Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

A Brief History of Some San Franciscans’ Attempts to have us Host a Summer Olympics – Plus, a Glimmer of Hope for 2028

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

From the Big Bang to 1999:

Nothing much happened AFAIK.

In the year 2000, in the year 2000:

A half-assed attempt was begun to host the 2012 Olympics in San Francisco. It failed around 2003.

2003:

The same people started trying for 2016. It involved Mayor Gavin Newsom and a new stadium for the then-San Francisco 49er’s. It didn’t work out. (Then the Niners moved to Santa Clara – things haven’t worked out Down There either, not yet.)

Sometime later:

The same people tried for 2024. It looked like this:

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But it didn’t work out yet again. Frisco made it to the Final Four (as far as the U.S. bid people were concerned), but then ended up coming in third place. So yeah, Boston got the nod, but then the people of Boston weighed in. So then Boston looked to be out. Then there was talk of a joint hosting by Los Angeles and San Francisco, but where would you have all the pomp / circumstance – in L.A. of course, right? Well, official Frisco didn’t like that. So then the USOC gave L.A. the right to be the sole American bid for 2024.

Then the Frisco people were all sore. So they even wished that Los Angeles would lose. Why? Well, it was going to be a loooooong time before the IOC even considered coming back to Cali if Los Angeles hosted in 2024. The Bay Area Olympics people would simply try again for 2028 after Paris won for 2024.

Then all the other serious international contenders for 2024 dropped out, so it became obvious that Paris would host. Then, all concerned (NBC included – it really wanted another U.S. Olympics before its contract runs out) cut a tentative deal that had Los Angeles host in 2028. This is the worst result possible for Frisco’s chances of a future Olympics. I’m thinking maybe the year 2060 would be about as soon as this could happen.

Nowadays:

So now the talk is about having San Francisco host a few events at the soon-to-be-new Mission Bay arena of the Oakland Warriors, or someplace like that. And I’m sure that they’re pondering which other sports would be appropriate for the Frisco Bay area. This would allow for the tiniest amount of Oly Fever, but nothing like the raging infection we’d have if we were hosting or even full-on co-hosting a Summer Olympiad.

So that’s it. You can debate whether San Francisco hosting would have cost us 10 or 11 figures, you know, somewhere around there. But, fortunately for the People of the City and County of San Francisco, we are OUT of contention, at least until most of you Gentle Readers are dead.

DEAD DEAD DEAD!

At this point I’ll attest that I have no beef against Sport in general and/or The Olympics in particular. It’s just that it would have cost us billions and billions to host the 2024 Olympics, so I’m very happy that we got off of this carousel after Area Millionaires were only able to get SFGov to spend mere millions and millions on all these fruitless efforts.

In closing Plus Dur, Meilleur, Plus Rapide, Plus Fort

New Book: NO BOSTON OLYMPICS – How Does It Apply to Cali? – How About NO FRISCO OLYMPICS and NO LOS ANGELES OLYMPICS?

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Here it is:

No Boston Olympics: How and Why Smart Cities Are Passing on the Torch by Chris Dempsey (Author), Andrew Zimbalist (Author)

Man, does this certainly apply to Frisco’s inchoate effort to host the very same event.

An early review:

Going for the gold: What can we learn from Boston’s flirtation with Olympic glory? It’s a logical question given the millions of dollars and countless hours that business leaders invested in the ultimately unsuccessful pursuit of the 2024 Olympics. This time, it’s the foes doing the asking. No Boston Olympics cofounder Chris Dempsey and Smith College economist Andrew Zimbalist wrote a book about Boston’s experience, also titled “No Boston Olympics,” with a launch event planned for April 28.

One warning Dempsey hopes Paris and Los Angeles can heed as they vie for the 2024 Games: the problems inherent in the “boosters’ dilemma.” Certain elements of a bid that can be good for the host community, such as taxpayer protections, can also hurt that city’s prospects with the IOC. There’s also a broader lesson, one that extends far beyond Olympics debates. For major urban projects, a broad consensus should be sought early on. The entire city should be invited to the table, not just those with seats because of their connections.

