommodate 16,000 athletes, coaches and team officials in 4,400 apartments. The village would be at the intersection of a large X, featuring two routes that run through the heart of New York. Athletes would average less than 21 minutes to travel to their competitions, most of which would take place in three clusters along the X.

Nearly every venue for the Summer Games would be located near a subway or suburban rail station, enabling the public to use mass transit to attend competitions. Athletes would travel in coach buses in Olympic priority lanes.

NYC2012, which says it expects to sell 9.4 million tickets to the Games at a wide range of prices, projects $822 million in local and domestic sponsorships. Some 250,000 free tickets would be provided to local youth.

Closing ceremonies would feature a parade through the city's Canyon of Heroes, on lower Broadway in downtown Manhattan, where ticker tape has snowed upon many a cheering baseball fan.

Earlier today, Mayor Bloomberg greeted the commission before New York City's first formal presentations at the Plaza. Over the next several days the city will try to drive home four basic themes: that everyone feels at home in New York; that New York's plan is unique because it concentrates all of the Olympic action in the heart of the city; that the athletes will enjoy historical landmarks and world class entertainment and dining; and that New York's energy is unmatched.

"The Olympics are all about openness and diversity," Mr. Kriegel said, adding that the Games are also very much about "a level playing field."

New York, he said, embodies those ideals.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 22nd, 2005, 12:33 AM
February 22, 2005

Wintry Day Plays Into Push for Summer Games


Oksana Baiul, the 1994 Olympic gold medalist, glided across the ice at Rockefeller Center during a rally for the city's Olympic bid.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/a.gif set of majestic ceiling-high windows framed Central Park in its loveliest winter outfit yesterday, the saffron-colored "Gates" exhibit coated in a layer of still-pristine snow. The New York Olympic bid leaders could not have commissioned a better backdrop for the first day of the visit by the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission, a view showcased through the windows of their conference room at the Plaza Hotel.

Fittingly, the commission stayed on the second floor all day, the perfect height for a fairy-tale look at the park, high enough to overlook the slushy reality of a wintry day at street level. Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor and bid founder, described it as magical.

Thanks to that isolation and the fact that the 13-member commission says nothing about its visit as it progresses, that state of suspended reality lasted all day. New York has four days to stage a convincing show, and yesterday the bid team made presentations on 8 of its 17 themes, including the controversial Olympic Stadium plan.

The only information about the discussions came from Doctoroff in a late-day briefing.

"I was very pleased with the day today," Doctoroff said. "I have to say something about the evaluation commission and the effort that they have put in. The effort has been extraordinary. This is a group of people who are very well prepared."

The fortunate first-day scheduling gave the city plenty of time to shovel a route for today's tour of the proposed Olympic sites, during which the snow will seem much less charming. This is when the commission will be shuttled through a city festooned with NYC2012 banners and seemingly sprayed with a coating of Olympic boosterism.

The organizers said the commission would even receive a warm welcome at Madison Square Garden, the proposed site for basketball, despite the Garden's owner, Cablevision, being a fierce opponent of the West Side stadium.

Much of the commission's visit will happen behind closed doors, guarded by the police and hotel security workers. For the presentations, NYC2012 officials described a room of two facing curved tables, the evaluation commission on one side with the chairwoman, Nawal el-Moutawakel, in the middle, and the New York team opposite, with Doctoroff in the center.

The toughest job of the day was finessing the discussion of the West Side stadium and Cablevision's opposition. There is an expanding field of competing offers to the Metropolitan Transit Authority for the site. But Doctoroff brusquely dismissed any talk of a backup plan for the Olympic Stadium. "It didn't come up," he said.

Doctoroff and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who welcomed the committee in the morning and later gave a speech to the news media at Christie's auction house, seemed to have alighted on a new spin in time for the evaluation commission's visit: that waging this political fight now will save the I.O.C. headaches later.

"We are facing all the problems that Olympic cities typically have after they've been given the Games," Bloomberg said in his speech. "We're doing it before the award so that we can say, if you honor us, the tough decisions have already been made, the tough battles have already been fought."

Bloomberg added to his role as bid cheerleader with an actual bit of cheerleading. At a rally at Rockefeller Center at noon, he urged the few hundred people who had gathered - largely NYC2012 volunteers or those on its e-mail list - to cheer loud enough for the commission to hear them 10 blocks away. They were treated to the introduction of about 50 Olympians and a skating exhibition by the 1994 gold medalist Oksana Baiul of Ukraine.

Eric P. Russell, 58, of Brooklyn, was among those gathered to cheer, wearing an NYC2012 ski cap and waving one of the NYC2012 flags that were handed out. He said he was on the bid team's e-mail list.

"We were invited to come out and support the Olympic effort, to let the committee know we want the Games," Russell said.

Nearby, Carol Alldis of Manhattan wore an NYC2012 Olympic sweatshirt she bought at the NBC store for $45. She and her daughter debated whether, years from now, the garment would be a more valuable collectible if the city won the Olympic bid or if it lost it.

Even Bloomberg acknowledged, despite not fielding questions at any of his appearances, that the stadium issue would have the biggest effect on the success of the bid.

L. Jay Cross, the president of the Jets, will be among those making the case for the West Side plan to the commission during today's site visits. The stadium would become his team's home field. Cross will try to convince the commission that it would be approved by the time the full I.O.C. votes on the site for the 2012 Games on July 6.

The discussion of proposed competition sites was the longest of the day, Doctoroff said.

"Mostly they had questions about the process," he said. "I would describe the mood as professional. They came with a lot of questions and we responded accordingly."

There was one marked difference from the commission's first two stops on the finalists' tour, Madrid and London. A British reporter asked how New York could match the fanfare of the King and Queen of Spain and Britain's Queen Elizabeth, or show that level of national support.

The NYC2012 executive director, Jay Kriegel, could not help but laugh.

"No, we do not have a king or a queen," he said. "We are the only one of the five cities that is not a national capital. American Games have to be different. We have the full support in every way that we need of our national government."

Over all, the organizers' mood was upbeat. Their questioners sprung no big surprises. And the backdrop was perfect.

Corey Kilgannon contributed reporting for this article.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 22nd, 2005, 06:28 PM
Has NYC ever been a candidate city before? NY has never hosted, correct?

TLOZ Link5
February 22nd, 2005, 07:04 PM
Has NYC ever been a candidate city before? NY has never hosted, correct?

New York State has hosted twice: the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics were held upstate in Lake Placid.

February 22nd, 2005, 08:25 PM
Ohhh okay, has NYC ever been this far along?

TLOZ Link5
February 22nd, 2005, 10:55 PM
Well, we faced off with LA for the 1984 Olympics and lost. I don't know if that was for the U.S. candidate city or for host city.

February 23rd, 2005, 08:34 AM
February 23, 2005

Olympic Visit Skirts New York Melting Pot


Billie Jean King, second from left, led the I.O.C. contingent into the National Tennis Center yesterday.http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/misc/spacer.gif

Representatives of the International Olympic Committee eyed buildings yesterday on the waterfront in Queens, where the Olympic Village would be built if New York gets the 2012 Games.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/s.gifince the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission arrived in New York on Sunday night, organizers of the city's Olympic bid have constantly reminded commissioners and their news media entourage that one of the city's strongest selling points in trying to land the 2012 Games is its ethnic diversity. That Olympic ideal, they insist, could well catapult the melting pot of New York over its four rival cities also bidding for the Games.

But yesterday, when the news media followed in the footsteps of the tour arranged for commission members, the sights and smells of Queens, the city's most diverse borough, were a bit hard to detect.

International journalists were taken first to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which would be renamed Olympic Park and which is a veritable United Nations of park users in the summer.

To the east of the park are the open fish markets, bubble-tea lounges and bustling sidewalks of Main Street in Flushing, with its Chinese and Korean residents. To the west is Roosevelt Avenue, which runs through Mexican neighborhoods in Corona and along Indian, Ecuadorean and Colombian stretches of Jackson Heights.

But rather than stroll around the historic parts of the borough or its ethnic neighborhoods, commission members and journalists were put on trolley-style shuttle buses and driven directly to the Queens Museum of Art in the park, where they did in fact see all of New York City. They stood on glass-bottom walkways in the museum and gazed down at New York in miniature as represented by the Panorama model of the city built for the 1964 World's Fair.

"They keep telling us New York is so diverse and using it as a selling point for getting the Olympics, but they haven't let us see any of it firsthand," said Deon Lamprecht, 43, a Washington correspondent for a chain of South African newspapers. "I've learned more about the city's diversity in my cab ride from the airport than from anything they've let us see firsthand so far."

The commission is spending most of its time holed up in a banquet meeting hall in the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, mulling presentations, complex studies and proposals, and watching slick presentations and hearing speeches.

Jay Carson, a spokesman for the city's Olympics committee, said the visitors' schedule was so full that there was no time for spontaneous walks through city neighborhoods.

"The evaluation commission has seen a tremendous amount of New York City in a very short amount of time, including great diversity and venue sites in all five boroughs," Carson said. "The requirements of this substantive visit are that the commission see all of the 28 venues in our plan, and hear thorough briefings on all of the 17 themes in our bid book, in less than four days. That leads to a very packed schedule."

The I.O.C. and its news media entourage managed to set foot on a street for a few moments, after they were bused to Long Island City and let off at the Avalon, a luxury high-rise next to the site where the proposed Olympic Village would be built.

The guests were quickly taken up to a $6,500-a-month duplex with sweeping views of the city and the proposed athletes' village site, on the East River across from Midtown.

Aware that a good press corps travels on its belly, organizers have made sure that all tours and presentations include free food and drink. And indeed, many of the reporters and photographers seem content to be herded into hermetically sealed tours of New York and to submit to sumptuous spreads with the eagerness of a decathlete chugging Gatorade.

Organizers have also presented a smorgasbord of former Olympians from around the world to testify that the Olympics and New York City are a match made on Mount Olympus.

At lunchtime, the news media contingent was ushered into the Waterfront Crab House in Long Island City, where it dined on filet mignon, wine, pecan pie and coffee, and listened to Bill Bradley, the former senator and Knicks star. Revising an ad slogan for New Jersey, he called New York and the Olympics "perfect together."

Garden Greets Commission, an Ally for an Afternoon


Members of the I.O.C.'s evaluation team and members of New York's bid committee for the 2012 Games at their morning shootaround at Madison Square Garden.

http://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/f.gifor a small stretch of yesterday's winding tour of New York's proposed Olympic sites, the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission stepped into the home of the Olympic bid's fiercest opponent. And it somehow managed to be a gracious host.

The 13-member commission, in the city for four days to scour the nooks and crannies of NYC2012's bid, stepped into one of the weirdest nooks of all. Commission members walked into a darkened Madison Square Garden, where they were greeted by Bill Bradley, the former Senator and an Olympic gold medalist in basketball in 1964. His retired Knicks jersey was decoratively lighted in the rafters.

The commission members received an overview of the proposed site for basketball for the New York Games from Joel Fisher, a senior vice president of the Garden.

Fisher works for the same corporation, Cablevision, that has thrown a series of roadblocks in the way of the proposed stadium on Manhattan's Far West Side. Cablevision has even entered a competing bid for the site, which is owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. And yet, the Olympic organizers lauded Fisher as a "total professional" who did not flinch at cooperating.

"It could not have been warmer, it could not have been more fun there," said Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor and NYC2012 founder. "Despite the fact that we clearly have our disagreement about the M.T.A.'s railyards and about the New York Sports and Convention Center. In respect to Madison Square Garden as a venue for the Olympic Games, they have been great partners."

This odd balance has been necessary for months, not just for yesterday's presentation. But it became crucial on a day Doctoroff described as the most important of the evaluation commission's visit.

The nearly 11-hour tour of the city and proposed sites included presentations by planners and Olympians in their respective sports. And Doctoroff was able to present his vision in 3-D to the commission on a sunny winter day. A briefing on the stadium site was followed immediately by one at the Garden, a trip across five avenues and a huge civic gulf.

The commission ate lunch at Peter White Studio in Chelsea, overlooking the disputed railyards. They listened to expressions of confidence, from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki, that their Olympic Stadium would be built. Organizers characterized the commission members' questions as mostly technical ones about the operation of the facility, not political ones about the chances of it being built.

"They got the detail that they needed about how the facility works," Jay Kriegel, the executive director of NYC2012, said. "This was about how the facility works."

At the Garden, the group heard Bradley extol the virtues of bringing the Olympics to the arena, and to the city that was the backdrop of his Hall of Fame basketball career. Then the members took the floor with Bradley and the W.N.B.A. player Lauren Jackson of Australia and shot baskets.

"I think that there is an excitement about the city of New York; I think that there is an energy level about the city of New York," Bradley said at a speech earlier in the day to the news media. "There is a spirit that says, 'When things are not looking good, don't lose heart because they'll get better.' That's what we believe about life.

"That was epitomized on Sept. 11, 2001. When things get bad, and they couldn't get any worse than that, the spirit of New York responded and carried people to a belief in themselves and a belief in the possibilities for the city."

Bradley was among the many athletes NYC2012 solicited to address the evaluation commission at every site. Lenny Krayzelberg and Janet Evans, gold medalists in swimming, helped promote the site for swimming on the Brooklyn waterfront.

The tennis player Billie Jean King sounded a similar tune to Bradley's at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows in the morning. "To play in New York is very energizing, and I loved it," she said. "People here don't just observe. They get into it."

They also get into it, organizers have often been reminded, over the kind of political issues that surround this bid. They have run into opposition on a few sites, including the lakes they plan to turn into the rowing course in Queens, but none as contentious as the stadium dispute.

But the only opposition the evaluation commission even came close to encountering in person was a group in Queens that wants Shea Stadium used as the Olympic stadium; it handed out leaflets outside the National Tennis Center. The commission members do not address the news media or anyone other than the bid team until the visit concludes with a news conference tomorrow.

The odd semi-truce with Garden management, though, is not NYC2012's only political balancing act. It has agreements of cooperation with the State of New Jersey over use of Meadowlands facilities for Olympic soccer and volleyball, despite promoting new New York facilities to lure away the Jets (to the West Side stadium) and the Nets (to an arena in Brooklyn).

Garden management also worked closely with NYC2012 in the bidding for and staging of the wrestling world championships in 2003.

"We manage to keep these things separate," Kriegel said. "They are truly professional."

For a day anyway, such balance became an Olympic event.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 23rd, 2005, 08:49 AM
Olympics Opponents Take Their Case to the Streets

BY BRIAN McGUIRE - Staff Reporter of the Sun

February 23, 2005

As Mayor Bloomberg sought to dazzle the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission yesterday with a series of presentations on New York's planned Olympic venues, lawmakers and local residents sought to portray the city's vision as a Potemkin village hiding muzzled discontent.

From the steps of City Hall to a Columbia University lecture hall, the voices of opposition made themselves heard in short bursts throughout the day. Some charged Mr. Bloomberg with stifling public opposition to the games and its attendant West Side stadium through tactics better suited to the boardroom. Others accused the mayor of equating opposition to the Olympics with opposition to America.

A common thread from opponents of the bid: The delegates are being fooled.

"I think the mayor is very dictatorial about 'This is good for New York and anyone who disagrees doesn't have New York's interest at heart,'" said Deborah Glick, a Democratic assemblywoman who represents parts of Greenwich Village. "I think he is using these tactics to eliminate any discussion, deflect any criticism, and to send a message that there should be and can be no debate."

In an attempt get her own message out, Ms. Glick issued a press release to reporters yesterday saying Mr. Bloomberg has "stolen a page from the Bush playbook" by purportedly framing opposition to the Olympics as anti-American. Ms. Glick did not cite specific examples, saying in a phone interview that the accusation referred more to Mr. Bloomberg's style than his public comments.

Connecting Mr. Bloomberg with Mr. Bush takes on special significance in a city where only one-fourth of the voters pulled the lever for Mr. Bush last year.

Another Democratic officeholder, Rep. Anthony Weiner, tried a similar counteroffensive at Morningside Heights.

"Mike Bloomberg shows a contempt for the processes of open government if they threaten to derail his pet projects," Mr. Weiner, a Brooklyn-Queens congressman who is seeking the mayoral nomination, told a group of Columbia University students. "In that way he is as much a Republican as Tom DeLay and George Bush."

Another Democratic candidate for mayor, Gifford Miller, criticized Mr. Bloomberg for his repeated assertions that the West Side stadium is an essential ingredient to a successful Olympic bid. The speaker of the City Council proposed two sites in Queens, one at Willets Point and another at Sunnyside Yards, as equally viable options for a stadium.

Mr. Miller also adopted the language of the mayor's other Democratic critics by taking a jab at Mr. Bloomberg's failed plan to keep competitors for the West Side air rights from bidding. The New York Jets were thought to have had the deal locked up until recent offers by the owners of Madison Square Garden and, more recently, TransGas. Mr. Miller expressed "concern" that the Bloomberg administration "has not made clear its real commitment to a competitive process."

Politicians were not the only ones making noise yesterday. A group of Internet pranksters operating under the domain name 2012landgrab.net sent images to reporters of ironic posters on city buses, bus stop shelters, and subway walls. The images, apparently doctored with computer software, carried mock slogans such as "Democracy will come in last" and "Every billionaire gets home field advantage."

An adjunct professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University, Nathan Martin, said the images looked like fakes. "It's pretty easy to do this with Photoshop," he said.

Mr. Martin, a self-described "Hactivist" who last year got into trouble for orchestrating a similar spoof involving printable Wal-Mart labels, said he did not know who was behind the anti-Olympic posters. The group's domain name was registered to an Arizona company that is frequently used as a front for actual site owners.

Mr. Bloomberg's office dismissed Ms. Glick's charge that the mayor has strong-armed city residents into a forced Olympic fantasy.

"It's unfortunate that the assemblywoman has joined ranks with the naysayers like the ones who opposed the creation of Central Park, which attracts tens of millions of visitors each year, and the redevelopment of Times Square, which became one of the world's greatest economic development success stories," a spokeswoman, Jennifer Falk, said.

Some residents also voiced opposition to the Olympic bid.

An actress who lives in Greenwich Village, Amy Stoller, said she is concerned about the city's safety in the event New York is chosen for the Olympics and about the disruptions to daily life in the years that would precede it.

"I really feel I am being held up for ransom for something I really don't want or need," Ms. Stoller, a lifelong resident of Manhattan, said. "I don't see how it would enhance my life and I can think of numerous ways in which it won't."

The 13 members of the Olympic committee's evaluation commission are to prepare reports on London, Paris, Moscow, New York, and Madrid before the International Olympic Committee selects the host city in July.

URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/9564

February 24th, 2005, 12:41 AM
February 24, 2005

Olympics in New York: Lights Out, Charm On


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/a.gifny thought that the leaders of New York's bid for the 2012 Olympics would try to charm the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission with understatement exploded last night along with the fireworks arcing over Columbus Circle.

NYC2012 mustered every bit of glamour it could manage, entertaining the 13 members of the commission with aperitifs, A-list celebrities and a performance by Wynton Marsalis at the Time Warner Center's Allen Room, then dropped a curtain to reveal the entrance to Central Park, where fireworks lit the clear, cold night.

Afterward, the commissioners were whisked to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's house for an equally star-studded dinner, where the guest list included Meryl Streep, Whoopi Goldberg, Henry Kissinger and the artists of the moment, Christo and Jeanne-Claude. They shared a classic American meal of roast turkey and cornbread stuffing and a dessert of Statue of Liberty cookies, while Paul Simon serenaded them.

This was clearly the day city leaders hoped to impress upon the commission, and by extension the full 117-member I.O.C. that will pick the 2012 Olympic city in July, that the people who matter here back the Olympic bid - and those people can throw a fabulous party.

"We're not trying to be anybody else," said Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor and head of the bid committee. "We can only be who we are, and we think that's pretty good. We're just trying to exhibit the energy and openness and excitement of New York City in our own way."

That meant rolling out the stars, trying to top the royal welcome the commission had received in Madrid and London earlier this month and the fanfare yet to come in Paris and Moscow. The Jazz at Lincoln Center performance featured dancers and Broadway performers, clips of hundreds of movies filmed in New York, everything from "West Side Story," to "Ghostbusters," to John Travolta strutting to "Saturday Night Fever," which drew a roar from the audience.

Introductions were provided by the likes of Streep and Goldberg and Barbara Walters, who stressed what they loved about the city: its energy and its diversity.

"We have Asian people making pizza," Goldberg said. "We have Italian people serving soul food. You don't see that anywhere else. We are the world. We truly are."

The hard sell was punctuated when the curtain dropped and the fireworks began, and a lighted NYC2012 sign descended from the ceiling.

The day had started with a different kind of hard-sell, delivered by a roster of political heavy hitters. Bloomberg; Gov. George E. Pataki; Representative Charles B. Rangel, Democrat of New York; and Roland Betts, whom President Bush has appointed his adviser to the Olympic bid, delivering presentations meant to convince the evaluation commission of the support of every level of government. President Bush sent a videotaped message played for the commission expressing his enthusiasm for the Games.

Pataki stressed his backing of the controversial Far West Side stadium in far stronger terms than he had in months, in effect throwing his political weight alongside Bloomberg's to quell any doubts among the commission members about whether their planned Olympic Stadium would be approved before the I.O.C. votes on the winner of the 2012 Games on July 6.

"I am confident the stadium will go forward," Pataki said. "It's the right thing for New York. Not just for the Olympics, although it is a critical component for winning the 2012 Olympics, but if you look at the Javits Center and that the state is contributing $350 million to expand it and we need still to have a larger convention center in New York City.

"It is important to the city, its economy and to the state as well."

The commission's four-day visit concludes today with tours of the Olympic sites not yet visited, including Staten Island and the Meadowlands. Then, the chairwoman Nawal el-Moutawakel will lead the only news conference of the trip.

Doctoroff could not muster any royalty to top the commission's dinner with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace during their trip to London or the soiree hosted by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia in Madrid. But Doctoroff and Bloomberg unloaded everything else they had in their charm arsenal.

"As far as comparing to the Queen of England, we did go to Queens yesterday, so that was a very positive step," Doctoroff said.

The business part of the day, marked by presentations on security, financing and marketing, was also a way to impress the commission with New York's strengths.

First up were Bloomberg and Pataki, who took on not only the stadium issue, but also the matter of guaranteeing that any shortfall in the budget will be paid for. They said a $492 million contingency exists in the current budget for any overruns and Pataki said that the state would never allow a shortfall to become an issue.

Betts assured the commission that the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security would do "whatever necessary" to ensure a secure Games, which would draw designation as a national special security event. Rangel told the commission that Congress would remove any immigration barriers for athletes, coaches and officials entering the country, as it did for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

"I think they were pleasantly surprised by the level of commitment from all levels of government," Pataki said.

But pleasant surprise turned to standing ovations and awe as the bid committee rolled out the evening's spectacle.

"Our city is your city," Bloomberg said to the commission. "But the honor is ours."

And the fireworks were for everyone.

Michelle O'Donnell contributed reporting for this article.


Where Hosts Are Voted Off Olympic Island


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/t.gifHE quintessential moment in yesterday's edition of the traveling Olympics road show came when a television reporter asked Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly if 10th and 11th Avenues would be closed during the Games.

The commissioner, concluding a press briefing about his closed-door session with the Olympic evaluation committee, was silent a moment. A near-imperceptible twitch played on his face. He seemed to be contemplating losing it but toughed it out.

"We are talking about pretty far out," he explained evenly to reporters assembled at the Plaza Hotel. "As I said, our goal is to keep the traffic flowing."

Good to know with only seven years to go before 2012, when New York will or will not be the host city for the Summer Olympics and Mr. Kelly, now 63, will not likely be the police commissioner anymore and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will not be the mayor anymore.

Therefore, even if the commissioner harbors plans for 10th and 11th Avenues, yesterday's traffic report seemed about as relevant to the realities of the 2012 Summer Olympics as the evaluation committee's entire visit to New York.

It's not that the city and NYC2012, the bid committee, have done a bad job. It's hard to know what the committee members think since they travel around in an insulated, media-free zone. President Bush is far more accessible to the press corps than they have been so far.

But what is not to like in New York for the rich, famous or wooed? The word filtering down from the evaluation committee is that they like us, they really like us. The city seems to be holding its own with the other bidding cities, doing a fine job of wining, dining, entertaining and lobbying the committee about the advantages of New York and its bid. No dinner in Buckingham Palace, the committee's recent treat in London. (The other finalists are Paris, Madrid and Moscow.)

New York, not the long shot it once was, is still generally considered behind Paris and London - and the uncertainty over the city's plan for a stadium on the Far West Side of Manhattan has not helped. What would help?

The question is whether the International Olympic Committee picks a city because its selection committee had a good time in a cool city, because it enjoyed seeing "The Gates" in Central Park, visiting the United Nations, going to a jazz concert and having dinner at the mayor's house. Does the Olympic committee pick a city because its designees meet dignitaries and celebrities, hear promises about prospective athletic sites, listen to assurances about union cooperation, finances and security plans?

Not sure? Consider a parallel premise. Does a Congressional committee touring Iraq decide when the Untied States gets out? No. Power does not work that way.

And in the case of this evaluating committee of 13, only six are members of the I.O.C. anyway and will vote in July, when the winning city is selected.

WHICH brings us to the vote - a system best understood as a mixture of television's "Survivor" and "The Apprentice."

Of the approximately 117 Olympic committee members who are expected to vote, 14 are from candidate countries. They are not eligible to vote until their cities are eliminated because of weak support. Once cities are dropped, their members are free to vote.

Follow this carefully: If New York survives the early rounds of voting, it hopes to get support from European cities that are eliminated for 2012, but want to hold the 2016 Olympics. Why would they support New York? The theory is that they believe they would lose out in later years if Paris gets the 2012 Summer Games, because the Olympic committee favors geographic diversity. Whatever else counts, clearly so does bartering and making alliances with other countries. The losers make, or at least heavily influence, the decision.

Given the nature of the process, it is hard to believe that evaluators' visits to bidding cities are that decisive. A distinctly bad visit can hurt, a good one may help somewhat - and not only with the Olympic committee. City Hall is trying to rally support for the football stadium for the Jets and Olympics, and it's all happening in a mayoral election year.

Morley Myers, a freelance writer from London who has covered the Olympics for 30 years, said at the Plaza yesterday that the evaluation committee's visits and the Olympic committee's decision should be put in different categories.

"This is showbiz, a promotion - the city shows itself off," he said. "The vote - that has to do with geopolitics.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 25th, 2005, 01:04 AM
For New York, Olympic Waiting Game Begins

Published: February 25, 2005

The selling job reflected the brashness and resources of the city itself: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg inviting Barbara Walters and Meryl Streep to enlist their star power; a war room in the Plaza Hotel filled with behind-the-scenes scrambling to answer any question and allay any concern; a dinner at the mayor's home, where he and his guests burst into song when Paul Simon reached the chorus of "The Boxer."

After four days of wooing the 13 members of the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission, New York City officials bid farewell to the panel yesterday, confident they had impressed them with their message: that a 2012 Olympics in New York would dazzle the world as they believe they had dazzled the commission.

But whether the celebrities, the fireworks and the glitter were enough to push New York past Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow in the running for those Games will not be decided until July 6, when the full 117-member I.O.C. votes to decide the winner. And several financial questions remain in New York's bid. [Page B1.]

The commission's chairwoman, Nawal el-Moutawakel, an I.O.C. member from Morocco, left with a favorable impression, calling the mayor "a winner" yesterday at the commission's only news conference. And inserting a new element into a raging local debate, she also expressed the need to build a stadium on the West Side to accommodate the Games, a position also held by Mr. Bloomberg.

The evaluation commission came to New York after Madrid and London lavished them with royal treatment; the respective monarchies of those nations came out in force, with Queen Elizabeth waving as the commission left Buckingham Palace. The commission's next stop is Paris, followed by Moscow in March.

But while in New York, the commission found a city that worked in overdrive to add sparkle and a sense of control to a place that often seems to defy order.

When the commission members ventured out on tours of proposed Olympic sites, their route was shoveled clear of last Sunday's snow and remarkably light on traffic. At the Time Warner Center, the stainless steel car barriers were hand-shined, and the construction site at Columbus Circle was tidily boarded over before Wednesday night's gala at the Time Warner Center's Allen Room, where Wynton Marsalis serenaded them and fireworks painted the sky.

"This has been an amazing four days," said the deputy mayor, Daniel L. Doctoroff, who has relentlessly pursued the bid for years. "I know sometimes I am accused of hyperbole, but it really has been a fabulous, fabulous visit. The visit was seamless and we managed to demonstrate the things that are really important for us."

The endeavor took countless hours of planning under Mr. Doctoroff, who aides worried had slept hardly at all this week. His years of behind-the-scenes work to bring the Games to New York were met this week with some serendipity, in the form of manageable traffic, bearable weather and having the "The Gates" in place in Central Park just in time to flutter outside the commission's work room.

There were little touches throughout the visit. Mr. Bloomberg had insisted, aides said, that he play host to a dinner for the committee on Wednesday night at his home, not at Gracie Mansion, with the homey touch of a turkey dinner, his mother's cornbread stuffing, personalized cookies instead of place cards - and wine from the vineyards of New York. Seating was carefully arranged to ensure an eclectic mix at the seven tables, making for some odd social pairings. There was the mayor's daughter Georgina - an aspiring Olympic equestrian - between Representative Charles B. Rangel and the actor Matt Damon, or Mr. Doctoroff sitting next to Whoopi Goldberg. Mr. Bloomberg spent time with every guest, starting by chatting with Ms. Moutawakel before moving to other guests.

Most of the four days was spent much less comfortably in the second-floor conference room at the Plaza Hotel, with the commission combing through the details of New York's bid. Some days stretched past 12 hours. Most meals were brought in and eaten at the conference tables.

"People don't understand the depth and complexity of the visit - these four days have involved a staggering amount of planning," said Jay L. Kriegel, the executive director of NYC2012, the nonprofit group founded by Mr. Doctoroff more than a decade ago to land the Olympics. "It's the only chance you have to have the I.O.C. visit your city; this is a chance to tell our story."

NYC2012 orchestrated everything from a control room that staffers were calling "the bunker," filled with computers to search for any answer to a question the commission might pose. Videos were cued up there, including one from President Bush, brought by his good friend Roland Betts, a New Yorker.

NYC2012 leaders said they were continually impressed with the preparation of the commission members and their grasp of the smallest details. Ms. Moutawakel said the feeling was mutual.

"The bid committee must be congratulated on the quality of its candidature, of the quality of its presentations and its teamwork and professionalism," she said.

The commission insisted not much time was spent discussing the controversy over the planned West Side stadium. Ms. Moutawakel said she believed Mr. Bloomberg would succeed in his quest to get the stadium approved, stressing it was a key factor in the I.O.C.'s ultimate choice.

"It is important to have the stadium," she said. "All the cities are aware of this. They gave us all assurances. He is a winner and his team is a winning team."

Ms. Moutawakel also stressed that the commission was not influenced by concerns about United States foreign policy. Still, it was a former ambassador to the United Nations under President Clinton, Richard C. Holbrooke, who addressed the group at the U.N., not a Bush administration official. And there were lines like this one from Ms. Streep on Wednesday night: "Sometimes I think New York City is more exotic to the rest of America than it is to the rest of the world."

But mostly, officials said, the commission scoured New York's budget, its marketing plans, its assurances about security and the logistics of its Olympic sites. They watched videos, including one set to a bugler playing the Olympic theme that laced together a day in New York, all shot in black and white from the city's neighborhoods. One piece missing from the montage, though, was any reference to Sept. 11, 2001.

The decision on where to hold the Olympics, which will be made by secret ballot in July, is a political one, and whatever the evaluation commission leaves thinking about New York, the winner is long from being decided. Ahead lies several more months of lobbying I.O.C. members, who do not necessarily heed the report the evaluation commission will compile.

This is only the third of these commissions, which are essentially a response to the bribery scandal surrounding the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, when I.O.C. members were free to visit bidding cities, which lavished them with perks and gifts, forcing the I.O.C. to change the system.

Now, instead of pouring this kind of over-the-top attention on the 117 members, it gets heaped on just 13 commission members, of whom only 6 are voting members of the I.O.C.

With Mr. Doctoroff now one of Mr. Bloomberg's most powerful deputies after pushing the Olympics for years, no door was closed to Olympics planners.

But as those planners cruised the five-borough route of their tour before the commission did, they were able to direct city agencies accordingly when they saw vacant lots that needed to be cleaned or littered streets, said the event coordinator, Peter Kohlmann.

Mr. Kohlmann said that few things were more important than the city's ability to show that getting around town is easier than its reputation would suggest. And so his team ran through the planned borough-wide routes several times and worked out minute-by-minute schedules. This week, monitoring systems kept an eye on traffic patterns and even the weather to ensure on-time arrivals.

Still, it was the glitz that left a lasting impression. The Wednesday night dinner and the show at Lincoln Center - overseen by Don Mischer, who produced the Democratic National Convention in Boston - were important. "It was lavish, it was exciting," said Mr. Rangel, who attended both events. "I know they were impressed."

But even he and Ms. Walters said they were not ready to declare victory. "I don't know if this is going to make them want to be here because they care about traffic and the stadium," she said. "But they saw what a wonderful city this is."

In the end, that was the best the bid organizers could do.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

February 25th, 2005, 08:33 AM
February 25, 2005

In Olympic Bid, City Must Be Ready to Cover Overruns, Too


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/t.gifhe uncertain fate of the proposed West Side stadium is not the only hurdle facing the city as it bids for the 2012 Olympics. Experts on the Games say New York has yet to satisfy the International Olympic Committee's firm demand that host cities guarantee to pay for all cost overruns and deficits, no matter how high they go.

When the committee announces the host city on July 6, it will require it to sign a contract that day agreeing to underwrite the entire cost of the Games, cover any differences between revenues and expenditures, and indemnify the committee, sponsors and broadcasters against any financial claims that arise.

It is a sizable issue, given that in Athens last year, the Games cost at least $10 billion, twice the original estimate, and the Sydney Olympics in 2000 also cost double the projection.

The other cities in the competition - London, Paris, Madrid and Moscow - have offered open-ended agreements to cover any cost overruns or deficits, in most cases underwritten by their national governments. "The chancellor of the exchequer has guaranteed that the U.K. Government will act as the ultimate financial guarantor should there be a shortfall between Olympic costs and revenues," reads the London bid, which is typical of the others.

New York's organizing committee, on the other hand, has taken a different route. Lacking such a guarantee from the federal, state or city government, it has offered to cover all excess costs up to $492 million, which organizers say should be sufficient, given that no American host city has had any overruns approaching that amount. It is far from clear, however, that that limit will be sufficient for the international committee.

"Somebody's got to step up," said Richard W. Pound, a Canadian member of the committee's unit that deals with legal issues.

"In the U.S., there's never any doubt it can be done, but they've got to produce a guarantee from someone."

Kevin B. Wamsley, director of the International Center for Olympic Studies at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, said the issue was generally considered nonnegotiable.

"They have to sign off on that issue, or the bid will not be accepted," Mr. Wamsley said.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki went out of their way on Wednesday to reassure the international committee's evaluation commission that there were sufficient contingency funds in the current budget to cover any overruns.

Jay Kriegel, executive director of NYC2012, the local organizing committee, said yesterday that New York has provided "without question the strongest guarantee that's ever been provided for an American bid."

The guarantee, he said, includes $250 million from the state and a $200 million contingency fund in the host committee's $3 billion budget for the Games. The 2001 state legislation authorizing that appropriation specifically states that "in no event" should the combined liability of the city and the state exceed $250 million. In addition, the federal government has agreed to pay for all security costs.

It is for the international committee "to decide whether the guarantee meets their needs," Mr. Kriegel said.

At a news conference yesterday, the chairwoman of the international committee's evaluation commission, Nawal el-Moutawakel, gave a noncommittal answer to the question of whether the city had met the committee's requirements, though she made it clear she appreciated the city's attempts to deal with the issue.

She added that the assurances the city provided would make it easier for the committee to prepare its report.

Another committee member said its charter and the contracts ask bid cities to accept liability.

"It's part of the bid city requirements," said Anita L. DeFrantz, a member of both the international and United States Olympic committees.

The financial guarantees demanded by the international committee have always been a prickly issue for American cities, which, unlike their European counterparts, are not effectively sponsored by the federal government. Still, they all -Los Angeles, Atlanta or Salt Lake City - had to come to terms with the international committee's demands. The latter two cities relied on state guarantees to meet the demand, and Los Angeles was guaranteed in a partnership with the United States Olympic Committee.

Roger Cutler, the former city attorney for Salt Lake City who was involved in the negotiations for the 2002 Winter Games, said the city could not get the international committee to change the requirement and predicted that New York would have a hard time getting approval for a limited guarantee.

"The I.O.C. will not accept those limitations, at least that's my impression," he said. "I went to Europe twice trying to get them to modify the requirements. They've required a broad-based and unlimited indemnification of the I.O.C. and all its officers."

Mr. Cutler said he eventually fashioned an agreement with the governor of Utah to guarantee the overruns. The matter was controversial in the Legislature until the Games ended, leaving a roughly $100 million surplus, he said.

The liability issue first emerged after there were huge overruns during the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Four years later, New York State and the federal government, as well as the local organizing committee, covered the cost of the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid. The initial $96 million budget doubled, with the federal government contributing $100 million. The games teetered at the edge of bankruptcy in the end, with an $8.5 million deficit.

Vancouver, site of the 2010 Winter Games, formed a financial partnership with its provincial government, British Columbia, in order to meet the financial requirements. But Seattle dropped out of the competition for the 2012 Games after its City Council refused to accept legal responsibility for cost overruns.

Adam Barsky, deputy press secretary to Governor Pataki, said yesterday that he tried to assure the international committee that any potential overruns could easily be handled by the contingency funds.

"It means we're very confident we'll have all the resources we need to put on the Games," he said. "The governor reiterated the fact that the state legislation is a clear and unconditional indication of support."

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 25th, 2005, 08:37 AM
February 25, 2005


Olympic Bid May Require a Do-Over


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/s.gifOONER, as in 2009, or later, as in 2012, the closemouthed bureaucrats of the International Olympic Committee will return for another four-day tour through an imagined paradise or a two-week spectacle on our West Side field of dreams. A smart betting man would venture the following advice to New York's Olympic advocates, both elected and appointed: Do not lose those telephone numbers for Whoopi Goldberg, Paul Simon and Meryl Streep. You're likely to be calling on them again.

Sequels often do not pack the same punch, but in four years, long after the 2012 Summer Olympics have been awarded to Paris, Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff and his cheerful entourage will have more opportunities to stand and applaud the I.O.C.'s evaluation commission, which by then will be considering the 2016 site, as if it were royalty. That's assuming Doctoroff's boss, Michael R. Bloomberg, is still the mayor of the municipality that includes Kings and Queens.

A pair of snowfalls beautified the streets before and after the blizzard of assurances made by NYC2012 to the evaluation commission led by Nawal el-Moutawakel of Morocco. First and foremost was that a great Olympic stadium will rise on the West Side with the assistance of $800 million from the owner of an American football team the commission members would hardly know from Fireman Ed.

"We felt the enthusiasm, felt the warmth," Moutawakel said. There was also no getting around the cold fact that they didn't see a platform over the railyards or a single shovel in the ground. Obstacles and obstructionists to the West Side stadium remain, and how could Bloomberg guarantee anyone that they will disappear by the time the commission prepares and distributes its report on the New York bid to the voting delegates on July 6?

"The site that has been shown to us, if it can come to an agreement, hopefully it will be successful for you guys," Moutawakel said. "If not, it will be a risk assessment."

Later, she said, "All of our questions must be answered now, here," which sounded like another reason to stack more chips on Paris, the favorite that just got a little heavier in the five-country competition.

How fortunate for New Yorkers, so busy leading urbane, cultured lives, that the quaint and provincial French backwater is willing to take on the intrusion of the five-ring circus. After an afternoon at the Louvre, what else is there to do in Paris?

For many of the vocal critics of the Bloomberg-cheered and Doctoroff-executed plan, it hasn't been enough to argue that the West Side needs a football stadium the way Simon needs Garfunkel. They've also been asking: Who needs the Olympics? Who needs the fencers when we've got Sheffield and Matsui and Jeter swinging for the fences? Who needs the world when we've got the Yankees and the Red Sox?

I have to admit that until the last couple of weeks, my attitude about the Summer Games has mostly been one of indifference. Then came the opening of spring training, the daily fix on the Red Sox/A-Rod feud, and it occurred to me: this New York-centric city is going to be in need of a diversion one of these summers.

Why would I argue with Whoopi and Meryl and one of my favorite local politicians, Representative Charles B. Rangel? The Olympics - why the heck not?

If only Bloomberg and Doctoroff had pushed for the stadium where one is most needed, in Queens, where the Mets have waited patiently for a ballpark to replace dowdy Shea Stadium, never complaining too loud, never threatening to leave town. Bloomberg and Doctoroff could have led their friends across the boardwalk from the National Tennis Center to an Olympic stadium in progress and told them Flushing was Midtown, for all anyone would have cared.

They instead chose to do business with Jets owner Woody Johnson, a generous Republican donor, and a franchise that quit on New York decades ago, that doesn't practice in the city, that is trying to underpay for a piece of prized real estate to play eight regular-season games a year.

Whatever guarantees Bloomberg and Doctoroff are making about huge profitability in conjunction with an expanded convention center, the whole thing smacks of a railroading above the railyards. The Olympic people undoubtedly advanced New York into the final five with the assumption the stadium deal would already be wrapped up. It isn't close, the four-day tour did not include a backup stadium site and the evaluation commission leaves town today without the most important piece of information it came for.

The upstate pols in the State Senate say they would prefer the bid first before they roll over for the stadium. Asked about the opposition, Moutawakel looked over at Bloomberg when she said: "He's a winner. His team is a winning team." The Yankees, a much bigger favorite going into the postseason last fall, were also winners until the ninth inning of Game 4 against the Red Sox. Moral of the story: Nothing is guaranteed around here when opposition passions run this high.

After the Olympic folks had filed out of the room, Doctoroff said, "We certainly invited them to come back and visit us any time - especially in 2012." Why wait that long? My guess is they're already planning on being back here in 2009. I'll applaud their return, too, if they meet us in Flushing.

E-mail: hjaraton@nytimes.com

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 25th, 2005, 11:51 AM
After spending a week in Paris I've got really disappointed with that city. I think Paris does not deserve to host Olympic games.
First of all, Parisians are very rude and unwelcoming people who think a lot about themselves. I'm sure someone will object to my view, but I experienced their behavior every day, the moment I stepped off Eurostar. They also like to give wrong directions to people (tourists) intentionally. Also, the city is dirty and smelly. Paris has no free public bathrooms and very few paid ones; often men and women share the same lavatory. Subways do not work at night in Paris nor any other contending city except NYC. I'd love to see NYC win, then Madrid, then London. Definately not Paris.

February 25th, 2005, 12:46 PM
In all fairness, NYC has very few public restrooms and no paid restrooms at all. Also, men and women frequently share the same lavatory and the city can be quite dirty and smelly.

March 3rd, 2005, 11:34 AM

New York Has Weakest Public Support For Olympics

MARCH 03RD, 2005

The city pulled out all the stops last week to woo delegates from the International Olympic Committee, but public support for the bid in New York is the lowest among all the cities vying to host the 2012 Summer Games, according to a new poll.

According to Agence France Presse, a poll conducted by the IOC found that 59 percent of New Yorkers support the Olympics, compared to 68 percent of residents in London, 77 percent in Moscow, 85 percent in Paris and 91 percent in Madrid.

Leaders of New York’s bid committee, NYC2012, have claimed that 64-79 percent of city residents favor the Games. In response to the IOC survey, NYC2012 said the controversy over the proposed West Side stadium – a key part of the city’s bid – has temporarily depressed the number.

A senior IOC member told the French news agency that the polls are an indication of which city really wants the games. The results of the survey were delivered to the delegates while they were touring New York last week, the news service reported.

Another poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University, found 63 percent of New York City voters want to host the Olympics and 30 percent do not. But voters remain opposed to building a West Side stadium, 56 percent to 35 percent, according to the survey.

“I have a mixed opinion, especially about the stadium on the West Side,” said one New Yorker. “I don’t like that. It’s going to be awful traffic-wise. It’s going to clog up this city. I think it’ll be great commerce-wise. But I’m really mixed.”

The poll also asked New Yorkers if they would support a law allowing same-sex couples to marry.

The poll found that voters support such a law by a 51 to 40 percent margin.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,435 New York City voters from February 22 to March 1, and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

The IOC will announce the host of the 2012 Olympics in July.

March 3rd, 2005, 10:25 PM
Bad news indeed

March 4th, 2005, 11:48 AM
The city can't expect support for these grand plans when the totally mismanaged MTA is socking it to riders, the stadium has become THE conversation with respect to the Olympics (and the tide has turned against the plan), and we know that Ratner in Brooklyn and the Jets in Manhattan are getting sweet heart deals at the expense of NYC residents.

There seem to be public funds or at least political will to build all of these Olympic venues, when New Yorkers want and see a need for housing. The mayor's alternative focus should be housing, housing, housing. And, he shows no leadership in that area. When you see how passionate and obsessed he can become on issues and items he supports, you only wish he was more in tune with the New Yorkers.

I admire his leadership and passion, but I am not in support of the direction he is taking us.

March 5th, 2005, 02:29 PM
The city can't expect support for these grand plans when the totally mismanaged MTA is socking it to riders, the stadium has become THE conversation with respect to the Olympics (and the tide has turned against the plan), and we know that Ratner in Brooklyn and the Jets in Manhattan are getting sweet heart deals at the expense of NYC residents.

There seem to be public funds or at least political will to build all of these Olympic venues, when New Yorkers want and see a need for housing. The mayor's alternative focus should be housing, housing, housing. And, he shows no leadership in that area. When you see how passionate and obsessed he can become on issues and items he supports, you only wish he was more in tune with the New Yorkers.

I'd point out the "sweetheart deal" he's giving Ratner includes 4,500 units of housing. Regardless of the price point of those units (and I'm sure there will be at least SOME lower & middle class units), it can't help but have a major impact on housing in bklyn & lower manhattan, queens.

March 9th, 2005, 11:06 AM
March 9, 2005

For 2012 Games, I.O.C. Will Always Have Paris

By LYNN ZINSER (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=LYNN ZINSER&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=LYNN ZINSER&inline=nyt-per)
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/f.gifrom the 22nd floor of a retirement home, with a sweeping view of a rundown section of east London, the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission was asked to envision an Olympic park that would include a new stadium, various arenas and fields, and an athletes' village, all ready to spring from the grime and poverty that stretched below.

A week later, from the 14th floor of a building on New York's West 26th Street, the commission took in a panoramic view of an open railyard and an expanse of the underdeveloped Far West Side while the leaders of New York's bid painted a vision of a stadium with a retractable roof, parks, pedestrian boulevards and a new neighborhood radiating from all sides.

But as the 13 members of the evaluation commission assess Paris this week on their tour of the cities that are finalists for the 2012 Games, no such flights of imagination will be necessary. The Parisians will present a finished stadium, the Stade de France, that successfully held the final of one of the world's most important international sporting events, the 1998 World Cup. Their plan includes only eight permanent construction projects, and only the athletes' village involves a development more complicated than a single building.

This lies at the center of the I.O.C.'s choice of the 2012 Olympic city, to be made on July 6 at a meeting in Singapore. Paris, long considered the front-runner, seems to be the safe choice, the city with less to transform in the name of the Games, and it could cement its favored status with a flawless visit this week. New York and London, its main challengers, have aimed to position themselves as the visionary choices.

"I think it's the job of every bid to leave the evaluation team with two very clear answers to two very clear questions: why and how?" Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London's bid, said in a telephone interview.

The commission begins its evaluation of Paris today, after having made stops in Madrid, London and New York. The commission will tour the final city, Moscow, next week, a visit that coincides with the world figure skating championships.

It is focusing on the technical aspects of each bid, with a heavy emphasis on saving the I.O.C. the stress of its experience with Athens, when dragged-out preparations turned into a mad sprint to be ready for the opening ceremony last August.

So, while New York and London require mental pictures, computer renderings and a belief that urban transformation would leave both cities and the Olympic movement with rich legacies, Paris's simplicity has become its greatest strength.

Back for a third bid in the past 20 years after losing the 1992 race to Barcelona, Spain, and 2008 to Beijing, Paris draws no questions about its commitment to the Games. Its motto L'Amour des Jeux translates roughly to Love of the Games. Its infrastructure draws few concerns. Its Metro needs no overhaul. Its construction plan is minimalist, relying on 13 temporary facilities including ones to play host to basketball and baseball. And the Stade de France, which has also held the world track and field championships, speaks for itself.

"We have had time," Philippe Baudillon, Paris's bid leader, said in a telephone interview. "Working for 20 years allows us a little more time to understand what we need for the organization of the Games."

It is also a reason why Paris intends to take a more low key approach toward the evaluation team, which has been treated to lavish dinners with royalty in Madrid and London, and received star treatment in a New York draped in Olympic banners and dinner with celebrity guests.

Paris is responding with a dinner with President Jacques Chirac and the mayor, Bertrand Delanoe, and has festooned itself in Paris 2012 paraphernalia, including five million baguettes swathed in bid-sponsored wrappers.

But the bid is guided by people who have been through this process before and understand that ceremony goes only so far.

Baudillon led the team that prepared Paris's bid for the 1992 Games, which lost to Barcelona, the hometown of Juan Antonio Samaranch, the I.O.C. president at the time. Baudillon was not involved in the effort to land the 2008 Games, a race Paris lost badly to Beijing, knocked out in the first round of voting amid complaints of the bid team's arrogance. At the time, Baudillon was an adviser to the prime minister, which gave him a hand in what is now considered a Paris strength, the building of the Stade de France.

"The choice was whether we would build a stadium just for soccer or a stadium that could host an Olympic Games," Baudillon said. "And I had to convince them because I knew we had to have this kind of stadium. I know it is a very important venue."

Now, Baudillon can show the evaluation commission how Paris 2012 plans to surround the stadium with six temporary facilities, to hold everything from basketball to judo, and a permanent aquatics center and an arena for gymnastics.

For the other major cluster of sites, the centerpiece would be Roland Garros for tennis and the Parc des Princes Stadium for soccer. Most of the sites around them would also be temporary.

It leaves Paris with much less of a physical legacy - the gritty neighborhood around the Stade de France, for instance, would probably return to grittiness - but it gives the feeling that Paris could be ready to play host to the Games with a little heavy lifting.

Even the smallest sign of a setback, like Paris announcing its aquatics center would not be ready to hold swimming's world championships in 2009, has been trumpeted by rivals like London as a sign of weakness. It rang less than convincing, considering how much Paris already has in place.

"Not only do we have the stadium, we know how to use it," Baudillon said. "I think it's an asset but it is important that we know how it works for a big event, how the public can get in and out."

The proposed athletes' village, midway between the two clusters, is the one project that qualifies as any kind of urban renewal project. Currently dominated by railway tracks and warehouses, the Batignolles district of the 17th arrondisement is considered the last piece of undeveloped real estate in central Paris, a 12-minute Metro ride from the Champs-Élysées.

But it pales in comparison to the makeovers proposed by London and New York.

London's Olympic Park would replace a depressed area with a mix of sports facilities and an Olympic Village that would become much-needed mixed-income housing after the Games. The plans include a new rail link to central London, which is seen as a lifeline to a dying part of the city.

"I think our Olympic Park is next-generation thinking," Coe said. "We want to use sports as part of the regeneration process."

New York not only proposes to remake Manhattan's Far West Side, but also etches new life into stretches of the Queens and Brooklyn waterfronts, as well as reclaiming two polluted lakes in Queens for the rowing competition and turning part of Staten Island's Fresh Kills landfill into a park with a mountain-biking course.

"The thing we hear over and over and over is 'legacy,' " Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor and the NYC2012 founder, said. "Based on what we have heard, it is very important. These are an important part of our legacy."

But they are also much more difficult to demonstrate to the entire I.O.C., whose members are no longer allowed to visit the bid cities en masse, and they do not provide the safety of a less ambitious plan like Paris. New York's efforts are also tangled in the controversy over the West Side stadium, something Doctoroff knows must be settled before the vote in July for the city to avoid giving the I.O.C. Athens-like flashbacks.

Paris, meanwhile, has slid easily into its role as favorite.

The I.O.C. remains Eurocentric - 53 of its 117 members are from European countries. Four of the five finalists are European capitals. And even though the 2004 Summer Games were in Athens and the 2006 Winter Games will be in Turin, Italy, the next two - 2008 in Beijing and 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia - are outside Europe and that qualifies as a respectable gap.

But the leaders of the Paris bid are careful not to get comfortable as the theoretical front-runner.

"We never take that into account," Baudillon said. "Each bid has some assets and has problems to cope with. So I don't believe Paris is leading the competition. I think it is like a track and field competition. If you start to look at what people around you are doing, you don't make your race. I want to make my race."

That race is a bit more uphill for New York and London. The I.O.C. will have to decide whether it wants to make the extra effort.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

March 10th, 2005, 10:14 AM
Well, the transit unions have gone on strike in Paris, just as the IOC shows up for their tour. Talk about a "how do you like that?"

March 18th, 2005, 03:35 PM

March 20th, 2005, 03:14 PM
Saturday, March 19, 2005

Moscow Could Influence 2012 Race Says Olympic Insider
Posted 4:21 pm ET (GamesBids.com)

The Guardian reports that although Moscow is the long shot among the five cities bidding to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, those on the inside believe it could still influence the outcome of the 2012 bid and even knock out one of the favourites, London or Paris.

The newspaper says that Russia is expected to call upon favours from its former Soviet-bloc allies in a bid to ensue Russia’s president Vladimir Putin is not embarrassed.

It quotes an Olympic insider as saying “basically Russia remains a huge power base from the old Soviet days and there is no way that anyone wants to see it humiliated and go out in the first round. There will be a huge push to ensure they have enough votes at least to avoid humiliation. After that anything goes – but someone has to go out in the first round”.

The Guardian says the cities that could be eliminated in the first round are Madrid or New York. But Madrid has the backing of former International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch, who remains hugely influential and can shift votes. And the newspaper adds that New York can call upon the influence of United States television, the single largest sponsor of the Olympic Games.

That leaves Paris and London, the favourites. According to the Guardian they need to ensure they have enough votes in the first round to avoid the prospect of being eliminated, unlikely as that seems. Now that the IOC’s Evaluation Commission has concluded its inspection of the five bid cities it will prepare a report that will be published and submitted to IOC members no later than one month before the election of the 2012 host city on July 6, 2005 in Singapore.

March 21st, 2005, 05:01 PM
Monday, March 21, 2005

Corruption Trail Could Have Negative Effect On Paris 2012
Posted 11:35 am ET (GamesBids.com)

With just a few months before a decision is made on the host city for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, Paris 2012 is getting some unwanted publicity.

A member of Paris’ Olympic bid committee is among 47 people who went on trial Monday in a major political corruption case.

The Associated Press reports that former French Sports Minister Guy Drut, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), is accused in a party funding scandal dating back to the 1990’s.

Drut is one of four former ministers charged in the case and denies any wrongdoing.

According to the Associated Press the case centres on a secret deal under which companies allegedly funnelled millions of dollars in kickbacks to France’s major political parties in exchange for contracts to build and renovate schools.

It is alleged that Drut received thousands of dollars in kickbacks between 1990 and 1993.

Drut is not expected to take the stand until May reports the Associated Press, just a couple of months before the IOC’s 2012 host city selection.

Paris 2012 spokesman Jerome Lenfant said Monday the bid committee has no comment on the case. IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said IOC president Jacques Rogge and the IOC ethics commission have been aware of the case for at least seven months.

March 22nd, 2005, 07:41 PM
Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Paris In Lead For 2012 Olympics Says Rival's Mayor
Posted 12:13 pm ET (GamesBids.com)

Paris has long been considered by many to be the frontrunner in the race for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. But now even the mayor of London, Paris' rival, realizes it.

Ken Livingstone told LBC radio, “we’ve closed the gap on Paris, but the truth is Paris is still ahead. No city is close to a majority on the first ballot”.

But the mayor insisted the decision on which city will host the Games was “still up for grabs”.

Livingstone said, looking at the balance of International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegates’ preferences, “at most Paris has got about 30 votes. We have 25 votes and none of the other cities has more than 20, and we’ve got about 30 to 40 delegates yet to express an opinion.

“If in the end it is Paris and London, the people who voted for Moscow, New York and Madrid will say what is my second vote”. He added, “the thing is these people are so skilled at not indicating which they favour and so when they are in any city, everyone thinks this is going really well because they are really good at avoiding bad press coverage. They should give us all a lesson”.

April 16th, 2005, 04:40 PM

Bloomberg Heads To Germany To Pitch New York's 2012 Olympic Bid

APRIL 16TH, 2005

Delegations from the five cities bidding on the 2012 Olympic Games will face off in Berlin this weekend.

On Sunday, each city will be given 10 minutes to tell more than 30 International Olympic Committee members why their city should host the summer games.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg left for Germany early Saturday to represent New York.

He will try to convince committee members that New York is better than Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow. But, the mayor admits it may be a hard sell since there are still several hurdles to clear.

"I don't quite know what you do if there's no stadium by the end of May, because then the other cities say, 'see they'll never get it' and the … In-Site Selection Committee has said, 'if your not going to do this just tell us,'" said Bloomberg.

The mayor also plans on attending a similar conference in Africa next month.

An IOC report assessing each city's technical plans for hosting the Games is due out June 6th. Their final decision is to be announced in Singapore on July 6th.

Art DeCoCK
April 16th, 2005, 06:49 PM
I'm looking forward to see olympics in NY. are there going to be some new stadiums built in town? on manhattan?

April 17th, 2005, 12:35 AM

Smaller Sports Could Get Some Big Help

Published: April 17, 2005

Trying to win the hearts of the International Olympic Committee members before they vote for the 2012 host city in July, New York's bid leaders are appealing to their wallets by offering free marketing assistance to every international sports federation for the seven years leading up to the Games.

Daniel L. Doctoroff, deputy mayor and founder of NYC2012, will unveil this inducement today alongside Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at a gathering of sports federation leaders and some I.O.C. members in Berlin. Doctoroff said he hoped this would become a powerful argument for New York, particularly for sports that attract little attention in the United States outside the Olympics.

The announcement comes as the five bid cities - New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow - make presentations today at one of the last large meetings of members before the entire 117-member committee convenes in Singapore for the selection on July 6. The Berlin event includes an I.O.C. executive board meeting and a major international sports convention. About 20 to 25 I.O.C. members are expected to attend.

London officials say they also have a major announcement planned.

Doctoroff will detail his proposed sports marketing council, which would have N.B.A. Commissioner David Stern as the chairman. For every international sports federation that expresses interest, NYC2012 will offer free assistance from people at New York-based companies who Doctoroff said he had enlisted as volunteers. Each federation would be given office space in the organizing committee headquarters and access to experts in marketing, sponsorship and event promotion.

"It's an opportunity to help these sports outside of the period of the Olympics," Stern said Friday in a telephone interview. "I think it is a very imaginative thing for the bid team to do. I was happy to help when asked."

The initiative aims to appeal to the self-interest of I.O.C. members, most of whom have allegiance to a particular sport. Most federations cannot afford high-powered marketing teams. They rely on the Games to highlight their sports, but it is often the only television exposure they get in the United States. Even the International Association of Athletics Federations has said it wants to increase its American presence despite track and field's popularity during the Olympics.

"For most of the sports, and I think you could say maybe all but four or so, we here in the United States represent a largely untapped market that previous Games in the U.S. have failed to capitalize on," Doctoroff said. "We think there is an enormous opportunity for sports like track and field. If you read the I.A.A.F.'s strategic plan, they clearly identify this gap, the United States question, as the most important strategic imperative."

NYC2012 has been using the city's concentration of corporate power as a selling point in its bid - trumpeting that seven of the world's 10 largest advertising companies are based in New York - but this is its first specific proposal.

The goal is to set New York apart from its European competitors with its economic advantages and appeal to I.O.C. voters, who are overwhelmingly from Europe. At one time, bid cities did this by lavishing voting members with gifts, trips and personal favors. In the wake of the Salt Lake City bribery scandal, the inducements have to help Olympic sports, not merely line members' pockets.

NYC2012's idea grew from its planners' meetings with international federation officials, many of whom expressed frustration at not being able to expand their sports in the United States.

"Most bid cities are so overwhelmed just getting the venues ready and organizing the Games that they don't take time to promote the sports," said Jim Easton, head of the International Archery Federation and one of the United States' three I.O.C. members. "Maybe they do it for the elite athletes, but they don't appeal to the average sportsman who would like to have a new sport to try."

Easton said three archery ranges were built outside Los Angeles before the 1984 Games, spawning club-level participation and crowds that filled the 4,500-seat archery site each day of the Games. Easton said the ranges were still used.

"Imagine if you can do that kind of thing in New York," he said.

Stern, who has promoted the N.B.A. internationally, said the key to cracking a new market was identifying current fans and potential fans, concentrating on ways to reach them and approaching sponsors interested in them.

"Not everybody is going to get huge TV ratings," he said. "But in New York City, there are loyal and devoted participants and fans in all kinds of sports, and that is valuable to these sports."

NYC2012 has timed the announcement for maximum impact, when bid leaders believe the I.O.C. begins seriously considering its choices.

April 17th, 2005, 12:35 AM
I'm looking forward to see olympics in NY. are there going to be some new stadiums built in town? on manhattan?


April 24th, 2005, 01:05 PM
Alright! NCY come on we can do it....

April 22, 2005

New York cleared of Olympic improprieties

The International Olympic Committee has cleared New York of suspected improprieties in its bidding to host the 2012 games.

The IOC had opened an inquiry this week into the bidding by New York and London, saying that city officials may have broken the rules in offering Olympic representatives last-minute incentives that were not included in the cities' final bids. In New York's case, the investigation specifically focused on a pledge to create an Olympic sports marketing council, details of which were presented last weekend in Berlin by Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff.

The IOC ethics commission said today that the city's bid committee was able to prove that the council was an "integral part" of its original proposal. The London organizers remain under scrutiny for promising incentives such as subsidies for the use of training facilities.


April 25th, 2005, 02:41 PM
April 25, 2005

Bloomberg pessimistic on 2012 Olympics odds

Sounding increasingly pessimistic about the city's Olympic bid, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has put New York's chances of winning the 2012 Summer Games at only 40% to 45%.

His estimate, at a dinner before a business group late last week, came hours after he criticized Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for saying the state can wait to vote on a stadium for Manhattan's West Side until after July 6, when the International Olympic Committee is expected to name a host city.

The stadium would be used for Olympic ceremonies and games, and IOC officials have said that approval is needed for New York City to win.


April 25th, 2005, 05:27 PM
readabet.com is no where near as optimistic as bloomberg:

Paris - 4/9
London - 11/9
New York - 20/1
Madrid - 25/1
Moscow - 66/1

Bookies called the pope correctly. I've been following bookies on general topics like this since I read James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0385503865/102-5703479-5461762?v=glance). It's a fascinating phenomenon.

April 26th, 2005, 12:44 AM
readabet.com is no where near as optimistic as bloomberg:

Paris - 4/9
London - 11/9
New York - 20/1
Madrid - 25/1
Moscow - 66/1

Bookies called the pope correctly. I've been following bookies on general topics like this since I read James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0385503865/102-5703479-5461762?v=glance). It's a fascinating phenomenon.

These numbers mean little. Do you really think London has a chance in this new "squeaky clean" environment? I'd be very surprised if they won in light of current events.

April 26th, 2005, 08:00 AM
The odds don't say that London will win.

For what it's worth, the up-to-date odds from the major betting houses:

Paddy Power predicted who would become Pope, the name the new Pope would choose, and was one day off on the number of days it would require to elect. :)

April 26th, 2005, 09:30 AM
So, you visit WiredNewYork and OddsChecker every day. Hmmmm....

April 26th, 2005, 10:01 AM
If there was an internet back in my sports gambling days, it would have been my home page.

April 26th, 2005, 08:10 PM
Tuesday, April 26, 2005

London 2012 Bid Not Damaged But Odds Lengthen
Posted 12:24 pm ET (GamesBids.com)

Although, the Evening Standard reports some International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials believe that IOC President Jacques Rogge and the IOC Ethics Commission are “nit-picking” too much in the race for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, and it is widely recognized in IOC circles that London 2012 has made huge strides in the last few months of the campaign because of the lobbying efforts of its bid chief Sebastian Coe and chief executive Keith Mills, the publicity surround the package of incentives announced last week in Berlin has lengthened the odds that London will be elected 2012 Summer Olympics host city.

The latest odds from Australia’s leading sports bookmaker Centrebet show Paris still in the lead at 1-2 from 2-5, London 11-4 from 9-4, New York at 10-1 unchanged, Madrid 12-1 from 14-1 and Moscow at 50-1 also unchanged.

The newspaper reports that apparently Paquerette Girard-Zapelli, the French judge responsible for policing the 2012 race, did not believe that the London 2012 bid team had broken any major rules in launching the package of incentives to athletes and sports federations. But the newspaper says it has learned that Rogge was “on the rampage and forced an ethics investigation following the unfortunate development”.

One IOC insider said Monday “the members are fed up with the nit-picking of Rogge and the Ethics Commission. Many feel the whole process has gone way over the top and the bidding is being choked of life”.

According to the newspaper former IOC marketing director Michael Payne, who worked for the organization for two decades said, “the IOC need to walk the fine line between encouraging a city to bid and be creative and not suffocating the bidding process. You do not address the excesses of some years ago by micro-managing the current rules process”.

Payne backed Coe’s view that the row over the incentives would not damage London’s bid. He said it wasn’t a death knell to London. “If anything, it could turn out to be a virtue since it is addressing issues that were problems at previous Games. In fact, some of the actions proposed were either encouraged by the IOC or have been written into the host city contracts as an obligation – such as the travel”.

One senior member of Rogge’s ruling executive board admitted, “we are going to have to make these rules much clearer”.

According to the Evening Standard, London’s bid won the best marks for its presentations skills when the IOC’s evaluation commission visited London in February. It reports that in terms of marketing and the technical prowess of the plans, London clearly has the ability to beat Paris. The commission is not expected to impose any sanctions on London 2012, says the Standard.

April 27th, 2005, 01:22 PM
Sports and the Wide World of Tomorrow


April 27, 2005


Bikers passing the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens. The 1939-40 and the 1964 World's Fairs were held at Flushing Meadows.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/i.gifn debating what the Olympics might deliver to New York, it might be worth recalling the forgotten legacy of Fishhooks McCarthy.

The line connecting Mr. McCarthy with the Summer Games is crooked or, at best, circuitous. But it offers a timely reminder that well before the current debate over whether New York needs the Olympic Games or a new stadium to accommodate them, two ambitious World's Fairs were also touted as cost-effective vehicles to expand the city's parks and public works. The analogy is not precise, but the question it raises is instructive: Did those fairs deliver on their promise of civic improvement?

Both fairs were held in Flushing Meadows, Queens, a site immortalized by F. Scott Fitzgerald as the fiery "valley of ashes" through which Jay Gatsby commuted in the 1920's between Manhattan and Long Island's gold coast. The valley was manmade, flanked by mounds of ashes up to 90 feet high that John A. McCarthy's company, under a sweetheart deal with his fellow Democrats in Tammany Hall, removed from Brooklyn's coal-burning furnaces and dumped at the rate of 100 or so railroad carloads a day.

Legend has it that Mr. McCarthy's moniker was inspired by his habit of thrusting his fists immutably into his pockets at the first sighting of any due bill. But when the city finally bowed to reformers and canceled its contract with Mr. McCarthy's company, Brooklyn Ash Removal, in 1934, a door was opened to transform the befouled meadows into New York's second-largest park and Robert Moses bullied his way through.

"Then the miracle happened - the idea of a World's Fair," Moses later wrote.

He, in effect, seized control of the 1939-40 World's Fair site to begin the meadows's transformation and organized the 1964-65 World's Fair to help finish it. "I think they were successful probably beyond anybody's expectations," said Adrian Benepe, who now holds Moses' old job as city parks commissioner.

A 17-day Olympics is not the same as a much-longer-lasting World's Fair, of course. And unlike a fair, the Olympics are typically not concentrated in one venue.

New York City's bid for the 2012 Olympics promises what its organizers say would be "the largest single investment" in parks and recreational facilities in the city's history and a legacy of other public works, including permanent housing in an Olympic Village in western Queens and transportation improvements in the metropolitan area, including the extension westward of the No. 7 subway line. (One legacy of the 1939 fair, in particular, was to shift New York's focus eastward to the Long Island suburbs.)

Beyond the potential economic benefits, the two fairs also had a cultural impact. The 1939 fair introduced television, plastics and the freeways of the future.

"It was influential," said Robert A. Caro, Moses' biographer. "It had a real impact, particularly on the vision of broad sweeping highways."

The 1964 fair paled in comparison but did expose Michelangelo's "Pietà" to millions and popularized the Belgian waffle.

"Fairs are a lot more successful economically than they seem, because we set our sights too narrow," said David Gelernter, a professor at Yale and the author of "1939: The Lost World of the Fair." The 1939 fair helped make Flushing Meadows-Corona Park possible, in part, because "a stupefyingly huge dump got cleaned up," Mr. Gelernter said.

It also helped improve the city's image. "The fair brought huge crowds to New York; they didn't spend enough money, but left with the impression that New York was the most exciting place on earth," Mr. Gelernter said. "And the years following the park and the war - 1945 through the mid-'50's - were boom years for the city, years in which the city became the art capital of the world and the most glamorous place on earth. Many things helped, but the fair was a huge factor."

Each of New York's 20th-century World's Fairs drew tens of millions of visitors, provided jobs and generated tax revenue. The first led to the linking of the Grand Central Parkway to the new Triborough Bridge and spurred the completion of the airport that would later be named after Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia.

And, in the nation's biggest reclamation project of its time, the meadows's ash heaps were leveled and covered with topsoil. The scooped-out areas were used to create two artificial lakes, including the 84-acre Meadow Lake, now the city's largest.

Both fairs failed to generate a projected profit. But to the degree that they were deemed financial failures, they were, in part, victims of unrealistic expectations. Invoking Isaiah, Moses said the two fairs had given the city "beauty for ashes" and that the 1964-65 fair did "more for New York than any other comparable event in three centuries."

Besides, he maintained, "a fair is not a business in the ordinary sense" because corporate lenders profit in other ways, visitors experience a voyage of discovery and the community is left with permanent improvements. "As to the small minority of acid skeptics, grouches and jaundiced-eyed grumblers," he said, "the public pays them no mind. Critics build nothing."

The site of the second fair still includes the New York City building, which now houses the Queens Museum, the Unisphere, the heliport (now Terrace on the Park, one of the city's highest-grossing concessions), the Hall of Science, the old Singer Bowl (now part of the National Tennis Center) and the derelict New York State Pavilion.

When the second fair relinquished the site after seven years, officials entertained grand plans for, among other things, a great sports park. "Hopefully," Thomas P.F. Hoving, the parks commissioner, said in 1967, "someday maybe we'll have a world Olympics there."

Moses compared the fair to the Olympics he had witnessed in Rome and Tokyo. "The Olympics furnish common ground," he wrote. "The Olympics are a call to action, not a monument to the futility of words."

Jay L. Kriegel, the executive director of NYC2012, the Olympic organizing committee, said that in the last few decades, "the Olympics have replaced the worlds fairs as the single biggest event in the world, as the world's gathering place."

If the city wins the Olympics in 2012, the 1939 Fountain of the Planets in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park would be reconfigured for whitewater events and the lakes would be adapted for flat-water rowing.

"The 1939 fair did the heavy lifting, reshaping the landscape, and the '64 fair left behind edifices that have been adaptively used," Mr. Benepe said. "Without them, the dump probably would have been closed down, but there would still be a heavily polluted Flushing River and borderline businesses. All in all, it created the city's second-largest park, left a legacy of cultural facilities and a festival grounds that on an average weekend is more of a World's Fair than ever."


The Unisphere, the theme structure of the 1964 World’s Fair, right, and the IBM exhibit, left.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

May 10th, 2005, 03:12 PM
Tuesday, May 10, 2005

London 2012 Surges In Latest BidIndex Update
Posted 12:12 am ET (GamesBids.com)

GamesBids.com today released an update to BidIndex for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games bid. The update comprehends information included in candidate city bid books and from events and information that have recently unfolded. This is the final update prior to next month’s anticipated release of the IOC candidate evaluation report on June 6.

Paris maintains the highest score, 65.88, down 0.63 from the last update. A fundamentally strong plan makes the bid a top contender in the race.

The biggest gain goes to London, up 2.32 to 63.40, strengthened by a continuously aggressive style and highly competitive plan that will attract the attention of IOC members.

Madrid is off 0.80 to 61.11, a good score indicating that it is a strongly competitive bid but held back due to new security fears, while New York increased 0.73 to 59.62 to close in.

Moscow’s bid continues to exhibit deficiencies that will need to be improved on future bids. The Russian bid fell 0.51 to 49.77 – a score indicating that it is not likely a contender in this race.

In comparison, for the 2008 Olympic bid winner Beijing had a record-high BidIndex score of 75.44 while Toronto scored 63.79 and Paris rated 58.71.

The next BidIndex update is expected after the June 6 release of the IOC evaluation report.

BidIndex, a model developed by statisticians and bid experts at GamesBids.com, has been successfully used since 2001. It is comprised of over 100 critical fundamentals and information obtained from experts and Olympic insiders. BidIndex was reviewed in the March 2004 edition of Significance Magazine, a publication by the Royal Statistical Society.

BidIndex is not intended to rate or rank the bids based on technical quality, but on how the bids will perform based on IOC statistical voting patterns. History has proven that the best technical bids often do not win but other factors such as geo-politics usually have a significant impact.

Full BidIndex details can be found on the BidIndex page (http://www.gamesbids.com/english/content/bidindex.shtml) or send GamesBids.com a message (http://www.gamesbids.com/english/content/feedback.shtml) for more information or comments from BidIndex developers. BidIndex Results
Paris, 65.88 (down 0.63)
London, 63.40 (up 2.32)
Madrid, 61.11 (down 0.80)
New York, 59.62 (up 0.73)
Moscow, 49.77 (down 0.51)

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Reaction To BidIndex By Bid Cities
Posted 12:58 pm ET (GamesBids.com)

Recent 2012 bid index results by GamesBids.com and an American-based Olympic Web site have prompted reactions from officials of the two cities leading both indexes.

Although Paris still leads the five cities bidding for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, the GamesBids.com BidIndex has London making the biggest gains and narrowing the gap between Paris and London.

London communications director Mike Lee said, “the overall picture that emerges from these latest pieces of analysis is continued good news for London. It reflects the feedback we are getting in terms of the strength of our bid and the momentum that has been built. We may have our own minor quibbles with some of the details but overall the picture is good news”.

He added, “there is a sense that London has a real momentum in this race and that technically there is very little to choose between the candidates. It feels like a race that is too close to call at this stage”.

Meanwhile, Paris 2012 bid head Philippe Baudillon seems to agree with Lee. He said, “these results just show what we have been saying for the last 18 months, that it is a close race and a tough competition with so many great cities and powerful countries competing. “People have tagged us as frontrunners for some time but we are never going to say that we are. We are focusing on our own bid and not what our competitors are doing”.

May 21st, 2005, 08:09 PM
New York isn't the only bid city with problems.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Paris 2012 Promotes Bid At Tennis Competition – Group Urges Boycott Of Bid
Posted 10:00 am ET (GamesBids.com)

Paris 2012 will feature a number of initiatives at the 2005 Tennis French Open at the Roland-Garros stadium complex May 23 to June 5, to show the French Federation of Tennis’ support for the Paris 2012 Summer Olympic Games bid.

There will be displays of support from the public, stadium employees and competing athletes; the centre court and other focal areas will be decorated with the Paris 2012 logo and motto “L’Amour des Jeux”; and two mobile studios positioned around the complex will offer all those attending the events an opportunity to show their support for the bid.

Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that Sikh leaders in Britain have written all the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members urging them not to vote for Paris.

According to the Guardian they claim that the controversial French law banning the Sikh dastar (turban) along with other religious articles of faith in schools is discriminatory and that Paris does not deserve the Games.

The Sikh Federation of UK chairman Amrik Singh wrote in a letter to IOC members. “we publicly stated that, if the law in France was implemented to deny Sikh children the right to wear the turban, we would have little choice but to lobby against the Paris bid for 2012. In a meeting at the French Embassy in London in January 2004 we informed them that we meant business. We believe it is inconceivable for such a prestigious international event to be hosted in a country where the laws infringe the basic human right of religious freedom”.

The federation has urged other religious groups to boycott Paris’ bid as well as calling for a boycott of French goods and an international embargo on the purchase of defence equipment.

Copyright (c) GamesBids.com

Saturday, May 21, 2005

London Businesses Withdraw Support For London 2012
Posted 10:03 am ET (GamesBids.com)

The Marshgate Lane Business Group representing more than half of the 300 businesses to be relocated if London wins the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, has withdrawn its support for London 2012 and has written to International Olympic Committee (IOC) members saying “we write with a heavy heart, because since the bid was announced we have supported the principle of London winning, but only on the basis that the business relocations were dealt with fairly. They have not been”.

The group said its members owned about half of the 500 acres of land required to host the Games. It said $826 million had been allocated to relocate all the business, when the real cost was closer to $2.75 billion.

The group said the result of London winning the Games would mean they would lose their livelihoods and businesses, and about 15,000 of their employees would be rendered jobless”.

Mike Lee, communications for London 2012, told the BBC “this latest effort to undermine the bid as a part of their commercial negotiation is not really the right way to go about this. We will be caught in the middle of it”.

He said, “I think they know that there is a deal on the table and hopefully that can be reached in due course”. He added he believed before July 6 (when the host city is announced) or perhaps afterwards, the issues will be settled.

Lee reportedly played down the significance of the group’s letter to IOC members.

Lee also rejected claims that London winning the bid would cost 15,000 of the group’s employees their jobs, saying that economic studies done in the area show that thousands and thousands of new jobs will be created.

Copyright (c) GamesBids.com

May 22nd, 2005, 09:50 AM
drama drama drama

May 23rd, 2005, 03:21 PM
More Olympic burlesque

Monday, May 23, 2005

Britain’s Prince William A No-Show At 2012 Host City Vote
Posted 9:54 am ET (GamesBids.com)

A British Web site reports that Britain’s Prince William has refused to go to Singapore in July to support London’s 2012 bid when International Olympic Committee (IOC) elects the host city for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The reason - he wants to watch a rugby match being held in New Zealand at the same time.

Bid organizers had been confident his influence would be instrumental in London’s success.

Labour party politician Ian Davidson said, “it would appear Prince William has chosen pleasure over duty. His absence might cost Britain the Games. That would not set a good precedent for his time as King”.

But the royal family reportedly insists the Princes Royal – previously known as Princess Anne – will represent them at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting despite Prince William’s absence. The Prince’s communication secretary says, “he will be looking to support the bid in various ways. The royal family will be represented in Singapore by the Princess Royal".

Monday, May 23, 2005

May 23rd, 2005, 06:00 PM
London is falling apart at the seems. Still it would apear if we dont get the stadium inline in time we wont be seeing any games unless we travel to PAris....

June 3rd, 2005, 12:57 AM
After Cheering Stops, Arenas Would Endure

The waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, could be transformed into a site for water sports and beach
volleyball if the 2012 Olympics are held in New York.

Published: June 3, 2005

The fates of the 2012 Olympics and the proposed West Side stadium have become so intertwined that it sometimes seems as if all the Summer Games would be played at the railyards on West 33rd Street.

But Olympic planners say there is great deal more at stake for the city as a whole, and for the outlying region. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has said that the vote on the stadium scheduled in Albany today is crucial to the city's bid; the International Olympic Committee will begin its selection process on July 6.

If the city succeeds in winning the Olympics, it will mean changes in many neighborhoods around the city, where Olympic planners envision many of the sporting events taking place.

Planners have proposed restoring the dilapidated 369th Regiment Armory, at the north end of Fifth Avenue, to its Art Deco splendor. The armory, in a parklike setting on the Harlem River, would be used for boxing matches.

Directly across the river in the Bronx, the $76.5 million Bronx Olympic Velodrome and Arena would rise on the shoreline near the crumbling Bronx Terminal Market.

In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the $144.6 million Olympic Aquatic Center would be built on a 35-acre parcel along the East River that was once home to rusting piers, factories and warehouses.

