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Palo Alto Weekly Online Edition
Uploaded: Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2002, 3 p.m.

Bay Area and New York are Olympic finalists
Houston and Washington, D.C., eliminated today from running for USA bid city for 2012 Summer Olympics

by Keith Peters

BASOC logoThe Dow Jones and NASDAQ may still be wildly fluctuating, but the Bay Area's stock to host the 2012 Summer Olympics shot way up today.

That came following the news that the Bay Area and New York beat out Washington, D.C., and Houston as the final two contenders to be the U.S. 2012 Olympic Bid Candidate city.

The announcement was made in Chicago by Charles H. Moore, chairman of the 10-person USOC task force responsible for choosing the city to represent the United States against foreign bid contenders for the 2012 Summer Games. The final decision to which U.S. city will compete against the world will be made Nov. 3, with the site of the 2012 Games being announced in 2005.

The next step in the bid process will include tours of the Bay Area and New York by the U.S. Olympic Committee, which will receive further documentation from both candidates before the USOC's final decision is made.

Members of the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee, chaired by president Anne Cribbs of Palo Alto, gathered at San Francisco's Fort Mason Center today to hear and see the televised announcement from Chicago. About 100 people erupted in applause, shouts and high fives once the good news arrived.

While New York's plan is the most expensive at a proposed $3.2 billion and that numerous venues would have to be built, the Bay Area's $2.2 billion bid is more attractive with 78 percent of the athletic venues needed already in place and 92 percent of the venues within a 32-mile radius.

Said Cribbs before today's announcement: "California is the future."

While Washington, D.C. originally was considered a frontrunner along with the Bay Area, Moore pointed to two areas that likely proved decisive in the decision-making process --- the international appeal and how to market it plus the financial stability of the bid.

The Bay Area certainly received high marks as a metropolis with an international flavor. It also proved this year that it could stage international events like the Modern Pentathlon World Championships at Stanford and the recent USA-China men's exhibition basketball game in Oakland.

The Bay Area's bid also was the only one with a private plan, with the second-lowest capital expenditures ($211 million) and highest projected surplus ($400 million) among the four USA cities. The bid also covers two forms of guarantees to cover any financial shortfalls: $250 million in private funding through insurance and an additional $250 millions through a state-government generated trust fund.

 

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