Yes indeed.

Here’s what Frisco’s effort looked like:

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Do Angelinos want the 2024 Olympics? Well, it’s a long shot, but que sera sera. If that’s what you want, LA, fine.

How Wrong is Oakland Warriors Co-Owner Peter Guber About the “Certainty” of “E-Sports” Video Gaming Becoming “an Olympic Sport in 2020?” – VERY

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Here you go:

Gaming revolution: Millennials make e-sports billion-dollar business By Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle February 1, 2017

And here’s the problem:

“Let me say something very provocative — I think there is a high certainty e-sports will be an Olympic sport in 2020.”

Well first of all, when did video games become a “sport?” Which of course is:

an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

Oh so you think video games can fit in there? What about chess then? Let me say something very provocative, Gentle Reader – I think there is a high certainty chess will be an Olympic sport in 2020. That’s the ticket.

And second of all, look for any mention of any video games at all here:

Following the 2012 Games, the IOC assessed the 26 sports held in London, with the remit of selecting 25 ‘core’ sports to join new entrants golf and rugby sevens at the 2020 Games. In effect, this would involve the dropping of one sport from the 2016 Games program. This would leave a single vacancy in the 2020 Games program, which the IOC would seek to fill from a shortlist containing seven unrepresented sports and the removed sport. On 12 February 2013, IOC leaders voted to drop wrestling from the Olympic program, a surprise decision that removed one of the oldest Olympic sports from the 2020 Games. Wrestling, which combines freestyle and Greco-Roman events, goes back to the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens in 1896,[26] and even further to the Ancient Olympic Games. The decision to drop wrestling was opposed in many countries and by their NOCs.[27][28][29][30] Wrestling therefore joined other sports in a short list applying for inclusion in the 2020 Games. On 29 May 2013, it was announced that three sports made the final shortlist; squash, baseball/softball, and wrestling.[31] Five other sports (karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding, and wushu) were excluded from consideration at this point.[32] On 8 September 2013, at the 125th IOC Session, the IOC selected wrestling to be included in the Olympic program for 2020 and 2024. Wrestling secured 49 votes, while baseball/softball secured 24 votes and squash got 22 votes.[33]

So what’s up with that?

And note that the Guber didn’t say by 2020, he said “in 2020.” So I don’t see how it’s even remotely possible that there’s a “certainty” that “E-Sports” video gaming will somehow become “an Olympic sport in 2020.”

ENDOFLINE

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Frisco Missed Out on the 2012, 2016 and 2024 Olympics, But Here Come the CANNA GAMES

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

It’s HEMPCON, baby – home of the CANNA GAMES:

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WTF: Senate Bill 1465 – Spending Our Money to Pay for the 2024 Olympics in LA? Instead, Why Not Tax LA’s “Unexpected” Losses?

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Read it and weep, Frisco:

SB 1465, as amended, De León. Public contracts: 2024 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Existing law provides specified requirements in awarding certain public contracts. This bill would authorize the Governor to sign agreements with the International Olympic and Paralympic Committee, as part of the site selection process for the City of Los Angeles to become the host for the 2024 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. This bill would make legislative findings and declarations that, among other things, the endorsing municipality, as defined, has developed a self-sufficient bid for financing the games. This bill would authorize the Governor to enter into an agreement for the state to be jointly liable, not to exceed a specified amount, with the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG), as specified, for obligations of the OCOG, and for any financial deficit relating to the games, as provided.

So basically, this means that the State of California will pay for part of the inevitable overages of a possible 2024 Los Angeles Olympics up to a total of a quarter billion dollars.

But if LA’s  bid is “self-sufficient,” then why does LA or the corrupt International Olympic committee need any of our money at all, one wonders.

