Two of America's most notable cities won't be Olympic venues, at least not in 2024.
New York City and Philadelphia have both declined the opportunity to bid on the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The reasons are not dissimilar to those put forth by the many cities dropping out of the running for the 2022 Games: too much cost, not enough return on investment.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio this week formally ruled out any possibility of the city seeking a 2024 bid. New York had tried unsuccessfully for the 2012 Games, and members of that bidding team had sought to sway the mayor and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to take another run at the five rings.
In declining to pursue a bid, New York City deputy mayor for housing and economic development Alicia Glen defended the city's decision in the most New York way possible, smacking down the very idea behind hosting an Olympics: recognition and tourism. "Very few people would say that New York City is not quote on the map and is not a major global city," Glen said, adding that "Our feeling is that you could actually deter tourism to some extent by hosting an Olympic Games."
Glen hammered the point home with a more street-level view, saying "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.'"
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter took the same numbers-don't-add-up approach. "Multiple facilities literally would have to be built, and in many cases, they are only for the Olympics," he said. "Some of them remain, but in many instances, those facilities go away."
However, Nutter added a note of optimism: "I do believe the city, in the future, should be and will be a bidding city and ultimately successful for a future Olympics.”
The United States Olympic Committee rounded up about 35 cities that had expressed interest in hosting the 2024 Games. No American city has hosted the Summer Games since Atlanta in 1996. With the departure of New York and Philadelphia, about 10 cities now remain in consideration for the United States' bid. Bidding for the 2024 Summer Games will start next year. The IOC will announce the winning city in 2017.