Leaders of the city's bid committee, NYC2012, say the Olympics would provide a singular opportunity to build projects around the five boroughs that the city could never afford on its own: athletic fields and equestrian centers, recreation areas along the waterfront, world class training centers and exhibition halls for elite athletes. They estimate that the Games would result in the creation of 900 acres of new parkland.

"The Games will provide a catalyst to get new facilities built and the existing ones improved," said Jay Carson, a senior adviser to NYC2012. "Given the numbers of people and the ethnic diversity in New York City, there's a built-in constituency, a hometown crowd, for every sport. But New York currently lacks adequate facilities for the sports."

Some of these projects would probably be welcomed by their neighborhoods, while others seem a more difficult fit. Still others may prove far more costly to build than anyone now imagines. If the city wins the Games, the armory, the velodrome and the aquatic center would all be part of what Olympic planners describe as the athletic legacy that would remain for all New Yorkers long after the 16 days of Olympic contests are over.

But the legacy of these projects in other Olympic cities is mixed, and skeptics have raised questions about whether some of New York's would become costly white elephants after the Games are over and the athletes have moved on. Would the Bronx velodrome or the Staten Island equestrian center really stay popular after 2012, and would the city be willing to pay for their upkeep?

In Barcelona, Spain, the 1992 Games helped revitalize the city's waterfront, but in Athens, site of the 2004 Olympic Games, the fencing, hockey, softball, kayak and canoeing facilities are silent and empty. Though the soccer stadium in Athens continues to draw competitive teams and large crowds, the roof at the basketball field house leaks and the water at the rowing center in Skoinias has turned brackish and brown. Maintaining the Olympic facilities there could run as high as $100 million a year, according to newspaper reports in Greece and elsewhere.

The situation is only modestly better in Sydney, Australia, where the government spends $46 million a year maintaining the sites of the 2000 Olympic Games. The velodrome and the equestrian and shooting centers require steep subsidies. Even the former Olympic stadium is in dire financial straits, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald. And the Olympic mountain bike track in western Sydney has been closed because there were so few users.

"In Athens they built so many facilities that are underutilized today," said Robert A. Baade, a sports economist at Lake Forest College who worked with the Greek government to evaluate the impact of the Games. "It's the same thing in Sydney. The problem is commonplace. I don't know how New York escapes the same sort of fate."

Olympic advocates in New York say they have taken great pains to learn from the mistakes in other cities, and that they plan to preserve sports sites by linking them to sports associations on a lasting basis. Instead of concentrating many of the sites in a single Olympic park outside the city, which often makes them difficult for people to use, planners say they have tried to select disparate locations in the city's five boroughs, hoping to increase the chances that they will be embraced by their neighborhoods after the Games are gone.

Andrew Winters, the committee's director of planning and design, noted that no sport is foreign in New York City, where there are large immigrant communities from virtually every country in the world. In Athens, he said, softball is an oddity, making repeated use of the baseball diamond unlikely.

Planners say they have already proposed long-term uses for the sites after the Games, hoping, for example, to persuade universities to base their rowing programs in the flat water courses to be built at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, while turning the whitewater course there into a retail concession. The Staten Island equestrian center could be used by the city's many horse enthusiasts, they say, although it would duplicate a similar site at the home of the United States equestrian team in Gladstone, N.J.

Deidre Murphy, a road cyclist who competed in the 2000 Olympics, said there were hundreds of cyclists in New York who would be interested in using the Bronx velodrome, which would be the only enclosed bike track outside of California.

Responding to skepticism about the long-term financial needs of the projects, Mr. Winters of NYC2012 acknowledged that government subsidies were required to keep open velodromes in Europe, where indoor tracks are far more popular than in the United States. So, he said, the Bronx velodrome has been designed so that sections of the track could be removed, allowing badminton, volleyball and other sports to be played on the infield, and broadening its appeal.

"In New York City there's just a tremendous undersupply of facilities, given the enormous number of school-age children," said Richard Kahan, a founder of Take the Field, a group helping to rebuild school athletic fields in the city. "There's so much unfulfilled demand for any kind of facility that anything we build will be intensely used."

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

June 6th, 2005, 01:09 PM
Yes! Now is up to New York to make the promise about building that stadium! Then we will be Ok!


June 06, 2005

New York in top three to host 2012 Olympics

New York City is among the top three cities bidding to host the 2012 Olympics, according to a 114-page report released by the International Olympic Committee’s evaluation commission a month before the IOC issues its final decision.

According the IOC’s report, the city’s $3 billion budget is considered “achievable,” although New York City’s bid had “no guarantees” regarding Olympic sites, such as the proposed West Side Stadium that Mayor Michael Bloomberg says is crucial to winning the Olympics. A vote by the state’s Public Authorities Control Board, comprising Gov. George Pataki, state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, is slated for this afternoon after being postponed three times in as many weeks.

Like New York, the top two cities—Paris and London—were also said to have “achievable” budget plans by the IOC, which called the Paris and London bids “very high quality.” The report stopped short of giving the same accolades to New York City’s plan. Moscow and Madrid are also bidding.

Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff praised the IOC report, saying it “makes clear that this race is neck and neck and that New York is firmly in the top tier,” and that New York is “in a great position to win in Singapore on July 6, so long as the stadium is approved.”


June 6th, 2005, 01:16 PM
Check out the website:


June 6th, 2005, 04:22 PM
Stadium Plan Rejected In Albany
Assembly Speaker Rejects $300 Million In State Funding
Jun 6, 2005 3:28 pm US/Eastern

NEW YORK (CBS) The powerful leader of the state Assembly on Monday rejected a plan to approve $300 million in critical public funding for a $2 billion stadium viewed as the key to New York City's 2012 Olympics bid.

Without Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's support, the state funding cannot move forward.

"This plan is at best, premature," Silver said, indicating he was willing to continue talking about the issue. The state board could reconsider the issue again later.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that without state approval for the stadium project, the city has no chance of winning the summer games. He had heavily lobbied Silver in recent days for support of the stadium that was also to serve as home for the football New York Jets.

"I had not been able to persuade him," Bloomberg said after Silver's announcement. "As for our Olympic bid, rejection of the stadium will seriously damage our chances."

Silver said the West Side stadium project and its related commercial development would hamper efforts to redevelop lower Manhattan, which he represents, in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center towers.

"Am I to sell out the community I have fought for?" Silver said at a state Capitol news conference.

The Manhattan Democrat's decision was announced less than an hour before the scheduled start of a meeting of the state's Public Authorities Control Board at which the funding proposal was to have been presented after three earlier postponements.

Silver, Republican Gov. George Pataki and state Senate Republican Majority Leader Joseph Bruno each have a voting
representative on the three-member PACB and its actions must be unanimous.

While Pataki has been a stadium backer, Bruno and Silver had remained on the fence.

Earlier Monday, Bruno had said he was willing to have the state board approve the stadium funding contingent on the International Olympic Committee approving New York City's bid at its July 6 site selection session in Singapore.

Bruno said negotiations might continue beyond Monday.

"Who knows what tomorrow or next week brings," the Senate leader said.

New York City is in competition with Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow for the 2012 games.

Earlier Monday, an IOC report on the sites had given highest marks to Paris, but also had praise for London, Madrid and New York City. There was criticism of Moscow.

Dan Doctoroff, the main supporter of the city's 2012 bid, said after the report came out: "We have, as they (IOC) pointed out, really only one liability and that liability is thus far our inability to deliver a guaranteed done Olympic stadium."

The stadium plan has been contentious from the start.

Supporters, including Pataki and Bloomberg, have touted its economic development potential.

Detractors, including the owner of the neighboring Madison Square Garden, have questioned everything from the process that would allow the Jets to buy the property where the stadium would be built, to the wisdom of spending large amounts of public money.

Over the weekend, Silver said: "My concern is the future of downtown, the future of ground zero, the 24 million square feet of commercial space that are part of the West Side complex and how that competes with the redevelopment of downtown."

Bloomberg responded: "I will do everything I can to rebuild lower Manhattan but I also have a responsibility for other parts of the city. We have to make sure we continue to build in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and all parts of Manhattan." The two politicians met over the weekend for discussions

(© MMV, CBS Broadcasting Inc., All Rights Reserved.)

June 6th, 2005, 06:20 PM
I can't believe you're happy that New York has effectively lost its chance to host the Olympics. I understand you're all for Jersey City, but it's not like it was competing with NYC to host the games. Why don't you just state it outright for everyone on this forum to read that you don't wish to see any more development in New York City. I wonder how Jersey City would fair if that actually happened.

June 6th, 2005, 06:31 PM
GAME OVER!!!!!!!!
It is official from CBS News, NYC will not build the stadium and the Jets will stay in the Meadowlands and NYC is more than likely out of the running for the Olympics!!! YES New Jersey keeps the Jets and they will move in with the Giants and the new Meadowlands Stadiu. Thank god it didn't get built it would have killed the neighborhood as well as Lower Manhattan.

Overtime Loss For West Side Stadium Supporters
Assembly Speaker Rejects $300 Million In State Funding

Jun 6, 2005 6:09 pm US/Eastern
NEW YORK (CBS) New York City’s bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics appeared in danger Monday when a state board rejected a plan for $300 million in critical public funding for a $2 billion stadium on Manhattan’s West Side.

The state Public Authorities Control Board vote came after Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver came out against the plan. Without Silver’s support, the state funding cannot move forward.

“This plan is at best, premature,” Silver said, indicating he was willing to continue talking about the issue. The state board could reconsider the issue again later.

“If we don’t have a stadium, we cannot get the Olympics,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said after Silver’s announcement.
He had heavily lobbied Silver in recent days for support of the stadium that would also to serve as home for the football New York Jets.

“I had not been able to persuade him,” Bloomberg said.

The mayor said he would talk with members of the U.S. Olympic Committee about how to proceed.

Silver said the West Side stadium project and its related commercial development would hamper efforts to redevelop lower Manhattan, which he represents, in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center towers.

“Am I to sell out the community I have fought for?” Silver said at a state Capitol news conference. The speaker renewed his call for officials to consider putting the stadium in Queens.

The Democrat’s decision was announced less than an hour before the scheduled start of the board’s meeting at which the funding proposal was to have been presented after three earlier postponements.

Silver, Republican Gov. George Pataki and state Senate Republican Majority Leader Joseph Bruno each have a voting representative on the three-member PACB and its actions must be unanimous.

The PACB meeting, scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., didn’t get underway until almost 5:30 p.m., a delay caused, in part, by the presence of more than 100 highly vocal stadium supporters and by continued behind-the-scene talks that dragged on through the afternoon.

In the end, the board brought up the plan, but only Pataki’s representative voted for it. Representatives of Silver and Bruno abstained.

While Pataki has been a stadium backer, Bruno and Silver had remained on the fence.

Earlier Monday, Bruno had said he was willing to have the state board approve the stadium funding contingent on the International Olympic Committee approving New York City’s bid at its July 6 site selection session in Singapore. He offered that as an amendment at the PACB meeting, but the motion failed to gain a second.

Bruno said even before the PACB’s meeting that negotiations might continue beyond Monday.

“Who knows what tomorrow or next week brings,” the Senate leader said.

New York City is in competition with Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow for the 2012 games.

Earlier Monday, an IOC report on the sites had given highest marks to Paris, but also had praise for London, Madrid and New York City. There was criticism of Moscow.

Dan Doctoroff, the main supporter of the city’s 2012 bid, said after the report came out: “We have, as they (IOC) pointed out, really only one liability and that liability is thus far our inability to deliver a guaranteed done Olympic stadium.”

The stadium plan has been contentious from the start.

Supporters, including Pataki and Bloomberg, have touted its economic development potential.

Detractors, including the owner of the neighboring Madison Square Garden, have questioned everything from the process that would allow the Jets to buy the property where the stadium would be built to the wisdom of spending large amounts of public money.

Over the weekend, Silver had said: “My concern is the future of downtown, the future of ground zero, the 24 million square feet of commercial space that are part of the West Side complex and how that competes with the redevelopment of downtown.”

“We delivered real proposals to address those concerns, but so far he hasn’t been willing to participate in that discussion,” Bloomberg said Monday.

“We did put on the table proposals that would slow down or take away incentives on the West Side until lower Manhattan was really going very well in terms of attracting companies. And, the incentives for downtown would be much greater than for anyplace else,” the mayor added. “That was not enough.”

The NFL has said the Jets can host the 2010 Super Bowl, but only if the team has the new stadium. The Jets currently play their home games in New Jersey, along with the New York Giants at Giants Stadium. New York officials have said they fear the Jets, without a Manhattan stadium, will stay in New Jersey where the Giants are going to build their own new stadium.

June 6th, 2005, 06:47 PM
More details from the Times:

Olympic Panel Praises Paris; New York Bid Is Reeling


Published: June 6, 2005

The New York bid for the 2012 Olympics was left scrambling for survival today as the proposed West Side Stadium project loomed near total defeat, all on the same day an International Olympic Committee report said the absence of a stadium was the one major drawback of the city's bid.

With Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff insisting there is no backup plan to the Manhattan site, the bid appears in serious peril as the I.O.C. prepares to vote on a host city for 2012 at a meeting in Singapore on July 6.

Several hours after Mr. Doctoroff made his remarks, the stadium plan appeared all but doomed after Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he could not support the plan and would vote against it this afternoon. His vote was needed for the plan to be approved.

His stance was a huge blow to the city's Olympic aspirations and the years-long effort by Mr. Doctoroff, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki to champion the stadium as the centerpiece of the New York bid - and the stadium's supporters were clearly frustrated by the rejection.

"For weeks the speaker has said that New York couldn't win the Olympics and so he didn't need to approve the stadium," said Jay Kriegel, executive director of NYC2012, the New York bid committee. "Today, in an extraordinary irony, just when the I.O.C. made clear that New York has an exceptional bid and can win, the speaker announced that he opposed the stadium. Like every other reason given, including the needs of Lower Manhattan, this excuse has been answered. The speaker's opposition today is inexplicable and terribly damaging to New York's and America's Olympic bid."

The I.O.C. evaluation commission released its report on the five finalists - New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow - one month before the full body of eligible I.O.C. voters meet to select the winner. Paris's bid received the most praise, with London close behind. New York's review was largely positive, except for the stadium.

"If we don't have it, we're going to have a significant issue," Mr. Doctoroff, the New York bid leader, said in a conference call this morning, after the committee's report was released but before the stadium vote. He did not respond to calls for further comment late today.

By design, the evaluation commission did not rank the cities. Its judgments were stated in largely neutral terms, with its praise meted out carefully. The commission aims in a technical way to alert the I.O.C. of major issues with the bids.

So what was presented today was a staff report that may or may not influence the final vote by individual members. As Mr. Doctoroff pointed out this morning, many I.O.C. members will vote based on much more personal considerations, including the plans for their individual sport, the marketing potential, or the sense of how well a city will cater to the athletes. That is why the bid leaders have painstakingly courted individual I.O.C. members over the past year to make those cases.

Paris was lauded for a "very high quality" presentation and drew no criticism. London also got a "very high quality" compliment, but had small red flags raised on its expensive transportation upgrade and "crowded" Olympic Village.

New York drew a "high quality" assessment of its presentation, with the lack of stadium approval being its one major perceived flaw. Madrid received a "high quality" tag too, but the report flagged its accommodation plan for relying on hotels an hour's train ride outside the city and for a village design that needs revision.

Moscow fared worst of all, rebuked for a "lack of detailed planning" that made it "difficult for the Commission to evaluate the project."

Mr. Doctoroff said this morning that he considered the report a confirmation that New York remains competitive with Paris and London - if the stadium were to be approved.

"While it's hard to distinguish who the top city might be, it's clear there is a top tier of cities and it is very clear that we're in it," Mr. Doctoroff said on the conference call.

Paris emerged from the report as the city with the fewest logistical issues. It has an Olympic stadium - the Stade de France - in place and operating since 1998. The report called Paris's hotel accommodation plans "excellent." Its transportation system got the highest praise of the five cities.

This is Paris' third bid for the Games in recent years, having lost out to Barcelona for 1992 and Beijing for 2008, and has altered the plans and approach based on its past failures.

"Today Paris 2012 is more determined than ever to demonstrate its Olympic commitment, with one sole objective in mind -- having the honor to be awarded the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games," the Paris committee said in a statement on its Web site.

London, New York and Madrid are all bidding for the first time in recent years. Moscow hosted the 1980 Games, which was boycotted by the United States and many western nations because of the Soviet Union's intervention in Afghanistan.

London won high marks for its "high level of planning," and its plan for an Olympic Park in East London. While increasing levels of ozone pollution in the city present a concern, legislation and actions, including a "low-emission zone" and a "congestion charge," indicate that its air pollutants may fall within World Health Organization and European Union target levels by 2010, the report said.

The Olympic report also praised London's "well-developed" accommodation plan, and its system of airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airports, was described as "one of the world's strongest."

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

June 6th, 2005, 06:56 PM
Check out the website:


Oh forget it! :(

June 6th, 2005, 09:04 PM
Pianoman as you wish me to state that I'am against development, I'AM NOT against NYC development but the stadium was wrong. If they built it in Queens this be a song of a different tune and I would support it. I love the buildings being built throughout NY, there beautiful and bold and yet graceful. I'am for Jersey City and THE WHOLE STATE OF NEW JERSEY for that matter. NY for far to long has been treating NJ like its personal whipping post so to keep a team that has been playing in NJ for decades from leaving is a HUGE victory. JC would undoubtly faulter if NYC stopped developing or went into econmic decline. I know Jersey City is benefitng from it's natural position across from NYC and when NYC does well Jersey City does well so naturally I'm all for development but the stadium was in the wrong spot and I have friends in the area that were concerened about getting displaced and having the fabric of the neighborhood ruined. Like I said it's not that I don't want the Olympics because the Olympics would have benefited JC as well with tourism and hotels and things like that and JC in 2012 is going to be far stronger than it is now so I would of liked it, but not if it cost NJ losing a team and losing money as a result and a great neighborhood being torn apart. NJ would have benefited as well because the basketball and soccer games would have been played in the Meadowlands, but I'am a studying urban developer in college and going into internships and it was a bad place for a stadium. Also before anybody jumps on me, I know they are New York teams but they have been playing here for 30 years and if the Meadowlands are good enough for the Giants to build a new stadium, it should be good enough for the Jets to jump right in with them.

June 6th, 2005, 10:37 PM
Fine, if you say you're for development, I'm not gonna call you a liar to your face. It just seems that you're biased towards Jersey City and you have unreasonable expectations for it to become almost a competitor to either Midtown or Downtown. I'd like to address a couple things. First, you shouldn't be celebrating the vote against the stadium funding as a victory for New Jersey. It's not like the state ever played a role in the negotiations. If anything, the only Jersey entity that should be claiming victory is the Giants, who seems like they have a better chance at continuing to lease their Jersey stadium (old or new) to the Jets. Secondly, I find your accusation of New York treating New Jersey as a whipping post to be crude and unfounded. I personally think Jersey City has faired much better than Long Island City or Downtown Brooklyn over the last decade in attracting business and growing as a community, and that is due in large part to the tax structure in place in New York City. So, the NYC taxes have actually helped New Jersey. Thirdly, I find your insight about urban development to be incorrect. Since the stadium was to be built on railyards, which are immediately surrounded by bus parking lots, garbage truck depots, and old empty industrial buildings, I fail to see the truth in how your "friends in the area that were concerned about getting displaced and having the fabric of the neighborhood ruined." If anything, the very opposite would happen. A long-desolate area would for the first time actually become a viable neighborhood with new housing for mixed income, cultural and recreational venues, and the extension of the 7 line. The only argument that could support your claim is that of traffic, but as it is clear that the type of parking available at the Meadowlands is out of the question for the West Side Stadium, mass transit would be prioritized. Besides, 8 games per year is not a lot, especially considering they'd be on Sunday afternoons when traffic is much less in Manhattan than during the week. Fourthly, you have no right to claim that the Jets should stay in New Jersey just because they've been there for 30 years. They clearly want their own stadium to call home, and deserve the privilege to build where they want to. After all, they're the New York Jets, not the New Jersey Jets, which raises another interesting point: you're so against this, but why haven't you voiced opposition to the Nets moving to Brooklyn? That's a team which has not only played in New Jersey for 30 years, but has also been called a New Jersey team for that long as well. But getting back to the topic at hand, the Jets should be able to build in Manhattan because I can think of no other private enterprise that would willingly foot 75% of the bill for a 2.2 billion-dollar stadium that would also be used by the city for huge events like the Final Four and the Olympics, which would finally end the unfair monopoly of MSG over big events. Lastly, if you're really for New Jersey, just think of this: a huge percentage of unionized construction workers who work in New York City are from Manhattan. I know because I used to take the bus into Port Authority every day for four years during high school, and when I couldn't take the bus from the PNC Bank Arts Center, which is usually full of businessmen and other professionals, I took buses from the working-class neighborhoods of Hazlet and Keyport, which carry a bunch of construction workers. These guys depend on large projects like this for their jobs, and right now, I'm sure they're incredibly disappointed at Silver for personally taking away some of their job opportunities. So, that's all I have. Needless to say, I feel very strongly about the project. And it's not because I'm a New York City-superiorite. I am, in fact, a regular New Jerseyite.

June 6th, 2005, 11:39 PM
Jersey City may not be a competitor to Mid and Downtown, but it is a hell of a competiter to BKLYN . I see nothing wrong with seeing my city do well and wanting it to stop at nothing to be the great major city that it is destined to become. When people ask I say I'm from JC proudly, I don't say I live 10mins outside NY or just say I live in NJ. I have alot of hometown pride because I grew up watching this city turn around and reinvent itself and this is my hometown and I have never lived in any other city or house for that matter and I love where I'm from and I think we are the best big city in the state barnone.

In regards to the Nets comment, I have voiced my oposition to the Nets moving I have been a Nets fan since I was 6 thats was my first game I went to see with my father. I love that the Nets kick the Knicks ass everytime they play and too see all the New Yorkers get shut up and squirm by a NEW JERSEY team. The only reason NY wants them is because the KNICKS are horrible and the Nets have been doing so well in recent years. I have singed peitions to stop them from moving and have joind forces with some of the resident in Brooklyn who don't want the stadium, so don't even try to call me on that because your wrong about that. There are posts through out this forum that I have posted about this topic. I make atleast 10 Nets games a year if I can!!! I hope now that project gets killed too and they go to Newark with the Devils because construction there has started already while in Brooklyn that site has not been touched and they belong in NJ. I will post pics soon that I took of both sites and you can see for yourself.

In regards to the urban development comment, I appreciate and respect your opinion but I feel I'am right about the urban development stand because it would have caused pollution in the Hudson River (New Jersey did studies on that), take money away from Lower Manhattan which would be a shot in the foot for the economy and it would have killed that neighborhood. I agree that railyards and warehouse arent good either, but you use smart developing not plopping a huge stadium in the middle of it. Put residential buildings there not a mammoth staidum. Also the 7 project was killed a recently I believe if i'm not mistaken and if I'am then it should benefit the Javits Center and the area.

Another thing, I do have "friends" as you put it there from high school that moved there and most recently a close friend of mine just started working at a law firm down in Chelsea and just graduated from the New England School of Law 2 years ago.

In regards to the Jets, yea I do have that right to say that because what all of the sudden it's not good enough for them. Hell the Giants are building there so it cant be all that bad. The new stadium isn't even going to be named after the Giants so naming rights will not be an issue and they could be equal partners. If you looked in my post as well I said before anyone jumps all over me I know there New York teams but if the Meadowlands is good for the Giants to build a new stadium why not join them. Also whats wrong with the new stadium in the Meadowlands hosting the Super Bowl or other events that the stadium would have hosted. Why because it's in New Jersey please cmon.

Also I'am all for unionized workers my father works for PATH and is part of a union so I know what blue collar work is like because I worked there for a while, I come from a blue collar/middle class family in the inner-city. My father is a signalman and my mother is a teacher in the JC public schools. I know how important these jobs are for them because I also worked on construction and excavation sites for homes as well, but put them to work in Lower Manhattan get them on the new projects, which there will be plenty of work for them. The stadium was not right for that area of the city. If they built it in Queens I wouldn't have much to say because it would be in a larger area, not on a little area in Manhattan. If the Jets really cared about unionized workers in NYC they would offer a plan B in Queens and not act like a spoiled brat by saying if it's not in Manhattan well go back to NJ.

June 7th, 2005, 12:12 AM
Okay, sorry about the Nets comment. I didn't know you were so active in opposing it. Good luck trying though, because hardly any people, except the few remaining artists who live on the site, are against it. The Ratner project is as good as done. But getting back to the topic at hand, you still give the same argument to oppose the stadium - the fact that the site for it is not appropriate. Just take a couple of factors into consideration. Firstly, the Jets have repeatedly said that they will not build in Queens for several reasons, one of them economic, and the other, the fact being that so many of their fans are from Jersey and shouldn't have to travel to the far reaches of Queens. Secondly, the Far West Side is not a "little area in Manhattan," as you put it. It's gigantic - a 59-block area that is being rezoned for higher density residential and commercial development. It's more than enough room to put a stadium, build grand new boulevards with enclosed parks, and revitalize the riverfront. You say it'll pollute the Hudson, but when has that ever been an issue? The stadium has undergone an intense environmental review, and won't be emitting any kind of pollution. In fact, the original design called for wind turbines to produce a sizeable portion of the stadium's power, making it one of the first examples of green stadium architecture. You keep saying it'll kill the neighborhood, and cite concern for Chelsea and Lower Manhattan. But neither of the two have anything to do with the other. Chelsea is its own neighborhood, which is facing the prospect of becoming a great modern neighborhood with all the new rental/condo construction. And as for Lower Manhattan, if companies want to build offices there, no one's stopping them. If they choose Midtown instead, that's their prerogative. We've already seen 800 million in federal funding recently been appropriated specifically for downtown redevelopment. Pataki is still pursuing the 2 billion dollar rail link to JFK, and a LIRR extension to Downtown. Progress is being made on the Freedom Tower and cultural institutions. But this won't change the very likely outcome that Lower Manhattan will continue to change into a residential neighborhood with only back-office operations and some remaining headquarters. If companies want to come to Midtown, despite all the incentives in Downtown, including a ten-year head start on tax exemptions for the Far West Side, nobody can stop them. Eventually, office towers will be built on the Far West Side, it's inevitable. Some of the remaining crumbling buildings in Midtown can be demolished to make way for construction in the meantime. This still doesn't amount to a reason to oppose the Jets stadium, and it proves the irrationality of Silver's argument.

June 7th, 2005, 12:25 AM
Yes but it would add compeition to lower manhattan which you don't want to do if you're trying to jump start it. Sewage run off was the concern of the pollution. Your right I didn't realize how big it was but it would still be better suited for more residential and some office space. Listen were just going to keep going around in cricles we both offer arguements that are good but at the end of the day were going to end up right where we started. I'm not happy about losing the Olympics because NY would have benefited greatly as well NJ. I'am happy about the stadium not getting done and there are many people that feel the same way I do. Unfortuantely we can't have one without the other it seems like. The whole Nets thing that is just something that I'am going to have to grit my teeth and bare it as a long time die-hard fan of that team. My hope is that they highlight that arena proposal now that the stadium on the west-side idea is all but dead and make people take more notice and somehow stop it. I'am one of those people that will be in the rally against it and as you can see I don't give up without a long fight as you can tell by now lol.

