London stunned Paris when the 2012 Olympics were awarded this morning by the IOC. What does it mean in dollars and pounds? What's behind the bidding process? Darren Rovell is up next to talk about the business of sports.
Hello, everyone. Glad to be here. Lots to talk about. I'm sure many of you thought that Paris was going to win it all. You were wrong about that. I'm sure most of you thought New York had no chance. You were right about that.
Who cares? Is this worth an hour long chat?
Maybe not. When I run out of questions Bob, I'll stop.
Why would anyone want to host an Olympics anymore? To win you have to produce massive amounts of capital. Sure, the spectacle and publicity for those few weeks are unmatched, but after? Is the short-term benefit better than the long-term burden? You could still be paying for it decades after!
Matt, I'm going to answer that question with a big "I'm not sure." Athens is billions in debt for two weeks. Does that really show the world what your city is about? Why do world class cities like London, Madrid, Paris and New York really need this? Sure, you have a chance of turning a profit, but the risk is huge. Not the least of it being that the IOC says they want to "control costs," and then they ask for the world. The IOC is a close second to the NCAA on the sports hypocrite scale.
What was the major reason London was chosen over Paris? Was it their presentation?
I think both of them had a chance to win. If you look at the voting, which is in my blog today, Madrid actually won Round 2. But I think it was just luck. The final vote was 54-50, so it's not like it was a knockout.
To be honest Darren, no one who lives in NYC wanted the olympics to be here. We didn't want the tax burden and security issues....hopefully, the media can stop distorting the picture that makes it look like New Yorkers wanted the olympics here.
John, I thought the media was pretty fair in New York. Despite the fact that if you look at the contributions, the NY Times, Daily News and Newsday all donated to the bid coffers. It was clear, given what I had seen in Paris and London, that New Yorkers didn't want it as much, if at all. It was pretty much the politicos that wanted to do it, and I'm sure many people are thankful of sheldon silver for standing up to using taxpayer funds for the west side stadium.
Any possible candidates for 2016?
Here are some of the candidates that i've seen out there: Hamburg, Germany, Fukuoka, Japan, Rome, Italy and maybe New York will be back for another shot.
Why has Chicago not been mentioned for the Olympics in North America?Why does it always have to be New York New York?
Chicago has to want it before they can really be mentioned.
Do you think there will ever be a time again when the olympics will be more than politics? I am getting tired of all of the arguements over olympic sites like there were over Athens and its security issues. Honestly..I don't care where the olympics are. I watch the olympics for the athletes, not the host city.
No Frank. It's all about politics and even though they are watching bribery with IOC members, it's still all about the money. What is funny to me is that everything is going to look amateur following up the Olympics in Beijing in 2008 because it is going to be the height of extravagance. Mark my words, there will never ever be an opening and closing ceremonies like you will see in China in 2008.
Is Turin, Italy ready for this Winter's games? What about Beijing for '08?
when it comes down to it, everyone is ready. How ready is Beijing? The IOC basically told them to sit on their hands and chill out for a while because they were going to fast!
The NYC plan was ill-conceived political hubris right from the start - how they could hinge the entire deal on the stadium plan, have it blow up in their face, then backtrack to Queens with an embarassed "never mind", shows what a poor and arrogant plan it was. Fix the roads and the subways and lower the taxes - if NYC needs an Olympics to put it on the map, we're all in trouble. And how utterly shameless it was to invoke 9/11 at all, at any turn, in the bid presentations!
I know a lot New Yorkers are upset about the MTA/LIRR fare raises and I was so disturbed about the mentioning of 9/11. Tasteless doesn't begin to even describe it. For the families that lost their love ones, those involved in using that as strategy should be ashamed of themselves. If any of the IOC members are normal and rational people, I'm sure some of them felt the same way.
how expensive will tickets be for 2008?
No average hard working individual will be able to touch the prices.
Will the Olympics ever be able to turn a profit like Los Angeles did in 1984?
No. Never again. It was a different era, where facilities didn't cost as much as they do today and it was accepted that you didn't have to build everything from scratch. It was also a time when the competition for the games wasn't as great. No one wanted the 1984 Games except LA. So there was very little spending to beat out the competition. That being said, it's possible to make a modest -- $50 to $150 million profit, but LA numbers won't be approached because of the investment it now takes.
Do you see a time when the world will tell the IOC what they can do with the Olympics, much like some cities are starting to tell the NFL what they can do with their teams? When will the myth of the Olympics as a huge money maker for a country, state, or city be debunked the same way as the myth of the SuperBowl being such a economic development driver?
Unlike cities in the US that can host teams, the world population and the fact the thing happens every other year unfortunately makes it highly unlikely that the absurd bidding war will stop any time soon.
There were eight American cities that submitted bids to the USOC for 2012? Now that the rotation seems to favor North America for 2016, will there be as many/more bids? Will NYC be one of them?
North America has a chance again. I think in the back of their minds, NYC knew that it was going to be tough with Vancouver getting 2010.
Do you think the US went with the wrong bid? I'll admit, I'm biased--I did some work on the San Francisco bid--but in my exposure to the two US finalists, SF was clearly a superior bid. Did the USOC doom itself by bowing to sympathy for NYC? Or did they know 2012 was going to Europe and decide to pick a bid that would look good while they threw it to the lions?
Very interesting philosophy. But I think the USOC thought they chose the best city. The SF bid a couple years ago in the USOC competition was interesting and I do think SF has a chance in the future. It's a great city and I do think they can have enough facilities within the prescribed radius.
Is there any sense that world politics spilled over into Olympic voting? Meaning do you think Chirac's behavior with the European Union possibly cost him some votes?
Yes. Chirac's comments definitely could have cost Paris some votes. They only lost by 4 votes. And world politics is part of it. While the American bid kept talking about 9/11, don't forget that I'm sure the anti-American sentiment is still there.
Does NY's failed bid mean an end to the Mets' new stadium? Will Bloomberg can the stadium in Queens and try again for the west side stadium for a possible 2016 bid?
I think we're waiting to find that out. Since the Olympics aren't coming, the Mets don't have to worry about moving out, but they also won't get the $100 million in funding to change it to an Olympic stadium and then back. They might have been counting on that money for their private financing.
Is Paris going to keep trying, or is 3 failed bids enough?
I think Paris will try again. Cities don't give up -- especially after they've done all this work. They have to re-use it some time in the future.
NY had to beat out seven other American bids for the right to be the USOC's representative for 2012. If NYC does bid for 2016, will the USOC go through the same process for 2016 and allow other cities an opportunity to bid, or will they allow NYC to remain as its representative, without having to repeat the process of choosing a national winner. If the former, which cities do you expect to bid?
No. They'd have to redo the process all over again.
How will the Human Rights question be dealt with in the 2008 olympics in China?
This should be extremely interesting. The IOC and the whole Olympic movement will have to be very careful to make sure things are on the up and up. Maybe they can hire some consultants from Nike.
Hello Darren, I was just in London and it's a very expensive city to travel in, how much will it cost in 2012 to spend any amount of time in London during the Olympics and still go to an event or two?
They better have some good flat rates in some of those cabs. That could be a disaster.
Good showing at the Watermelon Seed spitting contest. At what kind of fun even do you think you'll end up at next?
I can't really put my schedule out there Brian, because I don't want any other journalists to scoop my act!
Congrats on your top 5 seed-spitting place. Any chance we'll see you in the 2008 or 2012 olympics for that?
Thanks. If it's an Olympic sport, I'm in.
I've got to run. If you have any more questions, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to check out my blog on Insider and my podcast on Apple.com. Also, you might want to check out my story on Page 2 on the fake names athletes use in hotels. I worked on that story for two months. And finally, if you are interested at all in the history of Gatorade, check out my Gatorade blog at www.firstinthirst.typepad.com.