Official: New York Mayor won’t pursue 2024 Olympics bid

New York had previously not been included amongst the contenders touted for a possible US Olympic Committee (USOC) effort to target the 2024 Games. However, it emerged earlier this month that Dan Doctoroff, the key figure behind the city’s failed bid for the 2012 Games and a top official under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, had addressed the possibility of pursuing the 2024 Games with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration.

De Blasio’s administration has decided not to pursue the Games after looking at the pros and cons of bidding for and hosting the event, Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, told the Wall Street Journal. Glen said that De Blasio (pictured), along with other top officials at City Hall, recently reviewed the possibility of a bid for the 2024 Games and decided it ‘doesn’t make sense.’

She added that many cities pursue the Games because it brings recognition, but ‘very few people would say that New York City is not quote on the map and is not a major global city.’ Regarding a potential tourism boost from hosting the Olympics, Glen stated the city already was experiencing record-high tourism numbers, with more than 54 million visitors last year. ‘Our feeling is that you could actually deter tourism to some extent by hosting an Olympic Games,’ she said.

Glen added: ‘I think when you actually ask the average New Yorker on the street whether or not the city should be focusing its planning effort, its infrastructure effort, its policing, its transportation around an event that will happen for three weeks in the summer 10 years from now, versus getting down to business with all of the challenges and opportunities we have in front of us right now, I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of New Yorkers would say, ‘I’d rather watch it on my big screen TV at home’.’

Glen maintained that only informal discussions were held with Doctoroff, adding that officials would re-evaluate the situation in four years’ time should the USOC express an interest in staging the 2028 Olympics. Speaking last month, the USOC’s chief executive Scott Blackmun said that a shortlist of two or three cities for a bid for the 2024 Games would be drawn up by June. The USOC in February 2013 issued a letter to the mayors of 35 cities in an effort to gauge interest in a possible tilt at the summer Games. The letter was sent to the United States’ 25 largest cities, along with 10 others.

San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. are all believed to be interested in becoming USOC’s candidate for a 2024 Games bid, with a decision over one candidate needed by the end of the year. The United States has not hosted the summer Olympics since Atlanta in 1996, while Salt Lake City was the last American city to stage the winter Games in 2002. New York has never hosted the Olympics.

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