June 7th, 2005, 12:45 AM
Okay, fair enough. I know that everyone's entitled to their own opinion. And I'm not gonna keep trying to convince you otherwise. The only thing I'll repeat is what I firmly believe. Lower Manhattan will always be in competition with Midtown, which will keep expanding indefinitely. No package of incentives for Downtown will prevent certain companies from moving or staying in Midtown, no matter how much Silver believes that. We shouldn't let that disillusionment prevent New York from moving forward with other big projects that aren't within the boundaries of Downtown. Because if we do, we won't just be losing the opportunity to host the Olympics, the Superbowl, and the Final Four. Far worse than that is the possibility that New York may ruin its image as a good place to do business.

June 7th, 2005, 12:56 AM
It'll never lose that image New York is an amazing city and I'm lucky enough to live right across the river from it and I have enjoy everything it has to offer throughout my entire life. New York is the Capital of the World and no city can even come close to claiming that. My opinion is that this wasn't the right project, and I feel that this will not hurt NY image of a good place to do business and I feel that something else will soon take it's place there that is much better suited.

June 7th, 2005, 03:50 PM
Now that the NYS Goverment will not fund do you want to ask NYC Mayor
Micheal Bloomberg to use his good earned money to fund the NYS Olympic
Stadium so we can have a good shot at winning the 2012 Olympics. If so
e-mail me at ryanms_2005@yahoo.com (http://us.f313.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=ryanms_2005@yahoo.com&YY=35115&order=down&sort=date&pos=0&view=a&head=b) stating your name and if you want
to a reason why you want the stadium issue over

June 7th, 2005, 05:08 PM
NYC had no chance of the 2012 Olympics anyway, because Bloomberg centered his bid around an incredibly unpopular stadium scam. New Yorkers were overwhelmingly opposed to the West Side stadium, and Bloomberg himself admitted this brought down NYC's public support numbers for the Olympics.

When the IOC released the survey polls of public support, NYC came in DEAD LAST.

- Madrid: 91% support.
- Paris: 85% support.
- Moscow: 77% support.
- London: 68% support.
- NYC: 59% support.

By coming in DEAD LAST in public support, NYC had basically zero chance of getting the 2012 Olympics. Bloomberg has nobody to blame but himself.

June 7th, 2005, 05:24 PM
Yet again, I'm sure that Bloomberg will try to paint this as a case where he knows what's better for New Yorkers than New Yorkers do. He'll spin his finger until it points anywhere but back at himself.

June 7th, 2005, 05:30 PM
New York was dead last in the polls not because New Yorkers were "overwhelming opposed to the stadium" but because many people worry about all the traffic and security enhancements that will result from the Olympics coming here. I believe an even lower percentage of Americans as a whole wanted the Olympics, again because of security concerns. There's a disturbing trend going on in which Americans fear any kind of high-profile event in big cities, yet life has to go on. We can't just never have any more Superbowls, or New Year's Eve celebrations, or Olympics. I feel there's a much less likely chance of an attack during one of these events because terrorists know security is high. In fact, the two attacks on the WTC happened on normal workdays when nothing special was going on in the city. Plus, you know the public support polls don't mean nearly as much as the quality of a city's bid, as Madrid and Moscow, ranked 1st and 3rd in support, were ranked 4th and 5th, respectively, in their odds of getting chosen. Now that the stadium is out, New York's chances, however good or bad they were, are totally shot.

June 8th, 2005, 12:02 AM
Even Without Stadium Plan, the Bid Must Go On


Published: June 8, 2005

In the midst of the demise of the West Side stadium on Monday, the United States Olympic Committee was already trying to get its message to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the NYC2012 leaders: they cannot pull out of the race for the 2012 Olympics before the final vote next month.

Bloomberg stoked the U.S.O.C.'s fear by refusing to respond to a question Monday about the future of the bid. Many within the U.S.O.C. believe that backing out might irreparably harm any hope of bringing the Games to a United States city for years to come.

The U.S.O.C. is pushing NYC2012 leaders to follow through until the International Olympic Committee chooses from among New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow on July 6 in Singapore, said a person close to the discussions who did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue. By yesterday morning, Bloomberg was still not answering the question about what comes next, but he was somber. "We have let down America," he said at a public appearance.

The rest of the NYC2012 team, including the bid founder and deputy mayor, Daniel L. Doctoroff, was working yesterday on how it might salvage the bid. "We are reviewing the situation, consulting our key participants, including the U.S.O.C., and hearing from many especially the Olympians, who are shocked and outraged by the actions of Albany's legislative leaders," Jay Kriegel, the executive director of the NYC2012 bid, said in a statement last night to The New York Times. U.S.O.C. chief executive Jim Scherr said that he and Chairman Peter Ueberroth spoke with Doctoroff and Kriegel on a conference call late yesterday and that NYC2012 was still exploring how to proceed.

"They are going to talk over the next couple of days and we will meet with them again to talk though their options," Scherr said in a telephone interview.

At issue for the U.S.O.C. is not just New York and the race for the 2012 Games, but bringing the Games back to the United States in what they consider a reasonable interval. The U.S.O.C. counts on the popularity boost and the increased sponsorship afforded by an Olympics on home soil. And it is an unwritten guideline in the I.O.C. that the Games come back to the United States at least once every 20 years, a nod to the American companies that form the majority of I.O.C. sponsors and to NBC, which provides the overwhelming majority of its television revenue.

The last Games held in the United States were the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City; the Summer Games were held in Atlanta in 1996.

On Monday, the New York bid received a favorable review from the I.O.C. evaluation commission, which released reports on each of the five bids. But later in the day, the state's Public Authorities Control Board rejected the city's financial plan for a $2.2 billion stadium, which would have been paid for and used primarily by the Jets. Under the NYC2012 bid plan, the stadium would have held the opening and closing ceremonies and track and field events, all marquee events at any Olympics.

After a day of intensive lobbying, yesterday turned into a period to regroup.

Anita DeFrantz, a former Olympian and one of four American I.O.C. members, had written a letter with her three colleagues urging the Public Authorities Control Board to vote for the stadium, and said she had no idea what was ahead for NYC2012.

"We had hoped the stadium would be approved and I still hope somehow it can be approved," DeFrantz said in a telephone interview from her Los Angeles office. "As an athlete, I believe the race isn't over until you're beyond the finish line."

The United States committee's concern now is that NYC2012 not appear disrespectful toward the I.O.C.

The committee always worried in the years after 1973, when Denver reneged on its commitment to be host to the 1976 Winter Olympics, that it would hurt future bids. But the world of Olympic bidding was different then. When Lake Placid tried for the 1980 Winter Olympics, it had no serious competition. Los Angeles was the only bidder outside of Tehran for the 1984 Summer Games.

Now, with the Olympics restored to a potentially profitable and

prestigious event, major world capitals are lining up for the chance to be host to the Games. In this atmosphere, an about-face by New York would mar the image of the United States, which has a surprisingly small power base inside the I.O.C. with only 4 voting members of 116.

Clearly, had the U.S.O.C. been better organized in the initial stages of New York's bid, it would have insisted that NYC2012 develop a backup plan and not leave the bid vulnerable to the politics of an unapproved stadium plan, said people with longtime knowledge of the U.S.O.C., who did not want to be identified because they did not want to criticize New York's Olympic bid publicly.

But after New York was chosen as the United States bid city in November of 2002, the U.S.O.C. was plunged into an organizational scandal that lasted nearly two years. It cost the chief executive Lloyd Ward and the president Marty Mankamyer their jobs. The 129-member board was dissolved, and a full-scale reorganization ensued, completed in 2004.

Under the current leadership of Ueberroth, the organizer of those pivotally successful 1984 Games, and Scherr, the U.S.O.C. would prefer a stronger role over its bid city.

Now, New York organizers have to decide how to proceed through the July 6 selection day, and, if they do not win, whether they want to pursue the 2016 Games. They would have to win another U.S.O.C. competition to be the American bid city.

And the U.S.O.C. is likely to require stricter guidelines for its bid cities to avoid another political fight undermining another bid.

Now, it is trying desperately to limit the damage from this one.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

June 9th, 2005, 06:18 PM
Just heard on the 6pm news that the IOC has announced that New York will be allowed to change its Olympic bid before July 6th. Waiting for an official report to be released.

June 9th, 2005, 10:14 PM
Ok here it is:

I.O.C. May Give New York Another Chance to Alter Bid


Published: June 10, 2005

The International Olympic Committee will consider allowing New York to alter its Olympic bid after the political defeat of its planned stadium, an I.O.C. spokeswoman confirmed to NYC2012 officials in a letter yesterday, perhaps letting the city salvage its bid for the 2012 Games with a stadium someplace other than the Far West Side of Manhattan.

The possibility of resurrecting the West Side plan was not gaining traction yesterday, despite NYC2012's attempts to get its supporters to urge Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Senate majority leader, Joseph L. Bruno, to change their minds. Charles Carrier, a spokesman for Silver, said that neither the Olympic organizers nor Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had approached Silver about reopening negotiations.

Jets officials met with Giants officials Wednesday about a joint venture for a new Meadowlands stadium, although neither team would comment on the discussion.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is also in a holding pattern. Peter S. Kalikow, chairman of the M.T.A., said yesterday that he had talked to Jets officials this week and that they intend to go through with the $250 million deal for the development rights for the West Side stadium, but he acknowledged that the negative vote by the Public Authorities Control Board was a significant hurdle.

The Jets have to walk a fine line between exploring all possibilities to keep the West Side stadium plans alive and not waiting too long to make a deal with the Giants, who will most likely expect an answer this summer. If the Jets want to play host to the 2010 Super Bowl, the National Football League has said approval of a new stadium would be needed by the end of this year.

But NYC2012's timeline is much shorter, with the I.O.C. set to select the 2012 Olympic city on July 6 from among New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow.

According to people with knowledge of the options NYC2012 is exploring, its emphasis has switched to considering alternate sites. That is why the bid founder, Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff, asked the I.O.C. if NYC2012 would be allowed to present a new plan. By I.O.C. rules, no changes are allowed after a visit by its evaluation commission, which concluded Feb. 24.

The letter, signed by the I.O.C. spokeswoman Giselle Davies, said, "In such an exceptional circumstance as this, a bid city has the right to address the issue in front of the executive board." That means bid officials would take their alternate plan to the executive board before making its presentation to the membership on the day of the vote.

There is no guarantee the executive board would allow the alternative, and NYC2012 officials would not acknowledge they are pursuing one. But the letter leaves the option open for now.

"There was some confusion about what the rules allow," said the NYC2012 executive director, Jay Kriegel. "It was useful to get that point clarified."

Options for an Olympic stadium site are few and may be forced to include something as revolutionary as a temporary stadium.

Giants Stadium is not large enough to hold a 400-meter track, which is necessary because an Olympic stadium is the host for track-and-field events, plus the opening and closing ceremonies. The new Yankee Stadium being devised for the Bronx is also too small.

The last real option NYC2012 explored besides the Manhattan site was in 2002, when the United States Olympic Committee required a backup plan as part of the process for the United States' bid city. At that time, organizers presented a blueprint of Shea Stadium, retrofitted to accommodate the Olympics.

Doctoroff and Kriegel said that plan was never attractive or realistic, and once New York became the bid city, all mention of it was scrapped. But now they are left with few options.

NYC2012 officials refuse to say when they will detail what they are considering, but they are supposed to file a report with the I.O.C. on Monday to respond to the report by the evaluation commission that was released this week. They will most likely address the stadium issue in that report.

NYC2012 , meanwhile, continues to prepare for its final presentation in Singapore, including composing a short film this weekend containing scenes and interviews with New Yorkers at three locations in the city: Wall Street, Battery Park and Brooklyn Heights.

Richard Sandomir and Charles V. Bagli contributed reporting for this article.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times

June 10th, 2005, 10:45 PM
Queens Now a Possible Site for 2012 Olympic Stadium


Published: June 11, 2005

Leaders of the fractured bid to bring the 2012 Olympics to New York City are focusing on the borough of Queens as the site of an Olympic stadium and are exploring at least two options that involve a partnership with the Mets, including a new stadium in the Willets Point area or retrofitting Shea Stadium, three people close to the discussions said yesterday.

NYC2012 officials, who have admitted that more delays would cripple their chance of taking a credible Olympic bid to the final International Olympic Committee vote in Singapore on July 6, will work through the weekend on the plan, aiming to mention it in a submission due to the I.O.C. on Monday, according to a person familiar with the bid committee's meetings. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has been closely involved in the bid, is busy today with the wedding of one of his daughters, causing a delay in approval of any final plan.

The people familiar with the discussions did not want to be identified because NYC2012 organizers have insisted on keeping their options private until they choose one. The bid founder, Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff, did not respond to requests for comment.

Jeff Wilpon, the Mets' chief operating officer, and Dave Howard, the Mets' executive vice president, also declined comment. Fred Wilpon, the chairman and principal owner of the team, did not return a telephone call. The Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said, "No one in the organization is commenting," but when new discussions between NYC2012 and the Mets were mentioned, he said: "Yes, I understand. Has there been an announcement?"

Olympic organizers scoffed at a Queens stadium site until the West Side stadium proposal was rejected on Monday. Since then, they have been scrambling to produce a viable alternative that they can take to Singapore, where the I.O.C. members will choose a site for the 2012 Games from among New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow.

There is no way to know what impact the new stadium proposal will have on the final vote, which is carried out by secret ballot. New York had been considered a strong contender, although an evaluation issued Monday by an I.O.C. committee rated its bid slightly below those of Paris and London.

Clearly, whatever plan bid organizers emerge with, it cannot be a fully developed stadium plan, particularly if they are trying to join with the Mets. It would take far longer than a few days to design a stadium to meet the Mets' needs as well as those for the Olympics.

That is where the idea for a temporary structure has come in, said three people with knowledge of the discussions. The structure could occupy a site at Willets Point, a 13-block area between Shea Stadium and the Flushing River, filled mostly with auto salvage yards, repair garages and automotive shops. That structure would then be cleared for a future Mets stadium. Large-scale temporary structures are rare, but possible and perhaps even attractive to an I.O.C. that has been trying to keep its host cities from building facilities with limited permanent use.

The idea of retrofitting Shea Stadium to serve as an Olympic stadium has been explored previously. When required by the United States Olympic Committee to offer a backup plan while it was vying to be the 2012 American bid city, NYC2012 offered a blueprint of Shea Stadium altered to accommodate the Olympic track and field competition, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.

The Willets Point site was included in an environmental impact study by the Department of City Planning that identified it as an alternative to the West Side plan that included a stadium financed primarily by the Jets. The study, though, concluded that construction there would be nearly as costly as building in Manhattan and offered no alternative use as convention space, as planned for the West Side facility. Olympic organizers always stressed the multi-use capabilities in Manhattan as a big reason for choosing that plan.

Queens has long been offered as an alternative by those who opposed the Manhattan stadium. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who blocked the West Side stadium with his one-third control of the Public Authorities Control Board, has said he would go along with a stadium in Queens.

But the decision to consider Queens would seem to contradict Bloomberg's longtime insistence that an Olympic stadium in the borough was not an option because the city was bound to the West Side proposal. Bloomberg and other city officials regularly emphasized that the I.O.C., after so many years of scandals, was dead set against any changes in the city's proposed plan.

Joe Lapointe, Lee Jenkins and Murray Chass contributed reporting for this article.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

June 11th, 2005, 12:16 AM
I hope this works for NY it would be great if NY could do a temporary stadium will eliminate speculation of facilites falling into disrepair because this could be disassembled or if they can give the Mets a new one, that will be great as well. I hope this will meet IOC approval.

June 13th, 2005, 10:51 AM
Oly cow! Plan B
Mike reveals Amazin' Queens plan


It's a whole new ballgame for the Mets, Yankees - and the city's Olympic bid.

Declaring "New Yorkers aren't quitters," Mayor Bloomberg unveiled plans yesterday for a new Mets ballpark that could be converted into an Olympic stadium - marking an extraordinary eleventh-hour gambit to revive the city's flagging bid for the 2012 Games.

The mayor also hinted yesterday that the Yankees will be getting a new Bronx stadium by 2009 - as first reported by the Daily News - with an announcement expected in days.

The Queens solution comes six days after an obscure state panel torpedoed Bloomberg's plan to build a West Side stadium, in a huge blow that raised the humiliating specter of yanking the city's Olympic bid.

"We're like the athlete who falls and gets up and dusts himself off and pushes ahead," Bloomberg said.

"Today, we can stand here and tell New York, tell the United States and tell the world that we are going to continue to fight for the Olympic Games. You can never count New Yorkers out."

The Mets would get the ballpark, to be built in Shea Stadium's parking lot, no matter how Olympic officials vote next month. And if the city wins the Games, the Amazin's could play for one season in enemy territory: Yankee Stadium.

Unlike the city's failed Manhattan proposal, the mayor's plan B has broad political support - including that of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who killed the West Side project and praised the Queens plan as the "preferred alternative."

The new plan also would cost taxpayers far less than the $600million earmarked for the $2.2 billion West Side stadium.

Here's the deal:

*The owners of the Mets would foot the bill for a new 45,000-seat ballpark to open for the 2009 season. Officials declined yesterday to estimate how much the stadium will cost, but Silver put the figure at $600 million. The design also was unclear, though the Mets previously proposed a ballpark modeled on Brooklyn's old Ebbets Field.

*The city would pay $85 million, and the state would pay a proposed $75 million for infrastructure improvements around Shea, which already has access to mass transit and major roads.

*If the city wins the Games, the $250 million to convert the ballpark to an 80,000-seat Olympic stadium will be shared by the Games' organizing committee, the city and state. The state and city would pay about $50 million each.

Mets owner Fred Wilpon said yesterday he has one message for the Olympic Committee: "We want you here. ... We welcome you to Queens."

Left uncertain was the fate of plans to bring the Jets home to New York. The team has refused to move back to Queens, and has vowed to keep pursuing the West Side site. Bloomberg predicted the football team would stay in New Jersey.

Last night marked a reversal by Bloomberg, who repeatedly had said the city's Olympic bid hinged on approving the West Side stadium by last week.

Olympic officials made the unusual move last week of letting the city revise its bid. New York is competing against Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow for the Games. The winner will be picked in Singapore on July 6.

It's believed the Queens stadium will be a tougher sell than the West Side facility, but U.S. Olympic officials were hopeful. "The NYC2012 bid to bring the Olympic ... Games to America is very much alive," said U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Peter Ueberroth.

With Sam Borden, Lisa L. Colangelo and Joe Mahoney

'Shoulda been here from start'


Long-suffering Mets fans are used to living on hopes, and yesterday they got something new to dream about: plans for a new ballpark that could be converted into an Olympic stadium.

"This is the perfect place. They should have put the Olympics here from the beginning," said Emilio Sarullo, 23, of Staten Island.

City officials, scrambling to come up with an alternative to the failed West Side stadium plan, said last night they would build a new Mets ballpark in Queens that could be used for the 2012 Games.

Mets fans said Shea is the perfect plan B.

"I think it's great," said Jason Gralla, 32, of Long Island. "On the West Side there wouldn't be enough parking for tailgating."

Added Vincent DeCaro, 35, of Manalapan, N.J.: "It'll be a shot in the arm for Queens. Shea needs to be replaced anyway. I think economically it would be a big win for the city."

Such an undertaking would require the Amazin's to temporarily move to Yankee Stadium if New York gets the Olympics - but Mets fans said it would be worth it.

"As long as the Mets get a stadium, it's a good deal," said Mets fan Chris Doyle, 35, of Boston. "They went to the Polo Grounds when they were building Shea. We can deal with this."

Reel bid for Games

No, that wasn't the real Olympic torch New Yorkers were cheering yesterday - but local bid officials hope the dry run will help lead to the real thing.

The mock relay through city streets was filmed for New York's final presentation to international Olympic big shots next month.

"We are trying to give a taste of what it would be like," said Amy Stanton, the bid committee's marketing boss.

Reeva Oza

Originally published on June 13, 2005

All contents © 2005 Daily News, L.P.

June 13th, 2005, 01:42 PM
June 13, 2005
The Mets Finally Get Their New Stadium, but They Have to Pay For It

By RICHARD SANDOMIR (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=RICHARD SANDOMIR&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=RICHARD SANDOMIR&inline=nyt-per)
For the Mets, there has rarely been a sense of urgency to get their new ballpark built. In 1998, they presented a model of a stadium with a retractable roof that they hoped to occupy three years ago.

They are still playing at moribund Shea Stadium.

But the team waited long enough so that its quest for a new home jibed nicely with the collapse last Monday of the Jets' proposal to build a $2.2 billion stadium and convention center on the Far West Side of Manhattan; it would have been converted into an Olympic stadium if the city wins its bid to be host for the 2012 Summer Games.

So yesterday, after seven years of waiting and quiet planning, the Mets announced an agreement with the city under which the Mets will get their stadium, at their cost. They will have to vacate it, probably for the new Yankee Stadium, for the entire 2012 season if the city wins its Olympic bid.

But they will be able to stay put in the 45,000-seat ballpark if the city loses the bid to Paris, London, Madrid or Moscow.

Fred Wilpon, the principal owner of the Mets, had in past negotiations with the city sought to pay only a portion of the cost of a new stadium. But in the last 72 hours of talks, he agreed to finance it privately.

He said yesterday that he would not know the cost of the stadium until a design was chosen, but he estimated that the ballpark, which is to open in 2009, would cost about $600 million.

"It's expensive," Wilpon, a Brooklyn native, said at a City Hall news conference, "because it's right for the Mets and it's right for the city."

The long wait for a stadium deal, coupled with the need to revive the Olympic bid, led the Mets to get a commitment from the city and state to make a total of $180 million in infrastructure improvements to the location, far more than was promised in years past.

In addition to the lure of more government aid, the Mets' financial picture will change next year when they start their cable network, with their partners Time Warner and Comcast. Revenue from the network, and from the stadium once it is built, will presumably help finance the cost of the ballpark.

Wilpon said that he was disappointed that the Far West Side stadium plan was defeated, and that as a New Yorker, he wanted the city's Olympic pursuit to continue. And, he said, after years of quiet preparation he was able to move quickly when the Bloomberg administration called him last week.

"The city wanted to move quickly and so did we," Wilpon said.

Wilpon's decision to finance the ballpark on his own comes days before an expected announcement by the Yankees that they will use their own revenues to build a facility in parkland adjacent to Yankee Stadium. Both ventures will get infrastructure help from the city and state.

The Yankees and the Mets will be able to offset revenue-sharing payments to other Major League Baseball teams with the payments needed to service the bonds they will issue to finance the stadiums.

The planned Yankees ballpark will have 50,800 seats, but will be able to expand to 54,000. The Mets would see their proposed ballpark stretch to 80,000 temporarily if it is converted for Olympic use.

Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor, said that the city had calculated that it would be responsible for $212 million to maintain Shea Stadium, now 41 years old, over the next 30 years, and concluded that a new Mets park is necessary.

A similar kind of calculation was at the heart of legal disputes between the Giants and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. They argued over how much the state would have to pay to keep Giants Stadium "state of the art"; eventually they agreed to a deal to let the Giants privately finance a new $750 million stadium.

If the Jets cannot resurrect the Far West Side stadium, they might become a full partner with the Giants and split the construction costs.

The possible conversion of a new Mets ballpark to an Olympic stadium in 2012 is reminiscent of what occurred in Atlanta for 1996 Summer Games.

In 1990, Atlanta Olympic organizers presented their plan for an 85,000-seat stadium that would be converted into a baseball park for the Braves after the completion of the Olympics and Paralympics.

The stadium cost $209 million and was paid entirely from the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games's facilities budget, which it amassed from television rights paid by NBC and sponsorship fees paid by corporations.

After the Paralympics, the northern half of the stadium was cut away to make room for bleachers, a scoreboard and an entry plaza.

The Braves got it for a price that the Mets could only salivate over: $23 million for various improvements, $500,000 in annual rent and $1 million a year in capital costs. It was renamed Turner Field.

(The Mets will pay no rent in the proposed new stadium.)

David Murphy, who was a project designer for Ellerbe, Becket, the architectural firm that designed the Atlanta stadium, said by telephone, "With Turner Field, everything we did was with baseball in mind."

He said that "it's a good model for New York."

The only difference is that the Mets' ballpark would start life as a baseball stadium and temporarily stretch out to an Olympic configuration.

When Wilpon unveiled his vision for a Mets' ballpark in 1998, the Mets were not part of the Olympic vision first expressed by Doctoroff before he became the deputy mayor. Wilpon showed his model for a $500 million ballpark with a brick and limestone exterior and with exposed steel trusses, and with design touches reminiscent of the lamented Ebbets Field.

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani twice suggested ways to finance new ballparks for the Mets and the Yankees, the first time with corporate rent taxes, the second with taxes derived from activities at the stadiums. That second plan, Giuliani said, would have let the city issue $1.6 billion in tax-exempt bonds, with the teams splitting about half the debt service costs. But weeks later, when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took office, he said that stadiums were not a fiscal priority for his administration, which was facing looming budget deficits.


Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

June 13th, 2005, 03:18 PM
June 13, 2005
Sweating in an Olympics Ad, With Little Passion for 2012

By JENNIFER MEDINA (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=JENNIFER MEDINA&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=JENNIFER MEDINA&inline=nyt-per)
Ted Green showed up at the open casting call perfect for the part.

Despite the sticky, 87-degree heat and the absence of workaday commerce, he was decked out yesterday like a businessman in downtown Manhattan, wearing a black suit, white shirt and canary-yellow tie. Dabbing at his forehead, he did not mind the sweat that was pouring off him by 10 a.m.

He was there to bring the 2012 Olympics to his home turf.

"It would just be a great thing to have them here," said Mr. Green. "We've proven we can host anything here."

Just one problem with those pronouns - he is from New Jersey.

"I'm a New Yorker in my heart," said Mr. Green, who lives in Princeton and works in South Brunswick, although he once had a job in Midtown. "This is the only place where anything exciting happens."

If only the authentic New Yorkers had displayed such spirit.

Mr. Green was one of about 150 extras who showed up yesterday morning ready to star in an advertisement by NYC2012, the privately financed Olympic bid committee, meant for the city's final presentation to the International Olympic Committee on July 6 in Singapore. Whether the Olympic stadium is in Queens or on the West Side, supporters said, New Yorkers would prove to be the best hosts for the Games.

"Thanks so much for coming, guys," one director shouted to the group before quickly giving instructions on who should run and who should stand still. "Let's show them a lot of energy!"

There were plenty of whoops of glee and enthusiastic applause as volunteers darted down Wall Street between William and Pearl Streets. And yet, for all the noisy excitement, there was little evidence of unadulterated passion for New York 2012.

If the Games come, the extras seemed to be saying, we had better be on our best behavior.

"I don't really want it here, but I figured it's not really up to the regular people," said Schella Orcel, a 32-year-old aspiring actress who works in pharmaceutical market research out of her Morningside Heights apartment. "I figured, if it was going to happen, I should be a part of it."

