We might not being hosting the next America’s Cup, but San Francisco remains in the running to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. Or rather, San Francisco remains on the United States Olympic Committee’s short list of four cities from which the Committee will pick the U.S. contender for the games, if one is selected at all.

The decision of whether or not to bid will be made in early 2015, at which point the U.S. contender city would be selected as well.  The International Olympic Committee will announce the winning host city in 2017.

Boston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the other three U.S. cities on the USOC’s list.  Dallas and San Diego were cut while New York and Philadelphia withdrew.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by fogmachine

    Maybe we could have the sailing on the City Front, between Alcatraz and the GG Bridge. Great viewing from shore, consistent breeze.

  2. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Just to be clear, it would be the San Francisco Bay Area hosting the games, not just the 7×7, right? The Olympics are too big to cram into a small place. I’d expect that most events would take place outside of the city.

    • Posted by Ev3

      If you look at most Olympic venues, most events happen outside of the major city. For example, 80% of the events for the Salt Lake games happened in Park City. In fact, the Olympic Village was in Park City. The “host” city is mainly an anchor – they’d spread the events all over the bay area.

      But like Reluctantlyvacant mentioned below, we’d need all counties to cooperate and pitch in money – which means we’d need a SINGLE robust transit system to move people around…not sure I see that happening. Unless, the Olympics give us an excuse to?

      • Posted by Diverj

        Awesome. Complete a full BART loop around the Bay

  3. Posted by anon

    MoD is right. It would be using the whole Bay Area, especially the Stanford and Berkeley campuses. Los Angeles put on an entire Olympics by using exisitng venues throughout their metro area, especially at USC and UCLA and built almost no new structures. I think it may have been the only Olympics event to not lose money.

    • Posted by strawbrryf

      that was also in the 80s and the Soviets didn’t show up

  4. Posted by norcal

    Have the Telegraph Hill Dwellers given their approval yet? Because I doubt they will allow this.

  5. Posted by Reluctantlyvacant

    This will never ever happen. There’s no regional cooperation – we can’t even do decent regional transit. DOA.

    • Posted by Mark

      Precisely. If, and I mean a big IF, the Bay area is chosen in 2017 then it would be a perfect opportunity to get some serious mass transit built by 2024. Oh, who am I kidding? It takes 20 years just to get through the environmental review process and other bullcrap for a BRT line that still hasn’t been built. A world-class transit system is clearly out of the question.

      Give it to DC or Boston.

  6. Posted by invented

    We don’t even have enough hotel rooms to accommodate large conferences. How could the region handle the influx? Never mind, Airbnb et al should have about 50,000 places by then.

  7. Posted by Jimmy The House Flipper

    God I hope not… what a disaster these Olympic games are… and the detritus they leave behind, unused empty shells of Olympic venues, billions in taxpayer-funded debt. No thank you.

  8. Posted by Mr. E.

    I take the contrary opinion; we have most of the sports infrastructure necessary to host the games; venues unnecessary after the Olympics is where most of the waste is to be found (interestingly, a stadium for opening and closing ceremonies would be necessary – better not implode the ‘Stick just yet). What we would need is an Olympic Village (or, in our case, a jump start to the Hunter’s Point redevelopment, which would then become housing) and better transit (which would remain after creation to serve the area). Thus, the effect of the Olympics would be to spur the infrastructure we already need. L.A. ’84 is the model.

    Anyway, yes, these would be a pan-Bay Area games. See http://www.basoc.org/basoc2012/index.html and http://bit.ly/1mTkMts (warning, PDF) for ideas on how it would work.

  9. Posted by Joseph A

    We are talking about 10 years from now , and in 10 years , The Bay Area Games , will have several major venues , available , We would have

    2 NFL Football Stadiums ,
    College Football Stadiums at Stanford, Berkely & San Jose
    3 Indoor Arenas , SF , Oakland & San Jose
    And if needed ,, SF Giants Ball Park
    There are some other buildings we would need for specialized sports , plus an Aquatics Facility , but I can see it being managed

    • Posted by Mr. E.

      I agree about everything *except* an Opening/Closing ceremony venue.
      Oakland Coliseum: 62,026
      Levi’s: 68,500
      Memorial Stadium: 63,000
      Stanford Stadium: 50,000
      Oracle: 19,500
      HP Pavilion: 18,500
      Warriors Mission Bay: 18,000
      AT&T: 42,000

      The ‘Stick? 80,000.

