Finding cities willing to host 2022 and 2024 Olympics proving tough
(AP/WJLA) - New York City and Philadelphia are dropping efforts to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, the Associated Press reports.
Alicia Glen, New York's deputy mayor for housing and economic development, told The Wall Street Journal that Mayor Bill de Blasio made the decision after weighing the pros and cons of hosting the event. Glen says top officials feared an Olympic bid would distract from de Blasio's economic-development agenda.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says that city's decision was made after researching potential venues and the financial realities of hosting the games.
David Cohen, a Comcast Corp. executive vice president who was part of the Philadelphia effort, said "the timing is not right for Philadelphia" to host the games but that he believes the city could do it in the future.
However - D.C. is still in the race. The Facebook page for "D.C. 2024," the exploratory committee for the district's bid to host the 2024 games, indicates efforts are still moving forward.
When it comes to the 2022 Winter Olympics, cities are fast dropping out as well.
ABC News reports that Krakow, Poland recently dropped out of the race after a whopping 70 percent of voters voted against it in a referendum.
Krakow voters join those in Stockholm, Sweden and Munich, Germany in voting against the bid recently. A proposal for Davos and St. Moritz to co-host the games has also been shot down by voters.
This leaves just two strong contenders left - Beijing, China, which hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, and Almaty, Kazahkstan.
Though the cities of Lviv, Ukraine and Oslo, Norway are both technically still in the race, both are expected to fail, due to similar opposition from locals in Oslo, and due to the political unrest in Ukraine.
If Beijing ends up winning the bid, it will become the first city in the history of the Olympics to host both the summer and winter games.
Many suspect the rising costs of hosting the Olympics are deterring many contenders, after the recent Sochi Olympics reportedly cost at least $51 billion.
Others cite the fact that large, expensive sports facilities that require being built to host the games often end up sitting empty and unused - and in some cases crumbling with time - once the games are over.