Like Ms. Orcel, most of the people who showed up at the filming were on the Olympic bid committee's volunteer list. But in a completely random and unscientific poll of about two dozen participants, only a couple displayed the kind of effervescent enthusiasm that would have made the organizers proud.

Most of the New Yorkers stood cavalierly in the scorching sun, sipping their iced Starbucks drinks. Nobody could accuse the filmmakers of keeping reality out of the picture.

The cast included two torchbearers, but even one of them, a financial analyst whom organizers recruited at a Road Runner race in Central Park last weekend, expressed ambivalence.

"I don't really feel strongly about it one way or another," said the analyst, Connie Bock, before being whisked away for another photo shoot on the steps of the Wall Street subway stop. "I just thought this would be fun."

Several of the extras, who included about two dozen unpaid actors, said they were there out of curiosity and to have a chance to say "That's me!" if the commercial ever appears on television.

Several tourists stopped by the site, wondering what all the commotion was about. Many stuck around, screaming with the best of the extras. A sign warned them in terse legal language what they might be getting into:

"By remaining at this location, you irrevocably consent to the use of your voice, image and/or likeness in the film which may be displayed and otherwise exploited by NYC2012 in any and all media throughout the world in perpetuity."

Nobody seemed to notice. Or if they did, they surely did not mind.

After a couple of jaunts up the street, the cheerful Mr. Green started to tug at his tie, looking as if he might want more air or water. His ample belly suggested that he was no Olympian, though his boyish grin proved that he was still a cheerleader.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

June 13th, 2005, 05:26 PM
I don't know why the city is so apathetic.
Do they really want the Olympics or not?
People seem to not care one way or the other or don't want it at all.
Already I'm reading that Queens residents are complaining about congestion and construction inconveniences.
Maybe they should just give it to Paris, who certainly wants it more.

June 13th, 2005, 06:17 PM
That's just New Yorkers being New Yorkers. This city would never have any big events if you asked the public whether or not they want it. It's always the traffic or the congestion, wah wah wah, the stock complaint. There's always traffic, and often it goes unnoticed even during big events.

We want big events here, and we want them to be here instead of going to other cities, even if there may be extra congestion. I still don't understand why some residents hate the Olympics so much that they would deny the city the chance to have them and all the benefits that come with it. In fact, if my own curmudgeon friends can be held as examples of typical complainers, I'd bet that they would enjoy the Olympics if they actually attended an event. I know I wasn't prepared for how cool they actually were "live" until I first went.

I won't pretend that New Yorkers are equally excited about the Olympics as Parisians, they're not. But after all, this is Paris' third attempt at landing them. They should and probably will get them this time, which puts New York in a great position for 2016. I've been wondering if this whole bid, knowing what a longshot it is, is actually posturing for 2016. Of course, they could never admit that outloud.

June 13th, 2005, 10:54 PM
They should and probably will get them this time, which puts New York in a great position for 2016. I've been wondering if this whole bid, knowing what a longshot it is, is actually posturing for 2016. Of course, they could never admit that outloud.
It seems to me that most people aren't against it, but just ambivalent. I guess that's not good, but the upside is we don't run amok and torch cars every time a local team wins a championship.

The Olympic movement has gotten a little overblown. In the 1976 winter games, the Denver committee won the bid before the citizens knew anything about it. It was then voted down in a referendum, and the games were awarded to Innsbruck.

Contrast that with today. The IOC has pledged to make the Olympics more affordable for developing countries to bid, but with Paris at $7 billion, that's a joke. The IOC is and behaves like a monopoly, setting cities off against each other for the only game in town, until the next stop. The world's longest running road show.

The scandal at Salt Lake City led to the open bidding process we have now, and while that's a good thing, it handed the IOC a huge media bonanza, especially for 2012, with two of the biggest media centers, NYC and London, in the race.

So the answer is YES, it is posturing for 2016, not necessarily by New York, but by the IOC. The best scenario for the IOC is for Paris to win in 2012, and have London and New York slug it out as the favorites in 2016. To attain the status of front runner, New York needs a credible bid now, so fearful that the bid would be withdrawn, the IOC bent the rules to allow the stadium change.

I'm just sick of the entire drawn out process. Pick the city already!
I miss the good old days of secret bids, with the hookers, and the drugs, and the Ferraris.

June 14th, 2005, 07:06 AM
New stadium could deliver Olympics in 2016


June 14, 2005

By conjuring a new stadium plan in the 11th hour, NYC2012 officials may have reenergized the possibility of a U.S.-based Summer Olympics. But more likely for 2016 than for 2012, and not necessarily for New York.

Last week's frantic scramble to replace a West Side proposal with a deal to borrow a new Mets stadium clearly allows Big Town to run through the tape in the current campaign, which will culminate with the International Olympic Committee's July 6 vote to name the 2012 host city.

In fact, the startling speed with which officials cobbled together a new stadium vision - and with political backing - will be used to paint New York as a "can-do" city to the IOC membership.

But the last-minute failure of the original stadium idea, which had been pushed for more than five years while NYC2012 insisted there was no need for a Plan B, clearly damaged New York's chances, especially given that perceived favorite Paris already has a main stadium in place.

NYC2012 is under contract with the U.S. Olympic Committee to follow through with its bid, in part because an early exit would have ramifications for future bids put forward by the USOC. But NYC2012 officials insisted that the revisions were not merely a face-saving move and that winning the 2012 Games remains their only focus. "The only year NYC2012 is bidding on is pretty clear; it's in our name," NYC2012 spokesman Jay Carson said.

The USOC, meanwhile, has said that no decision on 2016 will be made until after July 6, though that decision could be affected by how close New York comes to winning. The USOC could choose to re-open domestic bidding, skip the 2016 race altogether or simply declare New York to be its candidate again.

There remains general agreement among Olympic observers that New York's current bid, aside from the significant stadium issue, is one of the best the IOC has seen, powered by uncommon potential to bring money and attention to the Olympic movement. Also, given the conventional wisdom of rotating the Games around the world in a sort of Asia-Europe-North America cycle, and assuming New York's 2012 odds have lengthened against four European cities - Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow - a U.S. site appears well-positioned for 2016. (Beijing will stage the 2008 Summer Games.)

But plenty of unknowns remain: How much would a 2016 New York bid resemble the 2012 plan? Who would lead the bid? Would the USOC fear more political roadblocks in New York? Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.

The only year NYC2012 is bidding on is pretty clear; it's in our name," NYC2012 spokesman Jay Carson said.

Yeah, it would be almost impossible to change the name.

NYC has never followed up an Olympic bid with another try 4 years later.

June 15th, 2005, 07:27 AM
A Frenzied Bid: The Once and Future Queens

by Matthew Schuerman (mschuerman@observer.com)

Up at Harvard for his 25th reunion Friday night, Daniel Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development and founder of New York City’s 2012 Olympics bid, cavorted in a blazer-slung-over-shoulder kind of way down Massachusetts Avenue between events. The next day, Mayor Michael Bloomberg performed the ceremony at the wedding of his daughter, which was held at Mr. Bloomberg’s Westchester home.

But back at their respective offices, the two men’s aides were pulling all-nighters to put together a labyrinthine exchange of money, land and favors that hasn’t just saved the city from Olympian disgrace, but may well have moved its chances up a notch or two.

Later, Mr. Doctoroff would cheeringly liken the affair to the one that brought the United Nations to Turtle Bay 59 years ago.

"I think we actually have beaten the record for speed here, compared to the 96 hours that it took to put the U.N. deal together," Mr. Doctoroff said on June 12. "Here we are at 72 hours."

Shea Stadium has been there all along, of course. And as The Observer reported on June 8, the Olympics committee had looked at a plan to use Shea Stadium as the centerpiece of its Olympics bid years ago—though that plan involved renovating the present stadium to make it large enough to host the opening ceremonies and some Olympics events.

But the plan was abandoned for its complexity, and for myriad other reasons, before any serious probative conversations could begin.

It was just a few days ago that Mayor Bloomberg sounded defeated—"We have let down America"—even as he talked about New Yorkers’ resilience and persistence. Right after state legislative leaders rejected his plan on June 6 for a football stadium on Manhattan’s West Side that would one day hold the opening ceremonies, the Mayor wouldn’t say whether New York would pursue its bid at all.

But the United States Olympic Committee, which chose New York over seven other cities to compete for the 2012 Summer Games, made sure that he didn’t back out.

So, starting on Wednesday, staffers for the bid committee, NYC2012, along with Bloomberg’s top aides, started exploring the possibilities, knowing that they needed to come up with an alternative before all the blood in New York’s bid dripped away.

The question remains whether the Olympic-stadium charette was only a bid to save face with the International Olympics Committee, which has devoted so much time to the New York bid.

Mr. Bloomberg never seemed to like the idea of locating the stadium in Queens—or at least not the idea of retrofitting Shea. Asked about it in February, he said, "Shea Stadium is not of the same order of magnitude or grandeur that the other cities have promised to either build or already have."

Better Odds?

Still, it’s possible that the deal will actually aid the 2012 bid.

It turns out that the rest of the world really doesn’t care what area code you have. The 115 I.O.C. members may actually prefer the Queens site. None of the other five 2012 finalists has bothered situating its main stadium anywhere near its center—Paris, the front-runner, is proposing that it be just on the other side of the city wall. And while Flushing is further away from midtown hotels, where the spectators will stay, it will be no further than they are from the stadiums of London, Paris and Madrid. Already, the betting odds for New York have gone from about 60 to 1 before the West Side stadium fell through to about 40 to 1 on Tuesday, according to BestBetting.com. (Paris is still the clear leader.)

There’s good reason for the increased odds in New York’s favor. By getting rid of the West Side stadium, NYC2012 will create a more compact Summer Games. The main stadium will move from the westernmost edge of the so-called Olympic X right next to the venues hosting tennis, rowing and three other sports, which are also planned for Flushing Meadows. And the International Broadcasting Center, once a 41-story monster on 10th Avenue, will turn into unimpressive low-rise buildings in Willets Point that will make European members of the I.O.C. feel right at home.

"What they are proposing may even be better than what they had on the West Side," said Ed Hula, the founder and publisher of the Olympic news Web site Around the Rings. "It probably should have been in the bid from the beginning."

When NYC2012 last looked at moving the stadium to Queens, in 2002, it determined that it would be best to build just to the west of Shea Stadium, thinking that the Mets would build separately on the eastern side. In the ensuing years, Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Doctoroff have pooh-poohed a Queens stadium. Five years ago, NYC2012 had already signed on to the idea that its partner would be the New York Jets, who would build the bulk of the stadium. "We’ll go wherever the Jets, at the end of the day, decide to go," Mr. Doctoroff told the Daily News in December 2000. And the Jets didn’t want Queens, because Queens would never command the kind of prices for luxury skyboxes and seat licenses that the football team would need to build what has become a $2.1 billion stadium. What investment bank, what law firm, what advertising agency would pay so much to send its clients to Flushing Meadows?

The Mayor and Mr. Doctoroff became married to the West Side because the Jets were married to the West Side. Somewhere along the line, the stadium became the nation’s premier multi-tasker: a solution for the Olympics, a home for the Jets, spillover space for the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center next-door, and a spur to get developers to erect office buildings and apartment towers. When community groups and local politicians objected, the two of them just dug in deeper. It apparently never occurred to NYC2012 that another sports organization might want to collaborate. It was always a Jets stadium, never merely an Olympic stadium. "We’re not going to spend that money for 17 days," Mr. Doctoroff told Newsday in May 2004.

But once Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno annulled that marriage, the city left Jets president Jay Cross to fend for himself. Now the Bloomberg administration is dealing with Mets owner Fred Wilpon.

The Mets deal requires the city and the state to chip in $180 million for infrastructure so the baseball team can move to the parking lot next-door to its Flushing Meadows home. The Mets will get to play on city parkland without paying rent or taxes and, according to sources cited in The New York Times, will even get to keep the first $7 million annually in parking revenues. If the Olympics come hither, another $250 million in public and private money will elongate the field and add seats to the stands so that the next FloJo can burn the quarter-mile track.

The Mets arrangement is not necessarily much better for the city’s treasury, but if the West Side stadium was the scrum that everyone wanted to dive into, the Mets deal is the Gatorade that civic groups, Mayoral candidates and Speaker Silver are sipping coolly on the sidelines. New York City won’t get those tax revenues that the Jets are funneling to New Jersey, where the team now plays. Nor will city residents get the 2,400 jobs that were supposed to have sprouted because the West Side stadium could be turned into convention space. The new stadium will also turn what was supposed to be a largely privately financed Olympics into one with a substantial public subsidy—but at this point, who cares? The International Olympic Committee will vote July 6 on who will get the pleasure of hosting nine million sweating spectators and 11,000 really sweaty athletes seven years from now.

"What’s frustrating is why the site wasn’t in the plan from the beginning," said Don Porter, the president of the International Softball Federation, which has one of its board members on the I.O.C. "It’s hard to say if the late change will be held against New York. I.O.C. members view things very differently. Each city has its own problems."

Silver Lining

Meanwhile, the M.T.A. and a host of developers who are keenly interested in the West Side, with or without the stadium, are wondering what will happen next. The key to development is a package of tax incentives that would apply to the 42-block area recently rezoned for commercial and residential uses. According to an analysis by the Independent Budget Office, a nonpartisan research arm of city government, commercial property owners wouldn’t have to pay real-estate taxes. Instead, the I.B.O. determined that they would be liable for payments in lieu of taxes that would cost between 15 and 20 percent less than regular taxes would. In fact, developers would get extra bonuses for starting early: as much as an additional 40 percent off in 2010. On top of that, developers would pay a substitute sales tax on construction materials that would be just about 3 percent, according to the I.B.O.

The incentive package was scheduled for a vote by the Industrial Development Agency, an arm of city government that handles tax breaks, on Tuesday. But on May 31, right when the agency would’ve had to release the details of the tax breaks, the city took it off the agenda. These were the incentives that led Mr. Silver to dunk the stadium, even though it was the incentives, and not the stadium, that would have posed the gravest threat to office development at Ground Zero, which is in his district. The I.B.O. analysis projects that the Hudson Yards development would put one million square feet of new office space on the market a year starting in 2010, right about the time when Larry Silverstein will be trying to build and fill about one million square feet of office space a year at Ground Zero, in Towers 2, 3, 4 and 5. We will truly be faced with an embarrassment of riches.

The other bait that the Mayor laid for developers was a $2 billion extension of the No. 7 subway line, which he wanted to pay for with all these substitute real-estate tax payments that the West Side would bring in. Mayor Bloomberg still wants to build it, according to spokeswoman Jennifer Falk. But his good friends in Albany are giving him a chance to reconsider. The project is now included in a $21.1 billion five-year budget that was to be reviewed by the M.T.A. Capital Program Review Board by June 1, but now doesn’t have to be approved until the end of the month.

The M.T.A. review board is another of those obscure panels, like the Public Authority Control Board which doomed the West Side stadium, that attains occasional moments of glory, and its moment may be approaching. Like the PACB, the board is made up of three voting members, appointed by the Assembly Speaker, the Senate Majority Leader and the Governor. Mayor Bloomberg appoints an additional member who votes on city projects. And like the PACB, any single member can veto a resolution.

The board can look forward to a couple of good fights. First, how much of an anticipated $2.5 billion does each member get for his pet mega-project: Mr. Pataki is pushing for $400 million for a rail link from downtown to Kennedy airport; Senator Dean Skelos, Mr. Bruno’s appointee, wants to give his constituents on Long Island a way to get from the Long Island Railroad terminal at Penn Station to Grand Central Terminal; Mr. Silver is pulling for a Second Avenue subway.

And Mr. Bloomberg has his No. 7 extension, which isn’t officially a part of the $2.5 billion but would have to be approved by the same board. This is where Mr. Silver could put the kibosh on anything that might draw tenants away from Mr. Silverstein’s office towers at Ground Zero. Mr. Silver’s spokesman, Charles Carrier, would say only that the Speaker is reviewing the M.T.A.’s proposal. In addition, Mr. Bloomberg will have to convince the board’s other members that development on the West Side is going ahead and is going to generate enough money to pay for the No. 7 without help from the state.

"That appears to be in a great deal of flux right now," said Tom Dunham, the director of communications for Mr. Skelos. "We have a very limited pot of state resources and need to spend them wisely."

You may reach Matthew Schuerman via email at: mschuerman@observer.com (mscheuerman@observer.com).

This column ran on page 1 in the 6/20/2005 edition of The New York Observer.

COPYRIGHT (http://www.observer.com/pages/copyright.htm) © 2005

June 15th, 2005, 10:35 PM
Olympian makeover for Queens

A new Shea Stadium may be part of a larger transformation in Queens that would turn one of the city's perennial eyesores into a trendy mix of retail, entertainment and housing.
The city Economic Development Corp. is sitting on 14 different development concepts for Willets Point, a 48-acre outback of junkyards and auto-body shops.

"Many of the ideas for the area are spectacular," Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) said.

"Many of them include retail and entertainment-related complexes," added Liu, a member of the city's Willets Point Advisory Committee. "Housing is a component in some of the plans. Some of the plans envision a new commercial district. Some of them call for an entirely new community - residential and commercial mixes."

He declined to name the developers who offered ideas, citing requests for confidentiality. Development officials also declined to identify the companies.

The EDC had invited developers to submit by March 15 "expressions of interest" in the Willets Point peninsula, after the agency had announced a development plan for downtown Flushing, which is just east of the area.

That plan called for "a large-scale development" in Willets Point that "provides a significant economic benefit to the area and transforms Flushing into a true super-regional destination."

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall expressed support for a Queens Chamber of Commerce proposal to build a hotel with a conference center.

And if the city wins the 2012 Olympics, EDC spokeswoman Janel Patterson noted that plans for Willets Point would have to incorporate an international broadcast and media center.

The Flushing plan also recommended that a strategy be drawn up for "site acquisition" in Willets Point. It said the relocation of some 83 businesses, most of them auto-related, would cost at least $130million.

Liu said last Sunday's unexpected announcement about the new Mets ballpark, which could be converted for the Olympic Games in 2012, "will only serve as a catalyst" for Willets Point redevelopment.

Yet others said not so fast.

"We want to make sure that the legitimate business owners here are compensated and are dealt with fairly," said Councilman Hiram Monserrate (D-Jackson Heights), whose district includes Shea Stadium and Willets Point.

He was joined by car-repair workers, who said they will be willing to relocate elsewhere in the borough.

Some Willets Point business owners have sought help from the Neighborhood Retail Alliance, a group that successfully led a fight against a Wal-Mart in Queens.

"We're concerned about the fate of the merchants in Willets Point," said Richard Lipsky, a spokesman for the Neighborhood Retail Alliance. "Right now, they're an afterthought," he said. "They are being treated like slum dwellers, and that's not fair."

With Oren Yaniv
Originally published on June 15, 2005

June 16th, 2005, 09:48 AM
The Flushing plan also recommended that a strategy be drawn up for "site acquisition" in Willets Point. It said the relocation of some 83 businesses, most of them auto-related, would cost at least $130million.
Typically these lots are contaminated with heavy metals and oil seepage requiring excavated dirt to be disposed of as hazardous. It's great to see it get tidied up collectively with great community and political support. It'd be a shame if the cleanup costs were somehow deducted from the "site aquisition" compensation.

June 17th, 2005, 01:01 AM
June 17, 2005
Track Body Approves Olympic Stadium Blueprint

By LYNN ZINSER (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=LYNN ZINSER&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=LYNN ZINSER&inline=nyt-per)
The international track and field federation, the I.A.A.F., has given NYC2012's plan for an Olympic stadium in Queens its first major endorsement, the federation's general secretary, István Gyulai, said yesterday after the plan was presented at the federation's headquarters in Monaco.

"Honestly, I was very impressed because it was done in such a short time," Gyulai said in a telephone interview. "We looked at it and it was very impressive. It meets all of our technical requirements."

This was a crucial development for NYC2012 because the international federations of the two sports that would compete there, track and field and soccer, must approve the stadium plan before the International Olympic Committee executive board will allow New York to submit it to the I.O.C. as part of its bid. The new plan has to be approved quickly because the I.O.C. votes on July 6 to pick the 2012 city from among the five finalists: New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow.

NYC2012's director of planning and design, Andrew Winters, and David Katz, the meet director of New York's Millrose Games, presented the plan to the I.A.A.F. in Monaco.

Soccer's governing body, FIFA, has asked that the plan be sent to it by mail, but its requirements are less exacting than track and field's. Only the men's and women's gold medal soccer matches would be played at the stadium.

"Obviously we're very pleased," Jay Kriegel, NYC2012's executive director, said of the I.A.A.F.'s reaction. "This was a critical step, an important evaluation in the I.O.C.'s approval process."

The I.A.A.F. presentation is part of what NYC2012 officials consider a relaunching of the bid after the plan to build a stadium on the Far West Side of Manhattan failed, nearly sinking New York's hopes for the Games. Today, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg leads a delegation that will present the revised bid to African Olympic officials meeting in Accra, Ghana. It is the final opportunity to reach I.O.C. members before they convene in Singapore for the final vote.

Bloomberg was en route to Ghana yesterday with Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor and bid founder; David N. Dinkins, the former mayor; Dikembe Mutombo, the N.B.A. star and Republic of Congo native; and Adebayo Ogunlesi, the chief of investment banking for Credit Suisse First Boston. They will make a 10-minute presentation to the group as well as individually lobby the 15 or so I.O.C. members expected to attend.

This is NYC2012's first chance to gauge the international reaction to the stadium-rebirth drama. Organizers have always considered Africa a potentially important source of support, aiming to win over its I.O.C. voters by promoting New York's ethnic diversity. They hope the track and field plans for the stadium will resonate in Africa because of the sport's prominence there. The I.A.A.F. president, Lamine Diack of Senegal, is also an I.O.C. member and will be in attendance in Accra.

Kriegel said part of the presentation would be New York's ability to bounce back with a new stadium proposal, but that it would not be the dominant theme. He said he believed I.O.C. members were more interested in the overall appeal of a New York Games and that a Manhattan stadium had been but a small part of that.

Kriegel also said the bid's proposal to lend marketing help to sports leading up to the Games has found an attentive audience. Track and field is one of those sports, Gyulai said.

"Our long-term strategic plan is better marketing and promotion of the sport in the United States, to bring it back to where it was during the time of the Los Angeles Games and before," Gyulai said. "It has dropped off. With the great level of your athletes in the U.S., it is a shame."

The Olympic stadium would not become a permanent track and field facility like the Stade de France in Paris and London's proposed Olympic stadium. New York's stadium would be returned to the Mets after the Olympics as a 45,000-seat baseball park. But the track federation would welcome the increased exposure provided by an American Olympics.

Before the I.O.C. can even consider the New York bid, however, the stadium proposal has to meet its list of requirements. Most are dictated by track and field. Everything from the marathon course, which must be altered to finish in the new stadium, to the location of the warm-up track, to the configuration of the media areas must pass muster.

After a few questions about the race-walking course, which must be near the stadium, and whether the roof will cover all spectators (it will), Gyulai said the federation would submit the necessary letter to the I.O.C. indicating its approval.

"It is a major accomplishment to quickly come up with such a complete proposal," he said.

NYC2012 hopes to hear FIFA's reaction to the stadium plan next week.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

June 19th, 2005, 08:53 PM
Old news.

June 21st, 2005, 03:37 PM
CNN/Sports Illustrated
June 21, 2005

NYC brings in the Greatest

Ali to join U.S. delegation in Singapore for final vote

Muhammad Ali won a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, and famously lit the torch in Atlanta in 1996.

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York has brought out its biggest hitter so far in the campaign for the 2012 Olympics.

Boxing great Muhammad Ali will be part of the U.S. delegation in Singapore when the International Olympic Committee picks the 2012 host city on July 6, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday.

The former world heavyweight champion won a gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Ali, 63, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, also provided one of the Olympics' most memorable moments when he lit the torch at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

"When I look back and remember my greatest, most exciting moments as a boxer, competing in New York and competing in the Olympics are at the top of that list," Ali said in a statement issued by the New York 2012 committee.

"To bring them together and hold the Games in New York City would be unforgettable for everyone involved, including myself," he said.

New York is competing against Paris, Madrid, London and Moscow.

London has already announced that England soccer captain David Beckham will be in Singapore. Madrid will have Real Madrid soccer star Raul, five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain and NBA player Pau Gasol.

Copyright © 2005 CNN/Sports Illustrated

June 22nd, 2005, 05:36 PM
More annoying balderdash from Freddy:

Freddy rips huge 'tab' for chasing Oly dream



Mayoral hopeful Fernando Ferrer opened fire on the city's bid for the 2012 Olympic Games yesterday - accusing the bid committee of socking taxpayers with hundreds of millions of dollars in hidden costs.

And he refused to say whether he supports the city's bid. In previous comments, Ferrer backed the Olympic dream.

Ferrer said Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, founder of the city's bid, personally told him the Olympic Games "won't cost the taxpayers a dime."

"So far, I'm counting up several hundred millions of dollars worth of dimes piling up on the public tab," Ferrer said. While he said New York would be "proud to have the Olympics," he wouldn't say whether he supports the bid.

Ferrer spokeswoman Jen Bluestein said he is "in favor" of the Games coming to New York but has "real concerns" about the way the mayor and NYC2012 "constructed the bid."

Last week, Mayor Bloomberg announced city and state taxpayers will spend roughly $100 million to convert a new Mets ballpark into an Olympic stadium.

If Ferrer is elected mayor, he won't support using public funds for the job, Bluestein said.

Bloomberg campaign spokesman Stu Loeser said, "Only Flip-Flop-Freddy could simultaneously be for the Olympics' benefits and against investing less than a penny on the dollar to get those benefits."

NYC2012 spokesman Jay Carson said the group "has an incredibly detailed and publicly available budget which shows that the games [will] generate $12 billion in economic impact."

New York is competing against London, Paris, and Madrid and Moscow for the Games. The host city will be announced July 6.

Copyright 2005 The New York Daily News


I don't see how Ferrer can be against public investments and for the Olympics at the same time. It's clear New York, nor any other city for that matter, has all the infrastructure necessary for the Olympics already in place when it is making its bid. Plus, New York's spending plan of 3.2 billion is peanuts compared to other cities like Paris, whose investment tops 7 billion.

June 22nd, 2005, 05:43 PM
NYC2012 spokesman Jay Carson said the group "has an incredibly detailed and publicly available budget which shows that the games [will] generate $12 billion in economic impact."

Is NYC2012 using the same accounting firm that told us the RNC would generate millions upon millions of dollars for the city?

June 22nd, 2005, 06:11 PM
Is NYC2012 using the same accounting firm that told us the RNC would generate millions upon millions of dollars for the city?

Perhaps they meant impact upon the city. As in cost.

June 22nd, 2005, 06:15 PM
No, they meant 12 billion in economic impact on the city, as in 12 billion dollars of revenue generated during the two week timeframe. A little overly optimistic, I think.

June 23rd, 2005, 11:10 AM
I'd bet it's not just during the two week timeframe.

June 27th, 2005, 02:02 AM
Olympic Stadium Plan Is Sketchy, and That's Not Bad


Published: June 27, 2005

Lacking the high-tech look of the rejected West Side stadium, the design of the new Olympic stadium in Flushing, Queens, was unveiled by NYC2012 yesterday. Its major architectural flourish is that it actually has a design just two weeks after the plan was conceived.

The fact that it can actually be built will be the main point NYC2012 will make when it shows the design to the International Olympic Committee next week. It will be a rendering of a Mets ballpark expanded from 45,000 seats to 80,000.

The I.O.C. will convene in Singapore on July 6 to choose the host city for the 2012 Olympics from among New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow. NYC2012 needed a rendering to submit to the I.O.C. executive board as part of its revised bid.

"We wanted to accomplish an ideal Olympic stadium," said Andrew Winters, NYC2012's director of planning and design. "We didn't want to compromise at all from a technical point of view."

The rendering depicts a baseball stadium, with its traditional ballpark shape, at the south end, expanded northward to include a 400-meter track and the additional seats. At the northeast corner, between two sections, rises the Olympic caldron. Outside is the warm-up track, as well as plazas and walkways to nearby sports sites, including the National Tennis Center and those for rowing, canoeing/kayaking, archery and water polo.

"The real challenge was to make it feel like one building, not a temporary piece attached to a permanent one," Winters said. "Atlanta proved it can be done. We proved that, 15 years later, you can make it even better."

The designers used Atlanta's Olympic stadium, which was converted into the Braves' home field after the 1996 Games, as their model. But Winters said they concentrated on making better sightlines for fans and bringing the stands closer to the action. The seats that would be removed are in two tiers, instead of the one Atlanta used, making the seating uniform from the permanent baseball section to the temporary sections.

It is an arrangement of convenience, the intersection of the Mets' need for a new home and the 11th-hour rescue of the city's Olympic bid after the West Side stadium plan, a new home for the Jets, failed on June 6. The Mets chose the architects HOK Sport to design their home, which they would vacate for a year while it is converted into Olympic form if New York wins the Games.

As a benefit to the new arrangement, NYC2012 said that when the extra seats were removed to return the stadium to a baseball configuration, some would be used to expand Icahn Stadium, the new track and field facility on Randalls Island, from 5,000 seats to 25,000. That would enable it to be host for major international events.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

June 27th, 2005, 10:37 AM
June 27, 2005

Organizers release first drawing of Queens stadium

Associated Press

In this undated handout artist rendering provided by NYC2012 , the revised Olympic Stadium is shown in the Queens borough of New York. NYC2012 released the first rendering of the revised Olympic Stadium located in the Olympic Park Cluster.

The committee organizing New York's bid for the 2012 Olympics on Sunday released the first drawing of the proposed Queens stadium that would be converted into an Olympic Stadium if the city is awarded the games.

The New York Mets plan to build the stadium, which would become the team's new home by 2009.

The city revised its Olympic bid to include the 80,000-seat Queens stadium after the collapse of a $2 billion project on Manhattan's West Side that would have served as home to the New York Jets and the centerpiece of the city's Olympic bid.

The $600 million Queens stadium would host the Olympics' opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the track and field and soccer finals.

The rendering shows an airy and roofless stadium with space for advertising on its side and a plaza next to it.

The organizing committee, NYC2012, said in a press release that the stadium would meet the highest competition standards.

The new plan would put the Olympic stadium near the Olympic village and the International Broadcast Center, also planned for Queens. It would take athletes 17 minutes to travel from the village to the stadium, officials said.

After the Olympics, the stadium would be converted back to a baseball stadium, and the 25,000-seat outdoor track would be moved and installed permanently at the new Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island, organizers said.

NYC2012 submitted a revised bid to the International Olympics Committee's executive board on Friday, officials said.

The IOC will select the host city on July 6. The other cities competing for the games are Paris, London, Moscow and Madrid.

Copyright © 2005, Newsday, Inc.

June 29th, 2005, 12:30 AM
New York City Is Set for the Games (No, Not Those Games)


Published: June 29, 2005

New York City's bid to attract a world competition - with thousands of athletes from more than 100 countries competing at stadiums, parks and other venues across the city and in nearby suburbs - has succeeded, an international sports federation said yesterday.

It is not the Olympics.

Instead, after what has been a quiet campaign, carried out by City Hall, the police and firefighters, the organizers of the World Police and Fire Games said they had selected New York for their 2011 games. The event would be timed to be held right before the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

"The New York games have the potential of being the biggest we have ever held," said Ed Hitchcock, chairman of the World Police and Fire Games Federation, which convened this week in Quebec City, Canada, with 10,000 firefighters and law enforcement officials. Although the group's announcement was scheduled for Thursday, Mr. Hitchcock said in a telephone interview that New York had been picked over Orlando, its only rival.

Among city officials, the decision did little to lessen the suspense over next week's decision by the International Olympic Committee on the city's bid for the 2012 Olympics. But it was nonetheless cheered by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

"We are delighted," he said in a prepared statement last night.

"Sept. 11 resonated in the hearts and minds of emergency service personnel through the world, and there is no better place for these men and women to come together in the spirit of solidarity," he said.

First held in California in 1985, the World Police and Fire Games have been staged every two years in cities as different as Indianapolis, Stockholm and Melbourne, Australia. The games are open to police officers, firefighters, correction officers and customs agents, who compete in more than 60 events that range from team sports, like ice hockey and soccer, to events tailored to the skills of emergency personnel, like pulling a fire hose on a cart, hitching it to a hydrant, and spraying water with precision.

Kenneth J. Podziba, New York City's sports commissioner, said the city's bid for the 2011 games had been made by a delegation that included two people on his staff, two representatives of NYC & Company, the tourism organization, and three current or retired members of the Police and Fire Departments.

Mr. Hitchcock said his group based its selection on a presentation made by the New York City delegation in Quebec City on Saturday. Among other factors, he said, the delegation had promised to raise $750,000, the minimum local support that the federation requires from private sponsors.

But the costs of the event seemed certain to be higher. Mr. Podziba said the city did not plan to spend any public money but would make its parks and sports facilities available.

"Whether it will be $750,000 or $2 million, I don't know," he said. "The organizing committee will be responsible for raising money from corporate sponsors, and I don't believe there will be a problem."

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

June 29th, 2005, 12:39 AM
Rice Cheers on City's Team as Olympic Decision Nears


Published: June 29, 2005

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the city's Olympic organizers began their last push to bring the 2012 Summer Games to New York City yesterday with a flag-waving rally at City Hall and a high-profile visit from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

But they faced a barrage of questions about why neither President Bush nor Ms. Rice - nor any other ranking federal official - would be joining the mayor and his retinue next week in Singapore, where the International Olympic Committee is to decide where the Games will be held in 2012.

And reporters repeatedly asked Ms. Rice if she thought the United States' standing in the world after the Iraq war would hurt the city's chances with the committee next week.

The mayor, Ms. Rice and Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor leading the city's bid, remained relentlessly positive, rarely straying from their message that New York's international flavor made it especially qualified to be the host of the Games.

"When the Olympic committee looks at New York it will see a microcosm of what the Olympics speak to," Ms. Rice said, "and that is the common humanity of all people from whatever background and whatever nationality."

The city is competing against Madrid, Moscow, London and Paris for the Games, and even city officials acknowledge that Paris is widely considered the front-runner, while New York is considered a long shot.

The city's chances seemed further dimmed earlier this month when the state did not approve the city's plans for a domed West Side stadium that was to have served as the main Olympic stadium as well as the home of the New York Jets and a convention center. Officials said yesterday that its quick presentation of a Plan B in Queens would impress international organizers as an example of the city's nimbleness and perseverance.

As of yesterday it appeared that New York City's contingent in Singapore could be the only one without a leading national official. Spain was planning to send Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and possibly King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia; President Vladimir V. Putin may accompany the Moscow team; Prime Minister Tony Blair is to accompany the London team; and President Jacques Chirac is expected to accompany the Paris team.

Asked repeatedly at a press briefing yesterday why Mr. Bush was not going, Ms. Rice and Mr. Bloomberg observed that American presidents have traditionally not gone to the meetings. George H. W. Bush did not and Bill Clinton did not, but the country won the Games anyway.

Ms. Rice said her presence at City Hall was evidence that the president supports the bid.

And, she said, Roland Betts, his representative with the city's Olympic contingent, is among Mr. Bush's closest friends.

Ms. Rice said she could not go because of a scheduling conflict.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

July 3rd, 2005, 01:35 AM
Bid Stops Here: New York Set for a Final Olympic Dash


Published: July 3, 2005

SINGAPORE, July 2 - Daniel L. Doctoroff surveyed the harried work proceeding around him, the fourth floor of the Raffles Convention Center being transformed into the center of the International Olympic Committee universe, and he seized upon the world surreal.

Still a bit dazed from the 18-plus-hour flight that had deposited him here, Doctoroff, the founder of New York's Olympic bid, could hardly believe he was at the place where the host city for the 2012 Summer Games will be decided. On Wednesday, when the I.O.C. chooses from among New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow, the fate of Doctoroff's 11-year-old dream will sit in the hands of 116 people Doctoroff has tirelessly wooed for the past few years. He calculated that he had flown 175,000 miles in the past six months alone.

After the last of those miles, he walked off a plane in Singapore at 5 a.m. Friday, flashing an easy smile and a cheerful demeanor for the squad of local television cameras awaiting him. Sunrise was still several hours away. And the sales job was far from over.

"Everyone's always called me the eternal optimist, but I really believe we have a great chance at what would be an incredible upset," Doctoroff said. "I can see how it will happen. I've always been able to see it. I could be totally wrong, but I can see it."

Immediately, Doctoroff began to work restoring New York's image in this race. His confidence may have survived the defeat of the West Side stadium project and New York's moribund image internationally, not to mention the world's longest direct flight, from Newark to Singapore, but he is asked everywhere he turns whether New York truly has a chance, whether the longtime favorite Paris can possibly be beaten.

He concedes nothing.

"What I always visualized was going into the final vote with a great chance to win, and I believe that is where we are," Doctoroff said. "I'm not one to believe in odds set by British bettors. Instead I believe in what New York offers for athletes, for sport, for the Olympic movement. The true test will come on Wednesday."

Until then, the I.O.C. will begin to get down to work. Members began arriving Saturday, and the executive board will begin meeting Sunday. On Monday, the board is expected to formally approve New York's request to alter its bid with an Olympic stadium in Queens replacing the one on the West Side of Manhattan. The full I.O.C. session begins with an opening ceremony on Tuesday night, and the cities' presentations and the vote will consume Wednesday.

Before that, Doctoroff and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and a huge New York delegation of Olympians and dignitaries will continue to lobby I.O.C. members at every turn: in meetings, chance encounters in hallways or restaurants.

Bloomberg is scheduled to arrive Sunday. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will join the fray Tuesday. The Olympians supporting New York have begun to trickle in and lend some star power, with Muhammad Ali topping off that procession in the next few days.

Their job is to bolster the idea of New York as a plausible choice.

"We're not going to tell them anything new," Doctoroff said. "I think at this point, we want to remind them that we'd make a great partner, and if there's an issue, we'll figure out how to get it done."

That is the theme coming out of New York's stadium drama, with bid members spinning it as a can-do response to a difficult problem. What is unknown is how I.O.C. members view that development, but Doctoroff said that he had talked to about 50 members since the new stadium plan was unveiled and that he believed the backlash would be minimal.

He is left to hope that his efforts - and his air mileage - will not go to waste.

NYC2012 staffers have helped deluge members with materials. Most recently, they sent View-Masters with 3D pictures of the before and after of each proposed Olympic site. They sent boxes of handwritten letters from New Yorkers addressed to each I.O.C. member, complete with pictures and arguments for their city.

This is on top of Doctoroff's travels. He said he has had meaningful discussions with 113 of the members, varying from 15-minute conversations with some to repeated visits and friendships developed with others.

"Very early on, and time will tell if the strategy is correct, the strategy was to treat every single one of the I.O.C. members like individuals, to solicit their input, find out what's important to them in selecting a city," he said. "I believe they've been very honest, very candid with us describing what is important to them."

The bid team has always tailored its presentations to the group being addressed. In a gathering of international sports federations in Berlin, Doctoroff unveiled a sports marketing plan for them. At a meeting of African Olympic committees, he took the African-born basketball star Dikembe Mutombo to talk about the virtues of New York.

Of course, all of the other bid cities were at each of those meetings as well. And they come to Singapore with the same professions of optimism as Doctoroff.

"The true test comes on Wednesday," he said.

That presentation cannot be tailored. The entire I.O.C. will sit in judgment, ready to decide if the last 11 years of Doctoroff's pursuit will take the Olympics to New York, or if he will be left to decide whether to try again in another four years.

Surreal, indeed.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

July 3rd, 2005, 11:24 PM
A Frantic Finale for Cities Vying for 2012 Games


Published: July 4, 2005

SINGAPORE, Monday, July 4 - International Olympic Committee members warily stepped out of elevators, looking both ways for solicitous representatives from the cities bidding to be host for the 2012 Olympics who might be lurking in the lobby.

Soldiers who look barely old enough to drive were pacing outside the doors, toting machine guns and appearing impervious to the sweltering heat. The mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, huddled with advisers in the lobby bar, chain smoking.

The entire scene paused as a huge security detail ushered Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain through the doors and into the elevator, a burst of camera flashes lighting his way.

The frantic world of Olympic bidding has descended on this island nation in Southeast Asia, and a vote by I.O.C. members Wednesday will decide what many consider the most hotly contested Olympics ever - with New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow vying to win the 2012 Games.

By all accounts, there are far more undecided I.O.C. members than usual this time around, making all the posturing and wooing necessary, and endlessly intriguing.

As is their habit, I.O.C. members rarely tip their hands, addressing the race as evasively as possible. Most say the outcome will be extremely close, with voting going several rounds before a winner is determined. It has become an outsized civic beauty pageant.

"I've never seen a contest like it," said Kevan Gosper of Australia, an I.O.C. member since 1977. "It has got to be the greatest peacetime competition between five of the greatest and most historic cities in history, not just in Olympic history."

The scene swirls around two adjacent hotel lobbies, at Raffles and Swissôtel, with their various restaurants and bars, ringed by armed soldiers and metal detectors, and occasionally preoccupied with the arrival of a major dignitary.

Mr. Blair created the biggest stir Sunday, with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York opting for an unpublicized arrival in his private jet. But by Wednesday, dignitaries like President Jacques Chirac of France, Queen Sofia of Spain, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov of Russia and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, will have caused their own commotion, as will the sports superstars David Beckham and Muhammad Ali. The gathering has attracted about 1,500 members of the news media, outnumbering the 116 I.O.C. members by more than 10 to 1.

Most of the work of courting votes, however, happens out of plain view, although I.O.C. members brave enough to venture through the lobby are met quickly by representatives from bid cities. In the evening, the mingling moves to the bars and restaurants nearby.

But the task is more complicated than simply finding favor. The voting goes by rounds; if one city has not received a majority of votes after the first round, the city receiving the lowest number of votes is eliminated. The rounds continue until one city receives a majority. I.O.C. members from a country that has a city competing for the bid cannot vote until after their city is eliminated.

"I don't get lobbied much," said Craig Reedie, an I.O.C. member from Britain. "It's my goal not to vote."

But voters have to think beyond their first choice, which may be knocked out quickly. NYC2012, New York's bid committee, has a delegation of more than 200 people here. The bid officials have worked to make New York the second choice of a lot of voters, even lobbying I.O.C. members they believed were favoring another city.

Daniel L. Doctoroff, New York's bid founder and the deputy mayor for economic development, says New York can gain steam if it survives into the later rounds. Paris is expected to have the most first-round votes, but it may be less aggressive about picking up votes from members committed to another city.

"My gut view is that most people know what they're going to do in the first round," said Sebastian Coe, a two-time gold medalist in the 1,500 meters who is London's bid leader. "But it's a bit like I knew how I was going to start most races for the first 30 or 40 yards, but then you weren't always able to factor everything in. Yes, I have a number of scenarios in my mind what could happen, but that will unravel anyway."

The run-up to this vote has helped shape its ambiguity. I.O.C. rules now forbid members to visit bid cities as a way to prevent the kind of vote-buying that resulted in the Salt Lake City scandal, in which some I.O.C. members received bribes and special favors for their votes on the 2002 Winter Games. And bid leaders are allowed to approach I.O.C. members only at I.O.C.-sanctioned events, so the lobbying has been contained to organized settings.

This means the members are far less familiar with the bids, having not seen the plans in person.

None of the cities' bid officials admit to taking anything for granted. Paris officials often say that they do not believe their city is the front-runner. Madrid's bid leader, Feliciano Mayoral, insists his city received the top marks from the evaluation commission, although most interpreted Paris's review as the best. New York officials are still questioned about the possibility of New York's state assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, killing a second stadium plan, forcing the bid officials to refute the idea that their Olympic stadium hangs in perpetual limbo.

Mr. Coe trumpets London's momentum, not a hard claim to back up considering that the bid suffered from low public support even within Britain until Mr. Coe took over a year ago and gave it an aggressive posture. The London bid will require a huge urban renewal project, even more ambitious than New York's now that the West Side makeover has been scrapped. They provide a stark contrast to Paris's modest building plans.

Singapore, Asia's über-modern outpost, has added its own particular flair to this process. On Saturday, with I.O.C. members beginning to arrive and bid cities jockeying for access, the country unfurled a fascinating distraction. What appeared to be a significant portion of the Singapore military paraded through the streets, including legions of soldiers, dozens of tanks driven by men in full camouflage that included leaf-covered helmets, and trucks carrying missiles. It was capped by a flyover and a 21-gun salute.

The event was one of seven practices for a National Day parade in August. While the rehearsal took over Singapore's streets, New York bid leaders were forced to walk through Singapore's maze of underground malls to reach their scheduled news conference. They emerged from the crowded string of stores joking about the prospect of Manhattan needing to stage seven practice runs for all of its parades.

NYC2012, however, has repeatedly rehearsed for its big moment here: the 45-minute presentation before the I.O.C. membership on Wednesday. It is being choreographed down to the minute, although it is not being directed by the filmmaker Steven Spielberg, contrary to a rumor reported in a local newspaper that captivated even the French filmmaker Luc Besson, who is directing Paris's effort. Mr. Besson declared Spielberg his hero. "To lose in front of him will be an honor," he said. "To win in front of him will be a super honor."

There will be no Mr. Spielberg, but plenty of others will swoop through the hotels, where the entertainment on parade needs no Hollywood stagecraft.

A prime minister's entrance here or there will do.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

July 5th, 2005, 01:28 AM
New York Makes Buttonholing the Newest Olympic Sport


Published: July 5, 2005

SINGAPORE, Tuesday, July 5 - They have matched Olympic delegates beer for beer, downed Asian pizza, exploited their celebrity power and memorized unfamiliar faces from around the globe. Throughout the final 48 hours, New York's Olympic supporters were unable to slow down their frenetic push to bring the 2012 Games to the United States.

Through dinners, lunches and breakfasts; through late-afternoon tea and late-night bar sessions, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the city's huge Olympic contingent are trying to line up the 50-odd votes they will ultimately need to edge out Paris, London, Moscow and Madrid for an unexpected victory in the competition for the 2012 Olympics - a long-shot bid to which Mr. Bloomberg has already devoted enormous time and political capital despite overwhelming predictions he will leave here empty-handed.

The decision is in the hands of 115 voting members of the International Olympic Committee, who on Wednesday will begin the rounds of voting by secret ballot. The winner is expected to be announced at 7:30 p.m. in Singapore (7:30 a.m. E.D.T.).

With that deadline near, the strategy of the New York team is clear: pair as many committee members as possible with the mayor and the international luminaries who surround him here in a political offensive aimed at winning enough votes to survive the first and second rounds of voting. The widespread feeling among bid officials from all five cities is that once the voting narrows the list to three cities, the later voting becomes a tossup.

On Monday the city's team succeeded in seating Mr. Bloomberg and Henry A. Kissinger - along with Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff and Representative Charles B. Rangel of Harlem - at a large table at the center of Prego, an Italian restaurant located just off the Raffles Hotel lobby.

Specialists hired by NYC2012 worked the lobby and restaurant looking for delegates from their designated areas - South America, Africa, Eastern Europe - and, after affectionate greetings, brought them over to Mr. Bloomberg's table.

On Sunday afternoon, Mr. Doctoroff shared beers in a hotel restaurant with committee members from Norway and Puerto Rico. Olympics officials said Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who arrived here early Tuesday morning to fanfare that rivaled that given to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain earlier in the week, had already asked them to reach out to 20 international delegates with whom she has personal connections.

"I intend to make the case to everyone I can in the next two days," Ms. Clinton said at an early-morning news briefing. "In fact, just this morning at breakfast, I made contact with people who I had met in Lillehammer, in Atlanta, in other settings around the world as I have traveled."

On the surface, the city's last-ditch effort is a chaotic, food and drink-drenched schmoozathon that mostly takes place in a well-protected cluster of luxury hotels and restaurants in this wealthy island city-state. But it is also a carefully choreographed political offensive in which New York's organizers are most aggressively targeting those of the 115 voting members whom they believe they can win over with the right amount of charm, reason and promises.

"This is a political convention," said Roland Betts, the chairman of Chelsea Piers and a friend of President Bush's who is here helping the city. "As you would in any campaign, you carefully and systematically identify who you're going to talk to and who you're not going to talk to."

But with the outcome as unpredictable as the Iowa caucuses, the New York team, like those of the other cities vying against it, must navigate crosscurrents of competing interests and agendas to cobble together a coalition that will help it win out over the perceived front-runner, Paris. And they must do so under new rules that limit how much they can spend in wooing votes - rules that were imposed after the scandals that followed Salt Lake City's winning the 2002 Winter Games.

Much like the caucuses, the I.O.C. voting comes in rounds, and members supporting the eliminated city jump to other cities as the process continues. New York City officials are open about their expectation that they will not win the most votes in the first round.

Officials familiar with the city's vote estimates say the most optimistic projection has New York winning 25 votes in the first round; the least optimistic put it closer to 18 or fewer. That is cold comfort when some believe Moscow - which conventional wisdom puts at the bottom of the list - can pull up to 15 votes from friendly members who do not want to see it lose in the first round.

Then again, long-time Olympics officials warn that such vote counts can be misleading, since the secret ballot means there is no assurance that members are not promising to vote for more than one city. When Sydney won the 2000 Summer Games, it did so with far fewer votes than it thought it was promised.

New York hopes to survive to the second round and then pick off committee members who had supported the losing cities, round by round.

"What you really hope," the mayor said, "is if their countries don't get it, that they will turn to New York and say, 'Well, if we can't have it, we think the best place for the Olympic Games would be there.' "

But officials say they are also pursuing a divide-and-conquer strategy that plays upon members' specific interests, hoping to persuade European delegates that a vote for Paris or London would diminish the chance of a 2016 Olympics returning to Europe.

(New York City is not working in a vacuum, and some bid officials were becoming increasingly concerned Monday that the Europeans were also arguing that New York City will be all the more ready in 2016.)

But only about half the 115 members are from Europe, and New York organizers are also aiming to win members from Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America.

Many of the chief NYC2012 officials have studied the faces of the 115 members - and also their backgrounds and interests - so they can snag them in hallways and elevators. Their conversations are reported back to staff members of NYC2012 who are carefully tracking all their comments, concerns, and, most importantly, leanings, for a running vote count, officials said.

Mr. Doctoroff has conducted much of the research into the I.O.C. members himself, logging 175,000 air miles in the last six months alone, by his count, visiting them personally in dozens of countries. Bid officials are afraid to appear too calculating, and Mr. Doctoroff said the information he has gleaned has come through an careful process.

"Have I met in some cases their children or do I know what they like to do?" he said. "Yeah, but only because they've become friends. It's about building relationships."

It helps that New York's leading advocates are well known internationally. Mr. Bloomberg had star power in these parts long before he was mayor, as chief executive of Bloomberg L.P., the financial media empire that once had offices here. Senator Clinton is an international celebrity in her own right, and has met many of the delegates. And everyone knows Muhammad Ali.

Yet while many members of the New York delegation are lesser known to the general public, some of them have been shuttled here from around the world because of their relationships with just one or two board members, officials said, some of whom are considered undecided.

"There are a lot of people who are still undecided, or they are not so certain that their minds couldn't be changed," said Charlie Battle, the NYC2012 director of international relations. "That's why these last days are so important. You just have to keep working."

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

July 5th, 2005, 01:46 AM
Bloomberg goes for 2012 gold


July 4, 2005

When the International Olympic Committee meets Wednesday in Singapore to choose a host city for the 2012 Summer Games, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will have both a great deal and surprisingly little riding on the decision.

The stakes could not be higher in some ways for the billionaire businessman, for winning the competition is something money can't buy. Even before his inauguration, Bloomberg named a chief advocate of bringing the Olympics to New York as a deputy mayor. If the city loses -- it is considered a dark horse -- the defeat would squash a long-held hope, at least for now.

Losing out on the bid also would mean missing an opportunity to leverage the approaching games into significant private and federal investments in New York and its infrastructure, a potentially significant setback for a mayor who has put great emphasis on economic development.

And while winning could catapult Bloomberg to new prominence globally -- "In terms of the international sporting community ... he will immediately become a significant player," said Billy Payne, the head of the organizing committee for the 1996 Atlanta Games -- coming up short would mean somebody else assumes the pending host role.

For instance, the mayor of the next city to stage the Olympics is supposed to pick up the five-ringed flag at the closing ceremonies of the Beijing Games in 2008. Barring a surprise outcome on Wednesday, the person there to receive it will likely be the mayor of either Paris or London, considered the front-runners -- not Bloomberg.

Yet, in paradoxical contrast to the potential effect on Bloomberg's dreams, plans and legacy, there may be relatively little political impact for the mayor, regardless of the outcome. If the city loses, "I don't think he's going to take a big hit on it," said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Poll. "I don't think there's a lot of expectations."

If the city wins, however, it may also mean little politically.

"The public may not see it as anything dramatic in this year's election" if the city wins the Olympics, said Bill Cunningham, a strategist for Bloomberg's re-election campaign. "It's a nice feather in your cap, but the real payoff is longer term."

The political realities reflect, in part, the fact that the divisive issue of a West Side stadium, which Bloomberg backed, was removed after key state lawmakers declined to endorse it. The far more politically palatable option of building a new Shea Stadium, and converting it to an Olympic facility if the city wins the Games, took its place.

Even some Democrats who oppose Bloomberg support getting the Games. If the city loses in its bid, said Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn/Queens), one of the Democrats seeking the party's nomination to challenge the Republican incumbent, "It's not the end of the world for New York." In that case, Weiner said, he would pursue the Games of 2016 if he were elected mayor.

Weiner questioned the emphasis Bloomberg has placed on the Olympics. "The mayor doesn't understand we're already on the map," he said. "We don't have anything to prove to anyone."