      • Posted by SFrentier

        How bout cow palace? Bookend the ceremonies between the monster trucks and ted nugent. (Now that’s class :)

      • Posted by Joseph A

        Except that Levi’s can expand to about 75,000, and the London Olympic Park only went to 80,000

  10. Posted by Jimmy The House Flipper

    Of course, we could do *anything.* But the cost will be *infinite* and the utility of it … marginal. I sure hope this is not inflicted on me as a taxpayer.

  11. Posted by JL

    Would have been nice to have had a bunch of lower income housing from an athletes’ village at Moffett Field following a 2012 Olympics if that bid had worked out.

  12. Posted by ThatGuy

    For an area known for innovation, we’re being drowned out by nay-sayers who a) have never been to an Olympic game and b) can’t stop start everything sentence with “but this will suck because of _______”.

    Think outside the box. This could be VERY interesting. Be proud that the world wants to visit. Be hopeful we can tackle obstacles through innovation. Quit being grumpy!

  13. Posted by Yes we can

    The Bay Area has more than enough world class venues already built to host the olympics. Only a few would have to built, like a kayak facility. A new NFL/Raiders stadium could be designed to convert to a track and field/opening/closing venue. Olympic village could be near by at Alameda Naval Air Station, and tons of cruise ships brought in for the Olympic village and visitors alike. Bart, Ferries, Cal Train, Muni, ACE, could handle the influx of visitors by adding more service. Adding a few trams to carry fans the last mile would complete the plan.

  14. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    That’s what I like about American Cup. We have fun for a few weeks. Once it is done, all the sail boats pull away and leave no trace. No big white elephant stadiums that cost loads of money to build and maintain and takes up valuable space.

  15. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    The more glass-half-full perspective is that it’s a chance to pull in some private-sector funding to supplement the public money we’re going to (have to) spend anyway. In this region, investment in sports and recreation facilities is money well spent. So is infrastructure and housing. By 2024 the Bay Area could be 9 million people going on 10. Might as well have an event like this to create a sense of urgency about some of those investments.

  16. Posted by MarketSt

    I think website message boards select for cranky complainers whose glory days are behind them, and thus find comfort in spouting off on message boards, and don’t reflect the overall attitude of residents. (I include myself in this profile. In my 20’s nothing interested me less than a message board. Too much going on in real life.)

    So I think most would be for this. The problem is when decision makers think otherwise….Can’t help but suspect that the Presidio trust started reading SFGate message boards when trying to choose from the three museum proposals. “Oh no, the jag offs on the message board don’t like Lucas!”

    • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

      I’m old and cranky but I have a son who will be 14 when the 2024 Olympics are held. I want this for him and his generation of San Franciscans more than anyone else.

  17. Posted by Alex

    I say lets do it! Yeah it will be a long shot but if this ever happens then it will provide as a great incentive to speed through many projects that are in the planning stages now or add new projects that will be pushed by the City of San Francisco and we will most likely have major support from Sacramento and D.C. Take the Americas cup for example, the only reason why the cruise ship terminal was completed was because of the regatta, and it gave a major push for the proposed E – line and its extension to Fort Mason. If the olympics came to the Bay Area then it will provided as great incentive to complete the Caltrain Modernization project, extend Caltrain to the Transbay Terminal, push the High Speed Rail line to completion, revitalize our aging transit infrastructure, and much more!

    • Posted by sfjhawk

      umm, “cruise ship terminal was completed . . . “? I ride by this site every other weekend and it is definitely not ‘completed.’ I wish they would finish it because the chain link / psuedo construction site is a bit of an eyesore.

  18. Posted by Dan

    The Olympic Village could be built to be later used as housing in Hunter’s Point and/or Candlestick.

    • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

      Hopefully this would include a spur to the T-Third.

  19. Posted by Theskythelimit

    The Olympics are a money loosing adventure. Some games have bankrupted cities and caused social unrests throughout the Countries involved. In the US, Los Angeles and maybe Atlanta were the only two cities to pull off a profit.

    There is so much petty jealously between the cities in the Bay Area that this will never happen. San Jose has already said publically that they have no money to contribute.

    Off to a great start but not happening .

    • Posted by anon

      Incorrect. Salt Lake City turned an enormous profit on the 2002 Winter Games, and Vancouver turned a small profit on the 2010 Winter Games.

      Actually, until Sochi most winter games have turned profits (in large part because winter games require fewer single use facilities).

      • Posted by strawman scarecrow

        “There has never been an Olympic Games that has made a profit,” says Robert Barney, director of the International Centre for Olympic Studies at the University of Western Ontario.

        The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics are often hailed for finishing with a $233 million surplus. But Barney says the calculation includes only direct costs of staging the games and not the indirect costs provided by city, state and federal governments. The same is true, he says, for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Organizers of both games claimed multimillion-dollar surpluses, but neither included massive federal spending when adding up costs.

        “No reasonable person thinks that the direct benefits of hosting the Olympic Games or any other mega event cover the costs,” concludes Andrew Rose, an economist at the Haas School of Business at the University of California in Berkeley. Rose and his colleagues combed Olympic records and economic data for evidence of benefits and produced a study titled The Olympic Effect.

        http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113351145

        • Posted by anon

          Any study that doesn’t include the value of marketing exposure for the host city is an absurd study.

          • Posted by strawman scarecrow

            Any critic that hasn’t even read the study they criticize is absurd.

            “Using a variety of trade models, we show that hosting a mega-event like the Olympics has a positive impact on national exports…we also find that unsuccessful bids to host the Olympics have a similar positive impact on exports. We conclude that the Olympic effect on trade is attributable to the signal a country sends when bidding to host the games, rather than the act of actually holding a mega-event.”

            Full text of “The Olympic Effect”, Andrew K. Rose, Mark M. Spiegel:
            http://www.nber.org/papers/w14854

          • Posted by anon

            “Trade effects” are not the same as marketing exposure.

          • Posted by strawman scarecrow

            Read the study.

          • Posted by anon

            Read it. It talks nothing about increased property prices (and thus increased property taxes) following the announcement and/or hosting of the games.

          • Posted by strawman scarecrow

            There might be more efficient ways to spend tax dollars to get the effects you want than hosting an Olympics.

          • Posted by anon

            Perhaps, but hosting an olympics substantially raises your profile internationally and tends to bring in many more international buyers (and foreigners buying real estate does not count in any of the measures that they’re using for “trade” – it should, yes, but it doesn’t).

          • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

            But SF is trying to scare away potential buyers of real estate, not attract them.

          • Posted by anon

            I’m not arguing that the olympics will make money for SF. SF is not lacking in worldwide marketing exposure. I was arguing against the ridiculous notion that Salt Lake City and Vancouver didn’t make money off the olympics (and continue to, and will continue to for decades to come via higher property taxes from higher property prices).

          • Posted by strawman scarecrow

            Studies found that Olympics have lost money for the host country regardless of whatever profits have been made in the local metro that benefited the most from national and state level investments to host the event.

            If the US is going to waste money (negative ROI) hosting the Olympics, then it is in the interest of the SF bay area to have them waste it here instead of LA or Chicago or ….

            Just need to be careful not to waste the local gov’t money.

          • Posted by anon

            Of course most countries have, since most countries subsidize the olympics far more than the US does/would.

          • Posted by strawman scarecrow

            The studies say US hosted Olympics have lost money.

            If anyone can point to a study that says otherwise, would appreciate it.

            I’m not opposed to SF area hosting Olympics, just doesn’t seem likely there would be a net economic gain for the USA.

            Might help catalyze a resolution of the Oakland stadium complex situation. And Pier 70-80 might be a good Olympic village site. So, could be very good for around here, as long as US and CA tax payers don’t mind.

          • Posted by anon

            You’re absolutely correct for an SF Olympics, no one is disputing that.

  20. Posted by norcal

    I can’t help but think of a great Portlandia episode, where the residents are up in arms and create a “NO OLYMPICS IN PORTLAND!!” march through the city, filled with angry, though somewhat tepid, typical NIMBYs hippies and hipsters doing everything they can to take a stand. They petition the mayor, hold community meetings, and raise a huge ruckus. The mayor eventually accepts and calls up the IOC to inform them that Portland has no interest in holding the Olympic games.

    The last scene shows the head of the IOC after he hangs up the phone, and mumbles “Where the hell is Portland?”

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