I thought it competed for the 1984 Olympics, but didn't make the USOC cut in 1977.Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFerrari360f1
I thought it competed for the 1984 Olympics, but didn't make the USOC cut in 1977.Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFerrari360f1
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.
The Olympic games desrve it :D It is a shame for them not to chose NYC after more than 100 years :)
^Sorry, I meant final round.
Here's a history of NYC olympic bids:
November 10, 2004
Gazing Upon a Landfill, the Mayor Sees a Park of Olympic Dreams
By MIKE McINTIRE
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
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 16, 2004
New York and 4 Others Submit Bids for 2012
By DUFF WILSON
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
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 17, 2004
New York Unveils Sweeping Olympic Bid
By DUFF WILSON
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
Are they kidding? Was this estimate made before Sept 11, 2001?Quote:
$101 million for security,
Athens spent $1.39 billion on defending the games against a potential terrorist attack — about the cost of the entire Sydney Olympics in 2000,
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."
Who are the other three?
Those from East Timor, Liechenstein, and the Vatican City (City state)
Do the children of citizens of Vatican City even exist? And what was the sport the Vaticanians were competing in?
First thing that popped into my head.
November 18, 2004
City Unveils Its Last and Best Bid to Gain 2012 Summer Olympics
By DUFF WILSON
Interactive Feature: NYC's Olympic Proposal
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 18, 2004
Front-Running Paris Plays the Resentment Card
By THOMAS FULLER
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
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?
I sure hope so! :D
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.Quote:
Originally Posted by Schadenfrau
If not New York (at this point I'm doubtful), then I'd love to see Madrid win.
Originally Posted by billyblancoNYC
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.
Some of my friends think the same, we sure have a lot of grouches in this city.Quote:
Originally Posted by Schadenfrau
November 21, 2004
Sweating Over Gold
By CHARLES V. BAGLI
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 6, 2004
City Locks In Space for Ads in Preparation for Olympics
By MIKE McINTIRE
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
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
All my friends loath the idea, I'm the lone voice in our circles that is in favor of it.Quote:
Originally Posted by Schadenfrau
Neoscape NYC2012 Animation
Pretty lame (and vaguely disturbing) :?
Yes - it is lame. I'm sure they can do a better logo and animation. This one looks like an old one.
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)
I VOTE FOR New York no matter what logo it will have.
February 1, 2005
New York's Olympic Bid No Longer a Long Shot
By LYNN ZINSER
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 The New York Times Company
I tell you the truth, I'm having a little trouble figuring out the number 5 picture...Flushing Meadows.Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris
What the hell is going on there?
February 3, 2005
An Olympic-Size Saturation Is Planned to Impress 2012 Evaluators
By JIM RUTENBERG
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 The New York Times Company
February 14, 2005
I.O.C. Lets News Media Have All the Fun
By LYNN ZINSER
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 The New York Times Company
February 15, 2005
New York Will Soon Make Its Case for 2012 Olympics
By LYNN ZINSER
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 The New York Times Company
#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.
by Robert Sullivan
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: email@example.com.
This column ran on page 1 in the 2/21/2005 edition of The New York Observer.
Wow, surprisingly and unnecessarily bitter and nasty. What a great guy he must be...
February 20, 2005
In Bloomberg's Sprint to a New Stadium, Rivals Keep Moving the Starting Line
By CHARLES V. BAGLI and LYNN ZINSER
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 The New York Times Company
February 20, 2005
NEW YORK UP CLOSE
They'll Take the Olympics, but Hold the Stadium, Please
By MARJORIE CONNELLY
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 The New York Times Company
February 21, 2005
Four Days to Sell a Perfect Olympic Vision
By LYNN ZINSER
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
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
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.
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
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/%21.gifDaniel L. Doctoroff
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.
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.
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.
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 The New York Times Company
February 21, 2005
New York Tries to Get Olympic Panel to Look Beyond Stadium
By STEPHANIE ROSENBLOOM
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 The New York Times Company
February 22, 2005
Wintry Day Plays Into Push for Summer Games
By LYNN ZINSER
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 The New York Times Company
Has NYC ever been a candidate city before? NY has never hosted, correct?