Hey, instead of paying for failure, why not tax it instead? So, of course Los Angeles “expects” to make billions, somehow, from LA2024, but in case it doesn’t, in case it starts to spend Precious Taxpayer Money garnered from The People of Los Angeles, then the govt of LA should pay a tax to the CA General Fund at, say, a 40% rate. So, fine, LA, spend an extra billion on your IOC party, but then, come 2025, you’ll owe CA a cool $400,000,000.

Wouldn’t that incentivize Los Angeles to be more honest about what it expects to make from LA 2024?

And man, we just went through this deal here in SF last year. I’ll tell you, SF came in third in the race to be the U.S nominee for the games of the 2024 Olympiad. (We beat DC, but DC never had a chance.) It looked like this:

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Boston of course, said no way, Jose, we not going to enter into “joinder” with the IOC. And here comes LA, which is now considering putting itself on the hook for, potentially, billions.

I mean, if you’re worried about your teen getting drunk, again, and crashing the family car, again, why would you declare your teenager sober and then say, “Well, if you crash the car, I’ll give you a nice reward.” Would that make sense?

All our pols should oppose this Los Angeles bail out bill.

Reader Notes:

Oh hey, IRL, Paris will host the 2024 Olympics (in part because Paris doesn’t have no FBI, I’m srsly) so this bill doesn’t matter anyway.

And also, bay area officialdom doesn’t support the Olympics coming to SoCal in 2024, because that would kill ANY chance of SF / Bay Area hosting the now-coveted 2028 Olympics, I’m srsly. (But would SFGov et al actually come out to oppose this ridiculous spending bill? IDK. Perhaps they’ll oppose this bill, but in a sneaky way, who knows…)

Sponsored Link: BRO TONER – Don’t Go to Fort Mason Without Applying Your Bro Toner, Dudes – You Know, Liberally

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Cheaper by the dozen

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You’ll be looking good at the Summer Brolympics, right?

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Did Mayor Ed Lee Sign a “Joinder Undertaking Agreement” to Prevent SFGov Employees from Criticizing 2024 Olympics?

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

There’s a reason why I ask:

Boston-city-employees-told-not-badmouth-olympics

“If you’re a Boston city employee, there’s now an official decree: don’t badmouth the Olympics. Documents obtained by the Globe through a public records request to City Hall show Mayor Martin J. Walsh has signed a formal agreement with the United States Olympic Committee that bans city employees from criticizing Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Games.”

And didn’t we agree to a similar contract eleven years before the 2012 Olympics? I think so.

So it would make sense that we signed, or would have signed, the same agreement with the USOC had we not lost the vote earlier this month in Denver, right?

So, SF2024 was cool with that? So like tens of thousands of City and County workers would have been gagged by Mayor Ed Lee?

You see, this is why the corrupt IOC prefers dealing with backward governments like those in China and the former Soviet Union.

Anyway, there’s a way to find out, right?

Have at it.

(BTW, some of the 2024 Olympics people around town have already turned into the 2028 Olympics people. That means they are rooting for Boston to lose at the IOC vote, the better to have an American city chosen in 2028. How good-spirited they are, these Olympic Dreamers!)

UPDATE: Oh, here you go, looks like it’s referred to as a Joinder Agreement, and most likely it was signed by somebody with authority last month, one presumes the Mayor, if he’s going to be gagging all SFGov workers. This was a requirment to advance to this month’s vote, it looks like:

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Here’s What San Francisco Chronicle Writer CW Nevius Gets Wrong About Our Failed Bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics

Friday, January 16th, 2015

I guess this will close out SF’s attempt to host the 2024 Olympics.

The weird thing about San Francisco’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics was that the local committee was this close to pulling off a terrific plan.

