Nation's capital makes a play for the 2024 Olympic Games
August 27th, 2013
12:42 PM ET
8 months ago

Nation's capital makes a play for the 2024 Olympic Games

Washington (CNN) – Washingtonians are paying close attention the quadrennial contest for a major job on the global stage.

But this time it's not the race for the White House - the nation's capital is in the early stages of an effort to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The non-profit group DC2024 launched a campaign Tuesday on behalf of the greater Washington-Baltimore area in an attempt to seek a bid for those games.

Asked about the potential concerns associated with holding an event of that magnitude, DC2024 organizer Bob Sweeney told CNN the capital city is in a strong position.

"In terms of security, Washington, D.C., has a huge asset in that we live in a very secure environment," Sweeney said, adding that DC is also a city that visitors and athletes will want to explore.

He says response to the initiative has been "incredibly positive."

An official bid would have to come from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), which is currently in talks with about 10 American cities interested in hosting the games, including Washington.

The USOC would decide whether to submit a bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in partnership with a U.S. city. The latter organization would then make the final choice of host city in 2017, seven years before the games kick off.

The IOC is now in the final stages of the selection process for the 2020 Olympic Games, having narrowed down the candidates to Istanbul, Tokyo and Madrid. The USOC chose not to submit a bid for those games.

The last time the U.S. hosted the summer Olympics was in 1996 when the games were held in Atlanta. The U.S. also hosted the winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2002.

A similar effort for Washington to host the 2012 summer games failed, but DC2024's organizers are optimistic.

Sweeney points out the city's landscape has undergone a significant change since the 2012 initiative, with the addition of a new convention center, a new professional baseball stadium, and plans to extend the city's Metrorail system out to Washington-Dulles International Airport.

Washington "meets or exceeds every one of the technical requirements" to host the games, Sweeney told CNN, and the area is already "venue rich" because of the large number of professional and college sports arenas in the area.

Pedro Ribeiro, a spokesman for Washington Mayor Vincent Gray, said Gray is "a huge sports fan and a huge fan of the Olympics, and thinks this is an exciting idea and one worth exploring. His main priority would be to ensure that any such effort would be in the best interest of District residents and taxpayers.


Filed under: Olympics • Washington D.C.
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. just asking

    oh yeah, great. it'll only cost the us taxpayers $300 billion to provide security. can you even begin to imagine the target this would make washington and the cover it would provide al queada? these people need to get real.

    August 27, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Anthony in California

    Okay Republicans.. heres your chance to root against the country again like you did when Chicago bid for the Olympics.

    No, I havent forgotten about that...

    August 27, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "In terms of security, Washington, D.C., has a huge asset in that we live in a very secure environment,"
    -----------------------------------------------–
    Just because there is a very high security presence doesn't mean that the games won't be targeted. Not to mention it will be an embarrassment having foreigners traveling on our crappy, prehistoric metro line.

    August 27, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. Government Waste Rules

    Come to Washington DC for the Olympics! Try not to get killed!

    August 27, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. Rusty Krus

    Obama will get blamed for this!

    August 27, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. Gurgy

    Way to go, it does bring money....

    August 27, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Washington DC's biggest problem is ground transportaition. The DC Beltway is a commuter nightmare. You need add at least two more majory highways: maybe build a new beltway inside the current loop and another outside of it, complete with interconnecting and crossing spokes.

    Perhaps the biggest problem is that DC lacks north/south expressways that completely bypass downtown, or something that cuts a high speed, limited access route through the city. I think Philly did something like the latter about 20-25 years ago. The Beltway needs some help. It is outdated and cannot handle it anymore.

    August 27, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. kirk

    With the controversy surrounding the IOC recently, I would imagine they would steer clear of Washington d.c.

    August 27, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. Data Driven

    The Swamp in August? 100-degree temps with near-100% humidity. Sounds fun.

    At least the politicians would be in D.C. in August, for a change.

    August 27, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. much thunder..little rain

    murder capital ..not likely

    August 27, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Michael Benjamin

    This is a ridiculous venue for these games.

    August 27, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. stopdrinkinthekoolaid

    pfffft.. yeah right... while any city can certainly try. one – where would they put it? two – just another money grab/spending project that the libs will go crazy over .. just to put a worthless olympic venue somewhere (this actually would be a whole slew of buildings) that would go unused within 5 years of the olympics anyway.
    Don't bother you won't get it anyway.

    August 27, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. Wake up People!

    Will the GOP be openly against it or was that only because the man with the permanent tan wanted it??

    August 27, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. DustyOnes

    Come to D.C. Get mugged and shot. Share the wealth!

    August 27, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    just asking wrote:

    oh yeah, great. it'll only cost the us taxpayers $300 billion to provide security. can you even begin to imagine the target this would make washington and the cover it would provide al queada? these people need to get real.
    --------------------–
    I don't think it would be a good idea, either. I also don't think that security would cost anywhere near $300 billion, and neither do you. They should keep Olympic Games as far from DC as possible. I think Detroit could host it. Chicago will be off of any final US list. Another good location would be the Northeast or the Northwest. Dallas is a possiblility if that giant screen hasn't dropped from the roof of Cowboy Stadium by that time rolls around.

    August 27, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  16. snowboarder

    that will give me a good reason to move out of the DC area by then.

    August 27, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. @RudyNYC

    Guess you haven't been to DC in awhile. There's I-295 which is a North/South highway, not to mention the expansion of the 495 express lanes and 95 express lanes, expansion of the DC metro with light rail in Maryland and Virginia. By 2024, DC should be a lot easier to get around.

    August 27, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Guess you haven't been to DC in awhile. There's I-295 which is a North/South highway, not to mention the expansion of the 495 express lanes and 95 express lanes, expansion of the DC metro with light rail in Maryland and Virginia. By 2024, DC should be a lot easier to get around.
    ------------------------
    Nope. I admit that I aven't been inside of the Beltway since Clinton, though I've passed by DC many times since. I've been advised to drive around downton, instead of going through it, by everyone I know in the area. The traffic is worse than NYC because there are not enough alternate routes that are accessible. Once you commit to the Belt, that's it.

    August 27, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. ED1

    Talk about stupid this take the cake.

    Who in the hell is going to pay for it better not be any tax dollars involved.

    By 2014 we will not have a United States anyway it will be the SSUSA.

    August 27, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. mollylefey

    @rudynyc –

    I moved to the NY metropolitan area in January 2012 after five years living in the DC metropolitan area. While traffic is bad in both, DC is definitely not worse than NY. NY's major problem is it's an island – so there are only so many ways into and out of the city. If you want to go west from downtown, you have three options and only three options. So yes, NYC has "alternate" routes, but not many. And certainly not enough to handle the amount of traffic. I'd say they are both bad traffic areas, but at least DC has the option of adding more lanes/more roads. With NYC, what you see is pretty much what you get unless you want to spend a decade building a new bridge or tunnel out of the city.

    August 27, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. Alvarez

    I plan to compete in the long distance poop events.

    August 27, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |