San Francisco officials and business leaders will once again attempt to host the Olympics, this time for the 2024 Summer Games, with a proposal to build a temporary main stadium near Candlestick Park, improve transportation and host sporting events in the downtown area.
According to a source reported via the Chronicle today, the bid is led by San Francisco Giants President and CEO Larry Baer with support from Olympic gold medal swimmer Anne Warner Cribbs and venture capitalist Steve Strandberg. San Francisco will compete against Los Angeles, Boston and Washington D.C. to earn approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee. There will also be stiff international competition from Germany and possibly Paris. The International Olympic Committee plans to name the official host in 2017.
Should San Francisco ultimately win the 2024 U.S. bid, the committee would speed up improvements to the Central Subway, the Transbay Terminal and BART to San Jose. Their proposal centers around building a $350 million temporary stadium between Brisbane and the deserted Candlestick Park for use during the Opening and Closing ceremonies, as well as for track and field events. The minimal expense “pop-up” venue on undeveloped land could then be easily removed upon conclusion of the games. Additional nuances to proposal include the beach volleyball court setup in front of San Francisco City Hall and table tennis located in Chinatown.
San Francisco considered alternative venues for the main stadium such as Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, which is too small for a 400-meter track, and UC Berkeley’s Edwards Stadium, which has limited seating.
San Francisco unsuccessfully bid on the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympic Games. Their 2016 bid failed to secure a venue for the main stadium and their 2012 submission finished second to New York City during the U.S. bidding process, eventually losing to London.
The IOC’s recent recommendations to shape the future of the Olympic movement include reducing the bidding cost for cities, emphasis on sustainability, and leveraging temporary or existing facilities. The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing cost approximately $44 billion and last winter’s Sochi Games in Russia could be even higher. The estimated cost to host the Olympics is $4.5 billion.