The vote was Boston 15 and San Francisco (and the other two) 0, was it not? That’s not all that close, huh? Or does he mean that the bay area’s bid was sub-terrific, like it was just one unit below being terrific? One can’t tell what the Nevius is trying to say here. San Francisco always was a long shot, right? And if SF got picked by the USOC, then it would have been a long shot to get picked by the IOC. And if the corrupt IOC had selected SF, then there was always the chance of things not working out anyway, ala the inchoate Denver 1976 Olympics. So, was this thing “close” or actually far far away? I’ll tell you, if I were the USOC, I’d tell all the boosters from all the cities how close things were and if I were the spokesmodel for SF2024, I’d tell Larry Baer how close he almost came. (“We were this close Lare-Bear!) But I’m not so I won’t. OTOH, CW Nevius got paid by the Chronicle to publish, more or less, what Nate Ballard wanted published, so here we are. “So close!”

Let’s see a show of hands. How many of you thought a temporary, pop-up $350 million Olympic stadium in the Brisbane wind tunnel was a good idea? 

The IOC doesn’t want any more images of white elephants haunting them through the decades. So, in their opinion, which is the only one that matters, pop-ups might be a good thing. As far as Brisbane vs. Oakland is concerned, how could it matter? Our hosting would have ended up costing 5, 10, 15 billion dollars more than the “official” bid, right? Isn’t that the real issue?

More on Oakland:

It would not only have been a terrific solution for the Games — better weather, easy access, waterfront views — it would have penciled out financially.

This is the same Nevius who moved to town and then a few months later determined that the failed America’s Cup would come “without a downside.” But it did come with a downside, or two or three or four, right? Moving on.

And, by the way, don’t think the United States Olympic Committee wasn’t hoping to make San Francisco work. Conventional wisdom was that Los Angeles had the facilities, Boston and Washington had the East Coast bias, but San Francisco was “the sexiest.”

Why does the Nevius use the term “conventional wisdom” here? What does he mean? Is he suggesting that this view wasn’t accurate? I don’t think so.  And what’s “East Coast bias?” Have the Summer Olympics ever been held on the East Coast of the United States ever in history? Nope. So there doesn’t seem to be too much bias there. Our Summer Olympicses have been held in the West (twice), the South and the Midwest. So WTF. Now, time zone-wise I can certainly see how advertisers worldwide would strongly prefer the EDT for live events, and that certainly was a factor favoring Boston. And I’ll say, that DC had no chance at all, as the IOC hates DC and all it stands for. And then the Nevius puts quote marks around “the sexiest?” Is this a an actual quote or is it merely the conventional wisdom? Hmmm

So what happened? Well, San Francisco happened. Or more specifically, the Bay Area, and particularly the fractious shenanigans in Oakland, made everyone nervous.

So, nothing happened, right? The USOC did its own polling and figured out that we don’t really want the Olympics here. That’s what happened. I wouldn’t describe that as San Francisco happened since this was and is a known known, right?

Every time someone touted the Bay Area as a location, someone else cued up the video of the Oakland protesters trashing a Christmas tree.

Whoa, Nelly! Is this literally true? Like “every time?” No, so who was actually doing this at all? Like, even once? Is the Nevius aware of the non-disparagement agreements that all the bid cities signed on to? Is he suggesting that somebody from the Boston bid “cued up” some video literally or is this a Nevius tone poem? I can’t tell. Not at all.

As one local Olympic insider suggested: “We are like the hot, crazy girl that everyone wants to sleep with. You never know what you’re going to get when you wake up in the morning.”

This quote is from Nate Ballard but he doesn’t want to own up to it? Weak. I’ll note that Nate Ballard isn’t quoted anywhere else in the Nevius bit. And did Larry Baer’s money go to somebody getting paid to talk about hot, crazy “girls” everybody wants to sleep with? That’s amazing. Anyway, this came from Nate Ballard – prove me wrong! I won’t disagree with the sentiment though. Yes, SF was the most “appealing” bid city, the city that the corrupt IOC would have the warmest feelings for, most likely.

Now make no mistake. It wasn’t just Oakland. Accounts of the years of debate and acrimony over the harmless Beach Chalet soccer fields in Golden Gate Park made the national news.

OK, so what are you saying here, Nevius? That spending money and effort trying to get the Olympics to come here is/was a bad idea, you know, considering? Is that what you mean to say, Nevius?

Nor was it helpful to hear that collecting enough signatures to get an initiative on the San Francisco ballot is incredibly easy.

So, CW Nevius from Walnut Creek doesn’t want the people of SF to be able to weigh in on spending 10, 15, 20 billion on an Olympic-sized boondoggle? Mmmm…

Suppose, for example, an initiative was passed that said no public money could be used for the Games.

Yep, that was what was coming, no doubt.

Would that mean no increase in funding for public transportation, which would be stressed for the Games? Or police and emergency services.

The answer to this question is that it doesn’t matter as such a vote would be more than enough to scare away the corrupt IOC and why would you continue along the boondoggle path after the People voted thumbs down? I mean, what kind of monster would do that? Here’s the thing – this is the IOC:

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That’s in terms that CW Nevius, that white, wizened, wine-drinking, Walnut Creekian Downton Abbey fan can appreciate. In fact, the IOC is like 10-15% royal blooded, like literally. The IOC has lots of ideas about how best to spend Other People’s Money on projects to glorify the IOC. But the IOC itself can’t afford to put on the show. That’s why it forces cities to guarantee the games with taxpayer money. There’s no way ’round this. So the IOC will not grant the Games to any city that doesn’t have a guarantee that the bill for the inevitable overruns will get sent to taxpayers. This is the Denver 1976 situation. It doesn’t take all that much to scare away the IOC.

Would we ever be able to get this together? Sure. It’s possible. The timing couldn’t have been much worse this year to put something together.

So, our bid was All About Oakland? I don’t think so. Perhaps this notion is comforting to Larry Baer, but I don’t think so. Perhaps SF bidding on the Olympics is fun, but it’s a bad idea? Perhaps?

But don’t think Boston is a slam dunk to win the international bid.

Who thinks Boston is a “slam dunk?” Where does this come from?

If anything, the anti-Olympics political forces in Boston — there’s a “No Boston Olympics” coalition — are more organized and more vociferous than the little band of naysayers here. 

Well, Nevius, the USOC did its own polling and it concluded that the political environment was worse here in SF. The reason why Boston’s citizen effort had a higher profile is that the bid in Boston had a higher profile, for whatever reason. And if a “little band” of naysayers would have had a very easy time winning its no-taxpayer-funds-for-the-Olympics vote, then they aren’t such a little band, right? Maybe SF doesn’t want to pay for the Olympics to come here – is that a possibility?

So now Nevius is rooting for Boston to lose the 2024 Olympics so that we can get the 2028 Olympics – that’s what Larry Baer and Nate Ballard are thinking?

OK fine, but I don’t think that’s going to work either.

CW Nevius should be able to do a better job than this.

Surprise! San Francisco’s $4.5 Billion Bid for the 2024 Olympics Didn’t Include Security – Cost? “Multiple Billions” More

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Well, here’s the news from Boston, the recent “winner” of the 2024 Olympics U.S. bid beauty contest:

“The Games are larger and the world is a different place than 2002 [Salt Lake City Olympics]. I imagine the security costs are going to be in the multiple billions of dollars.”

Our bid came in at exactly the same dollar amount as Boston’s. Why was that? Because that’s the guidance that SF received from the USOC.

The question is whether that was an honest number. The answer is that it was not.

I’m thinking that the costs of Boston’s possible hosting could be in the $15-$20 billion territory  – that certainly seems realistic.

That was the size of the bullet we just dodged…

Of course it could be the case that Boston will simply spend $50-$100 million simply preparing a losing bid at the corrupt IOC. That looks to be the best case scenario for us at this point.

And uh oh, the URLs SF2028.org and SF2032.org are already registered, so let’s include the cost of that as the first expense of our next futile bid…

Point Counterpoint on the 2024 Olympics, Since San Francisco’s Bid Will End Tomorrow, Probably

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Let’s start here:

“I truly believe this will advance our long-term interests,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said. “We believe that San Francisco’s 2024 vision of the Olympics is 100 percent aligned with our priorities as we see them today, both as a city and as a region.”

Yeah, sure, hook Ed Lee up to a lie detector and you’d see that he actually believes this statement. Except that it’s not true. Unless he thinks that the 2024 Olympics are worth $10 billion or so of cost overruns. Some would benefit from those overruns but most would not. This process of exaggerating benefits and minimizing costs is what got us in trouble with the disastrous, expensive, deadly, scandal-marred America’s Cup, which, of course, San Francisco declined to repeat.

And I can’t help but think that “2024 vision” sounds a lot like Vision Zero 2024*, another promise that hasn’t a chance in the world of coming true.

“Our mantra really is, ‘Can we host an Olympics and leave the Bay Area better off for having done that?’ ” Strandberg said. “If we can’t, you should hold us to the standard. That’s what we think about every day as we lay out our plans.”

How on Earth would we be able to hold Mr. Strandberg “accountable” post 2024, when we’ll be billions and billions over $4.5 billion? How much skin does he have in the Game? Not much, not much at all.

“It’s not relevant to include Games that were put on by sovereign states like Russia or China and compare them to how you would do something in the United States,” he said. “We’d never look at the Chinese economic system or the Russian political system and say, ‘That’s how we do it here.’ So, why would we assume that is how we would do an Olympic Games here?”

(Sovereign states? Is that some kind of insult? Not really. I wonder what phrase he’s thinking about when he says sovereign state.) In any event, the better comparisons are with London 2012, which overran by about $10 billion and Chicago 2016, which would had overrun by a similar amount. Or Greece? Can we talk about Greece? No, all right. And the reason to include Russia and China has more to do with the IOC, which has a real problem dealing with democracies.

So that’s the SJMN bit. It’s well-written, by Elliott Almond and Mark Emmons

Moving on, to SF Moderates, which used to be called Plan C, which used to be a right side of the aisle political group for gay property owners. It’s expanded its membership lately, but it’s still decidedly on the right side of SF’s political aisle. Begin:

But what if we could defy the naysayers and make it happen? Mayor Ed Lee has initiated the effort, emphasizing that the $4.5 billion price tag will come from private donors. I learned from the Miracle on Ice and from the 2010 Giants and Ashkon that you don’t stop believing just because someone says you can’t win.

So why didn’t we sign up for another America’s Cup? Perhaps the naysayers were absolutely correct? Yep.

The issue for anti-Olympics lobbyists appears to be possible cost overruns, which have averaged over 200 percent per Olympics according to a recent study. The assumption is that taxpayers will be on the hook for the extra $9 billion in average cost overruns. That’s a fair concern.

Oh OK, well, yes, that’s the “concern.”

The requirement is a guarantee of public money to cover cost overruns. There are ways to deal with that if the final bill is the sole concern.

Uh, no there’s not. Are you talking about cost overrun insurance from that Aon company? That’s never going to work. If everybody thinks the taxpayers will be on the hook for $10 billion, then the premium for such a policy would be about $10 billion, right? And if it’s not, then it has a host of exceptions and deductibles and caps and then let’s have future taxpayers pay off the bill.

But, let’s consider another view. There are private donors ready to pump in $4.5 billion into our local economy. How often does that happen? If we say no to this money, are we in a better position to reduce poverty or curb homelessness?

Yes, without the 2024 Olympics, we’ll be in a better position. Were you born yesterday?

While the anti-Olympics lobby eagerly points to the America’s Cup as proof that the Olympics will be bad for San Francisco, what about the San Francisco Giants?

But that stadium was privately financed, right? The IOC would never allow a privately-financed 2024 Olympics.

I hope it doesn’t get derailed by another just say no campaign.

No no no no no. This deal will never work out in the long run. Let’s hope San Francisco loses tomorrow.

*With an admirable goal, but it’s never going to happen. Transportation deaths are a people problem, not an infrastructure problem. Fundamentally.