A Bloomberg aide cast the mayor's courting of the Olympics differently. "He believes that it would be a transformative event for New York City," said Ed Skyler, a spokesman for Bloomberg. Noting that the Olympic Games are about competition and pursuing dreams, Skyler added, "It probably stems from the fact that he came to New York as a young man" -- Bloomberg is from Massachusetts -- and succeeded.

Skyler said that even if the city does lose Wednesday's competition, it will move ahead with projects that have been planned. He downplayed the effect of a defeat on the city or Bloomberg.

"It could be an historic moment for the city, but it's not make-or-break," Skyler said. As for Bloomberg, he said, "As long as you feel ... you've left it all out on the field, nobody's going to have any complaints."

Copyright © 2005, Newsday, Inc.

July 5th, 2005, 01:49 AM
Weiner questioned the emphasis Bloomberg has placed on the Olympics. "The mayor doesn't understand we're already on the map," he said. "We don't have anything to prove to anyone."

Is he trying to suggest the other cities, especially London and Paris, aren't yet on the map? Hell, they've already hosted the Olympics in the last century. I don't understand this ridiculous attitude that people like Weiner have. It's like saying, "What's the point of doing anything anymore in New York? We're already the greatest city, if we just sit on our asses nothing is going to change." That's hardly the attitude I'd want a mayor of New York to hold.

July 6th, 2005, 06:09 AM
If you put the quote back in context, Weiner didn't imply that at all.

Even some Democrats who oppose Bloomberg support getting the Games. If the city loses in its bid, said Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn/Queens), one of the Democrats seeking the party's nomination to challenge the Republican incumbent, "It's not the end of the world for New York." In that case, Weiner said, he would pursue the Games of 2016 if he were elected mayor.

Weiner questioned the emphasis Bloomberg has placed on the Olympics. "The mayor doesn't understand we're already on the map," he said. "We don't have anything to prove to anyone."

New York has made Olympic bids in the past, but never followed up with another try four years later.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Rogge Advises 2012 Bid City Losers To Try Again

Posted 2:03 pm ET (GamesBids.com)

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge had a message Tuesday for the four cities who lose the host city vote for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games – try again for 2016.

During the official opening of the 117th IOC session Tuesday night in Singapore Rogge said, “in view of their assets and qualities, we would, of course, be very pleased to see at future elections the cities not chosen now. They should know that the quality of their candidature file would give them an excellent chance”.

He said the losing cities would be “deeply disappointed, but they should know that a candidature, even if not selected, leaves a tangible legacy”.

He rated all the five bid cities as “prestigious” saying that they are “all perfectly capable of organizing Games of the highest quality”.

Rogge also spoke of his desire to keep the size and costs of the Games under control.

“The Olympic Games are today still perfectly manageable but cannot be allowed to grow”. The IOC is to vote Friday on whether to drop any of the 28 sports on the Olympic program. If any are voted out, the IOC will consider adding from a waiting list of five hopefuls – rugby, golf, squash, karate and roller sports.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Bookmaker Reports Last Minute Money On Madrid
Posted 10:07 pm ET (GamesBids.com)

Australian Bookmaker Centrebet reports that there has been a recent increase in money bet on 2012 Olympic bid outsider Madrid. The bets have come mostly from Europe.

This report comes Wednesday morning in Singapore just as the bids were getting prepared for their final presentations.

On Tuesday bid favorite Paris' odds lengthened to their worst level since the campaign began. Second ranked London has been closing in recent days.

Centrebet's current odds are: 4-9 Paris
5-2 London
5-1 Madrid
25-1 New York City
80-1 Moscow

July 6, 2005
Cities Make Their Final Pitches as Olympic Committee Nears Vote

By LYNN ZINSER (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=LYNN ZINSER&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=LYNN ZINSER&inline=nyt-per)
SINGAPORE, July 6 -- Opening with a video celebrating ethnic diversity and closing with a moving portrait of a torch being run through the city, New York Olympic bid organizers unveiled their vision of the 2012 Games today. They stressed the city’s international flavor, its organizers’ enthusiasm, the economic boost these Games would give the Olympics and also made a small emotional reference to Sept. 11, 2001.

The bid founder, Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff, began by nervously telling the International Olympic Committee the story of his Olympic dream, which began at a World Cup soccer match in the Meadowlands 11 years ago when he was overwhelmed by the Italian and Bulgarian fans who filled Giants Stadium with so much spirit.

“We are a city that wraps its arms around you,” Doctoroff said. “When you score a perfect 10, the crowd will rise and cheer, no matter where you are from.”

This was New York’s last pitch before the 116-member I.O.C. chooses the 2012 Olympic city from among New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow. The voting will begin today at 5:45 a.m. Eastern time, and the winner will be announced at 7:45.

New York followed Paris in the presentations, an order that was decided by a random drawing. The French presentation had an artistic flair, with an aerial tour of the city and Olympic rings floating around its landmarks. French President Jacques Chirac and Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe made emotional pleas to bring the Games to their city on its third modern bid.

In New York’s sales pitch, Olympians Janet Evans and Bob Beamon took the stage to describe the Olympic sites and the plan for each Olympic sport. New York also had videos with testimony from dozens of athletes, from the tennis star Serena Williams and the boxer Sugar Ray Leonard to the basketball legend Magic Johnson and the cycling champion Lance Armstrong, in describing the plans for the Olympic sites.

Former President Bill Clinton appeared via video, as did President George W. Bush. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg emphasized that the new Olympic stadium plan has been approved.

“Let me be clear, we are going ahead and building this stadium,” Bloomberg said. “It is going ahead because New Yorkers never give up. Not now, not ever.”

He also strongly emphasized that New York was not here as a setup for a bid in 2016, a charge the other cities have been using against the bid. As Bloomberg introduced Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, she echoed that theme.

“2012 is the right time for New York,” she said. “And it’s the right time for the world to experience New York.”

Bloomberg veered briefly from the New York strategy of avoiding mention of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Late in his remarks, he highlighted New York’s rebound from the tragedy, and the final video, which followed a torch runner through the city, showed a tiny clip of a child’s drawing of the Twin Towers with the words, written in crayon, “The sky was so blue.”

As the final video faded to black, the NYC2012 logo appeared on the screen with the words, “Thank you.”

Organizers were thrilled with how the presentation went, the only stumble being Muhammad Ali faltering as he stood to acknowledge the I.O.C.

“What we tried to say was, this is New York,” Bloomberg said afterward. “We’ve never tried to be anything other than what we are.”

The question-and-answer portion had a tense moment when an I.O.C. member from Syria, Samih Moudallal, pointedly asked Mr. Doctoroff, “Would the athletes and the officials of these countries on the terrorist list, will they be allowed to enter the United States of America?” He went on to reference what he said were problems Syria had obtaining a visa for one of its Paralympic athletes during the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

Dr. Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, rebuked Mr. Moudallal, telling him, “You should not come back to issues of the past for which New York is not responsible.’’

Still, Mr. Doctoroff chose to answer, saying there was “absolutely no question’’ all nations would be welcomed. He told of the Iranian wrestling team’s visit to the wrestling world championships when they were held in New York City in 2003. “I will never forget the Iranian team competing in New York in front of packed crowds of Iranian fans,’’ Mr. Doctoroff said.

New York was followed by Moscow, which came nowhere near the professional quality of New York, but did place a heavy emphasis on the Russian love of sports and its Olympic success. Organizers played a video from Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which he spoke in faltering English. Moscow officials said it was a Russian leader’s first-ever public address in English.

Paris had begun its presentation with a note of humility, a nod to the criticism that its past two bids were too arrogant and turned off an organization that prefers to be wooed.

“Each defeat has served to increase our determination,” Delanoe said, in French. Then, in another nod to previous criticisms about their reluctance to speak English, he spoke a few sentences in English: “I want to thank you for setting the bar so high and pushing us further toward excellence.”

President Chirac, who did not attend the presentation for the last Paris bid, in 2001, made the most emotional appeal. He emphasized his long relationship with many I.O.C. members and talked about the French people’s desire to host the Games. “I shall vouch for this,” he said in French. “You can put your trust in France. You can trust the French. You can trust us.”

But at heart, the presentation was built around Paris pouring its heart into its third and presumably final bid. “Paris wants the Games,” Delanoe said in closing. “Paris needs the Games. Paris has the love of the Games.”

In the question-and-answer session afterward, I.O.C. members asked about the anti-doping plans, guarantees for building the Olympic village and, bizarrely enough, the quality of French air conditioning.

London's presentation centered on the theme of inspiring young people. Bid leader Sebastian Coe told the story of how he was moved to begin running when he watched the 1968 Mexico City Olympics on a tiny, black and white television. His career culminated in two Olympic gold medals.

"Thirty-five years later, I stand before you still inspired by the Olympic movement," he said.

London's film promoted the diversity of its people and the iconic backdrop of its venues. It also stressed the uniqueness of its plan to put the Olympic village within the confines of its Olympic park.

But the presentation kept coming back to children, including the 30 that organizers brought along from East London, the area planned for massive regeneration if the Games are awarded to the British capital.

"More than six million young people visit our city every year, and more of them choose our city for their education than any other," said London Mayor Ken Livingstone. "If you wish to mobilize the youth of the world, start in London."

Madrid's presentation was the least professional, relying on still photos with type superimposed for most of its visuals, as opposed to higher-quality video used by the other bids. Madrid saved its sports plans for last, with a few athletes involved in the presentation. It was the only bid to feature a Paralympian, Gema Hassen-Bey.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain made a presentation, as did Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, who ventured to speak some English. They emphasized that Madrid is the largest European capital yet to host a Games and that the public support numbers have been higher than any other city's.

"Madrid will be a fiesta," Ruiz-Gallardon said. "We have been celebrating the Olympic spirit for 50 years now."

Queen Sofia finished the presentation, stressing her family's commitment to sports.

The presentation order was decided by random drawing, with each city given 45 minutes for a presentation and 15 minutes to answer questions from I.O.C. members. Paris went first, followed by New York, Moscow, London and Madrid.

The voting will proceed by rounds, with the city receiving the least number of votes dropping out after every round. The rounds will proceed until one city has a majority of the votes.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)
July 6, 2005
Wooing, Winning and the Weight of Expectations

THE race is finally over. That "New York 2012" clock I've watched for the last year and a half on my mantel has counted down to zero.

After a grueling battle involving London, Madrid, Moscow, New York and Paris for the right to play host to the 2012 Olympics, we will have a winner announced this morning. Critics who have monitored Olympic bid campaigns say they can't remember a race this combative and this unpredictable.

Before she went to bed late last night, the I.O.C. member Anita DeFrantz said this was the first time she did not have a sense of which city had made the winning bid.

Paris had long been viewed as the front-runner to stage the 2012 Summer games. "Nobody asked me what city was in the lead," DeFrantz said in a telephone interview from Singapore. "I think the media just makes those decisions. I haven't been asked once."

So I asked who she thought was in the lead. "I really couldn't tell you now," she said. "Usually, at least for me, it's more clear-cut; this time, it is not."

DeFrantz did not think this bidding process was any more hotly contested than others. The difference, she said, was that for the first time New York was in the mix.

"This is the first time New York has experienced the bid process," she said. "It's always significant. It's always a big deal."

With all due respect to DeFrantz, who has been an I.O.C. member since 1986, the Pursuit of 2012 was a study in glitter. For all the talk about scaling back the Games, the 2012 race was driven by an unprecedented use of celebrity power. Famous athletes, politicians, and business tycoons genuflected before I.O.C. members.

Paris had President Jacques Chirac of France and the movie producer Luc Besson; London had Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and the soccer star David Beckham; New York took Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, and Muhammad Ali; Madrid had Queen Sofía of Spain; and Moscow, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov of Russia.

Ed Hula, the editor of the newsletter Around the Rings, has covered eight bidding campaigns. He said this was by far the most intense. "These are cities that excel at public relations and self-promotion," he said of Paris, London and New York. "They are the big guys in the world neighborhood. You don't get much bigger than these three cities."

The celebrity barrage made in the final days before the vote seemed more like something out of Oscar week, with celebrities parading in and out of hotels and chatting up I.O.C. members at receptions.

DeFrantz said that there was a unique twist to this 2012 bid.

In the past, I.O.C. members could visit potential host cities to meet with the bid committee. That is no longer allowed and the bid committees have to find other ways to get the I.O.C.'s attention.

"I know that it's different because the rules are different," DeFrantz said. "But the deal is, we're the ones who vote, so you want to be able to make sure that the people who vote know what the city offers to the athlete, what it offers to the Olympic movement and how hosting the Games will affect the city."

There is, of course, a larger question. Why did these cities climb over one another to get these Games? There is little evidence to suggest that the Games solve long-term unemployment problems. Post-Olympic reports often show that host cities lose money and often wind up with herds of concrete white elephants.

"Each city is different," DeFrantz said. "Sydney wanted to prove that they could do it. For Athens, I think it was a little bit of the fact that this was their event and they hadn't been able to host it since 1896."

The truth is, everyone wants the Games because everyone wants a piece of Olympic booty. If you're Woody Johnson, the Jets' owner, you use the Games as a Trojan Horse to hide your real goal: a new football stadium. If you're Fred Wilpon, the Mets' principal owner, you want the Games to get you out of a dump called Shea Stadium and into a new baseball palace. If you're a developer, you're salivating at the chance to get an Olympic contract.

The British journalist Andrew Jennings has written three scathing critiques of the Olympic movement and the I.O.C. He co-wrote "The Lords of the Rings" and wrote "The New Lords of the Rings" and "The Great American Swindle" about the Salt Lake City scandal.

"One of the frequently uniting factors of all these bids, for all these cities is a small group of people who wish to get richer than they already are or have jobs for even longer," Jennings said yesterday by telephone from England.

"Whichever city wins tomorrow - there's seven years' work for that lot. The unifying factor is self-interest by property speculators."

In the wake of stricter guidelines, the new lobbying strategy was to wow the committee members with glamour and power.

I think we've stumbled on a new Olympic motto:

If you can't bribe 'em, seduce 'em.

E-mail: wcr@nytimes.com

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

July 6th, 2005, 08:47 AM
London got it.

July 6th, 2005, 09:20 AM
New York Times
July 6, 2005

New York Bid Falls Short as London Is Chosen for Olympics


Video: Ali in Singapore to Support New York Bid (http://play.rbn.com/?url=ap/nynyt/g2demand/0705olympics_ali_SS.rm&proto=rtsp&mode=compact)

Trafalgar Square celebrated London's Olympic victory. Earlier, some in Rockefeller Center dealt with New York's defeat.

SINGAPORE, July 6 - In a surprising upset over front-running Paris, London snatched away the 2012 Olympics today, capping a comeback in a bidding race it seemed nearly out of just a year ago.

The former British Olympian Sebastian Coe re-energized London's chances when he took over and led a hard-charging campaign to bring the Games back to Britain after two failed bids by Manchester and one by Birmingham.

In London, fighter jets trailed red, white and blue smoke - the colors of the British flag - and several thousand shrieked and danced at Trafalgar Square when news of the city's victory was broadcast via several large video screens.

"This is a momentous day for London," Prime Minister Tony Blair said.

The announcement in Paris was met with stunned silence and a light rain began to fall. A crowd that had swelled to several thousand as the decisive moment neared, melted away quietly. Little anger was visible, but Katherine Bellouche of the Department of Tourism used the French words for "injustice" and "deception" when London was awarded the Games. Asked why Paris lost, she said, "I can't explain."

On the Fox television program "Good Day New York," Donald Trump suggested that disparaging comments President Jacques Chirac of France had made about England on Sunday may have swung the balance. "How stupid can you be?" Mr. Trump said, referring to Mr. Chirac's joke in which he told President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany that the only British contribution to European agriculture had been mad cow disease.

The other finalists, Moscow, Madrid and New York, were knocked out in earlier rounds.

New York officials had been optimistic after their final presentation, which had many I.O.C. members expressing admiration for the combination sales pitch and emotional appeal based on New York's international flavor and economic power. The city's bid had also seemed to get a lift from the arrival of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday, who met dozens of I.O.C. members and seemed to charm her audiences.

But the bid seemed to have been damaged over the past months by a preoccupation with a proposed stadium on the west side of Manhattan, which suffered an embarrassing political defeat a month ago. New York's Deputy Mayor and bid organizer Daniel R. Doctoroff tried to regain momentum with a new plan centered on a stadium in Queens, but New York's effort failed to gain ground on Paris and London, long considered to be the front-runners.

In Singapore today, the city's Olympic bid delegation - a group of about 300 people - watched the vote tally on a giant projector screen in a wing of the Ritz Carlton hotel. Guests sipped wine and nibbled on dumplings, spicy fish sausages and croissant-wrapped shrimp in what was a generally giddy atmosphere stoked by the perception that the team's presentation was a show stopper. But when the losing results came in however, the room fell into a prolonged, stunned silence, according to people who were there.

In its last pitch before the members, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had tried to head off claims by other cities that New York would be back to compete for the 2016 Games. The mayor vigorously argued that he could only guarantee this leadership team and this plan for 2012.

New York opened its final pitch for the Games with a video celebrating ethnic diversity and closed with a moving portrait of a torch being run through the city. The presentation stressed the city's international flavor, its organizers' enthusiasm, the economic lift the Games would give the Olympics and made a small emotional reference to Sept. 11, 2001.

Mr. Doctoroff, began by nervously recounting the story of his Olympic dream, which began at a World Cup soccer match in the Meadowlands 11 years ago when he said he was overwhelmed by the spirit of Italian and Bulgarian fans who filled Giants Stadium.

"We are a city that wraps its arms around you," Mr. Doctoroff told the I.O.C. members. "When you score a perfect 10, the crowd will rise and cheer, no matter where you are from."

New York followed Paris in the presentations, an order that was decided by a random drawing. The French presentation had an artistic flair, with an aerial tour of the city and Olympic rings floating around its landmarks. President Jacques Chirac of France and Mayor Bertrand Delanoe of Paris made emotional pleas to bring the Games to their city on its third modern bid.

In New York's sales pitch, Olympians Janet Evans and Bob Beamon took the stage to describe the Olympic sites and the plan for each Olympic sport. New York also had videos with testimony from dozens of athletes, from the tennis star Serena Williams and the boxer Sugar Ray Leonard to the basketball star Magic Johnson and the cycling champion Lance Armstrong, in describing the plans for the Olympic sites.

Former President Bill Clinton appeared via video, as did President Bush. Mayor Bloomberg emphasized that the new Olympic stadium plan had been approved.

"Let me be clear, we are going ahead and building this stadium," Mr. Bloomberg said. "It is going ahead because New Yorkers never give up. Not now, not ever."

Senator Clinton told I.O.C. members: "2012 is the right time for New York. And it's the right time to experience New York."

Mr. Bloomberg veered briefly from the New York strategy of avoiding mention of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Late in his remarks, he highlighted New York's rebound from the tragedy, and the final video, which followed a torch runner through the city, showed a tiny clip of a child's drawing of the Twin Towers with the words, written in crayon, "The sky was so blue."

As the final video faded to black, the NYC2012 logo appeared on the screen with the words, "Thank you."

"What we tried to say was, this is New York," Mr. Bloomberg said afterward. "We've never tried to be anything other than what we are."

The question-and-answer portion had a tense moment when an I.O.C. member from Syria, Samih Moudallal, pointedly asked Mr. Doctoroff, "Would the athletes and the officials of these countries on the terrorist list, will they be allowed to enter the United States of America?" He went on to reference what he said were problems Syria had obtaining a visa for one of its Paralympic athletes during the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

Dr. Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, rebuked Mr. Moudallal, telling him, "You should not come back to issues of the past for which New York is not responsible."

Still, Mr. Doctoroff chose to answer, saying there was "absolutely no question" all nations would be welcomed. He told of the Iranian wrestling team's visit to the wrestling world championships when they were held in New York City in 2003. "I will never forget the Iranian team competing in New York in front of packed crowds of Iranian fans," Mr. Doctoroff said.

New York was followed by Moscow, which came nowhere near the professional quality of New York, but did place a heavy emphasis on the Russian love of sports and its Olympic success. Organizers played a video from President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, in which he spoke in faltering English. Moscow officials said it was a Russian leader's first-ever public address in English.

Paris had begun its presentation with a note of humility, a nod to the criticism that its past two bids were too arrogant and turned off an organization that prefers to be wooed.

"Each defeat has served to increase our determination," Mr. Delanoe said, in French. Then, in another nod to previous criticisms about their reluctance to speak English, he spoke a few sentences in English: "I want to thank you for setting the bar so high and pushing us further toward excellence."

President Chirac, who did not attend the presentation for the last Paris bid, in 2001, made the most emotional appeal. He emphasized his long relationship with many I.O.C. members and talked about the French people's desire to host the Games. "I shall vouch for this," he said in French. "You can put your trust in France. You can trust the French. You can trust us."

But at heart, the presentation was built around Paris pouring its heart into its third and presumably final bid. "Paris wants the Games," Mr. Delanoe said in closing. "Paris needs the Games. Paris has the love of the Games."

In the question-and-answer session afterward, I.O.C. members asked about the anti-doping plans, guarantees for building the Olympic village and, bizarrely enough, the quality of French air conditioning.

London's presentation centered on the theme of inspiring young people. Bid leader Sebastian Coe told the story of how he was moved to begin running when he watched the 1968 Mexico City Olympics on a tiny, black and white television. His career culminated in two Olympic gold medals.

"Thirty-five years later, I stand before you still inspired by the Olympic movement," he said.

London's film promoted the diversity of its people and the iconic backdrop of its venues. It also stressed the uniqueness of its plan to put the Olympic village within the confines of its Olympic park.

But the presentation kept coming back to children, including the 30 that organizers brought along from East London, the area planned for massive regeneration if the Games are awarded to the British capital.

"More than six million young people visit our city every year, and more of them choose our city for their education than any other," said London Mayor Ken Livingstone. "If you wish to mobilize the youth of the world, start in London."

Madrid's presentation was the least professional, relying on still photos with type superimposed for most of its visuals, as opposed to higher-quality video used by the other bids. Madrid saved its sports plans for last, with a few athletes involved in the presentation. It was the only bid to feature a Paralympian, Gema Hassen-Bey.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain made a presentation, as did Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, who ventured to speak some English. They emphasized that Madrid is the largest European capital yet to host a Games and that the public support numbers have been higher than any other city's.

"Madrid will be a fiesta," Mr. Ruiz-Gallardon said. "We have been celebrating the Olympic spirit for 50 years now."

Queen Sofia finished the presentation, stressing her family's commitment to sports.

The presentation order was decided by random drawing, with each city given 45 minutes for a presentation and 15 minutes to answer questions from I.O.C. members. Paris went first, followed by New York, Moscow, London and Madrid.

The voting proceeded by rounds, with the city receiving the least number of votes being dropped after every round.

British and French journalists working at the G-8 summit meeting at Gleneagles, Scotland, reacting to the decision by the International Olympic Committee.

A crowd in London's Trafalgar Square reacted to the announcement that only the British capital and Paris remained in the running for the 2012 Games.

President Jacques Chirac of France spoke on behalf of the Paris bid, which was favored to win today's vote.

Mayor Bloomberg during his presentation to the I.O.C. in Singapore.

A worker prepared a stage in Singapore Tuesday as international delegates convened to choose a city for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

July 6th, 2005, 10:33 AM
Very good. Now Bloomberg and Doctoroff can begin engaging in some practical long-term development strategies besides the West Side Stadium and the Olympics. For lack of any better ideas at the moment, they can focus on subway service.

July 6th, 2005, 03:54 PM
HaHa. Funny how you New Yorkers worry about the traffic problem. Now you won't have to worry about that. You couldn't even deal with traffic for two weeks? Don't leave NYC, because it's alot worst elsewhere. From my observations when I was in NY, 85% of the streets were practically empty after 6pm.

July 6th, 2005, 04:36 PM
I'm disappointed for New York because the bid held a lot of potential good for the city and its people. However, I'm glad that London took the honors; as I believe their bid holds great promise for London and for sport.

It will be difficult for New York to regroup for a bid in 2016. First, other U.S. cities will vie for the opportunity and won't easily step aside. The competition to be the U.S. rep. in 2016 could be fierce. Second, it will take great political capital for New York to sustain the momentum and create an improved bid.

But I was greatly heartened by the vision portrayed in the New York bid. The final video presentation was slick and well-packaged, but I did not view it as insincere. Many of the overall goals can remain in play, if the will is there to accomplish it. More than anything, the Olympics present an uncomprising deadline for a dazzling performance on the world stage. Los Angeles took the challenge and re-invented the Olympics (and set the course for this past week's extravagant dog-and-pony show). Barcelona grabbed the Olympic opportunity to re-invent itself . . . transport and urban development on a grand scale that truly transformed that city's role in Spain and in the world.

New York is not Barcelona, but we too are in need of large-scale transport improvements and long-range regional planning. New York's 2012 bid was not broad enough in its vision nor organic in its political process. But the tremendous efforts put forth on the bid has the potential to be translated into a broader-range vision for regional development and urban revitalization.

Why can't track-and-field facilities still be built in Harlem or the South Bronx? A new velodrome would be utilized by locals without the excuse of an Olympics. A natatorium in Brooklyn would be a welcome asset for our young people. But even more importantly, brown field recovery and other urban issues could be confronted rather than indefinitely postponed. If the momentum of the Olympic process can be captured before it quickly dissipates, then it would have all been worthwhile. Yes, I'm quite the optimist. But New York needs the energy of optimism to confront its challenges not the defeat of jaded negativity.

July 6th, 2005, 05:37 PM
I'm from Nyc, and throughout the whole time that i've been reading up on NY's olympic bid (months) i;ve gone through countless delays on the train, bus and traffic...2 weeks of the olympics would have come and gone by now. People here simply B*tch too much. I've heard the dumbest reasons for not wanting the Olympics here. It mostly has to do with traffic and train delays, not even the fact that the city might spend more than it has to (which i think is a genuine reason). Its sad that most residents opposed this great event. (fioco) It is true, we must take the all the great ideas that came from this bid and move forward. This city still needs to grow.

July 6th, 2005, 07:19 PM
This makes me sad as well. I really hoped Ny would get the bid. Do you all think NY will try and get it in 2016?

July 6th, 2005, 08:18 PM
I was resigned to the defeat a few months ago. It wasn't just the stadium controversy. When you compare New York to other cities like Paris, London, and Madrid, it's embarrassing how unenthusiastic its citizens were about getting this event. You can see the reality in the consistently low turnout of New Yorkers at promotional events and even in Rockefeller Center, which had only a few hundred people this morning compared to thousands in Trafalgar Square. One of the few things I don't like about New York is the complacency of its citizenry and most politicians. There's no willingness to host an event like the Olympics. There are only complaints about traffic and security, yet somehow, these other cities, which are crowded, busy places in their own right, somehow don't mind it. Then there's the attitude of, "What for? New York is already the greatest city in the world. We don't need any Olympics to prove it." I hate it. Then again, perhaps enduring a loss like this will inspire some New Yorkers to fight harder, and if my thinking about this is right, the 2016 Olympics will be hosted somewhere in North America. All the better reason for New York to try again.

July 6th, 2005, 08:49 PM
New York should fight solely to prevent Houston 2016.