Reporting Pat Kessler
Filed underLocal, News, Seen On WCCO-TV, Sports, Syndicated Local, Syndicated Sports, Watch + Listen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – While all eyes may be on London this year, some cities are already looking forward to the 2020 and 2024 games.
But will Minnesota be among the bidders in 2024? Not likely, according to Barclay Kruse, of the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission.
“It’s a tremendous gamble,” he said. “This is real money cities have to spend, and…it’s remote that the Twin Cities would enter that game again.”
In 1996, Minnesota made a serious bid for the games, but it came in second to Atlanta. At the time, the decision was hard for state leaders to grasp.
George Latimer, the then mayor of St. Paul, remarked on the Georgia heat.
“Those who think Atlanta is close to us should spend 17 days there in July and August,” he said.
Some of Minnesota’s Olympics drawbacks for the 1996 bid were said to be a lack of public transit, which is now under construction, and a lack of hotel space, which has since improved.
There was also the problem of not having a world class soccer venue. But that problem might find an answer in the new Vikings stadium.
But current Olympics bids include more than just transit systems, venues and an Olympic Stadium. They also involve an entire country’s deep pockets.
“Would you see the same support for a Twin Cities bid from the entire United States of America that Beijing got from China? That’s debatable,” Kruse said.
Rio De Janeiro has already been awarded the 2016 Olympics. And there are three cities in the running for 2020: Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul. As it stands, the 2024 games are wide open.
How much does it cost a city to put on an Olympics?
The Twin Cities estimated it would cost $760 million to put on an Olympics in 1996. For London this year, the cost was $14 billion.
Gov. Mark Dayton said it’s much better for the state to concentrate on big events like the the Super Bowl, the All Star game, and the Mid-Winter Hockey Classic.