Two-Day Visit Highlights Los Angeles’ Significant Offerings as
Olympic Games Host City for 2016
Los Angeles, Calif. –March 2, 2007 – The Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games (SCCOG) today concluded two-days of hosting the United States Olympic Committee Evaluation Commission. The meetings, bid review sessions, venue tours, unveiling of an original film from Disney Studios and more highlighted an eventful itinerary key to Los Angeles’ bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Presenting a program that combines existing permanent venues for all but one contested sport and extraordinary plans for the few temporary facilities the Games will require, the SCCOG was able to take the focus of the visit from construction to “beyond the venues” measures promoting Olympic spirit and a broadening of the Olympic stage.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who participated in multiple activities during the USOC visit, reaffirmed his commitment and enthusiasm for the Games. “Los Angeles embodies the Olympic ideal. It is the city where dreams are realized and stars are born. This is the stage for a truly spectacular 2016 Olympic Games,” he said.
“From the outset of the bid process, our goal has been to take the focus off construction and put it where it belongs, on the athletes and the true spirit of the Games as first conceived by Baron de Cubertin more than a century ago,” said SCCOG Chairman Barry Sanders. “While our world-class venues are without question a large part of the equation, the fact that they are already in existence provides us with the time and resources to focus on other areas of the Olympic experience and shine the spotlight like no other city in the world.”
During day-long meetings at UCLA on Thursday, March 1, the USOC commission was provided detailed information related to every aspect of the L.A. 2016 bid, including financing – which will not involve any public funds – security, environmental impact, transportation, marketing and more. Presentations were given by SCCOG board members, a number of prominent Southern California Olympians including Peter Vidmar, Janet Evans and Willie Banks along with experts in each specific category. Commission members also toured the spectacular UCLA facilities proposed as the Olympic Athletes Village for 2016.
A marquee moment of Thursday’s schedule was the “premiere” of a spectacular short-film produced by the Walt Disney Studios on behalf of the SCCOG which features Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mayor Villaraigosa and prominent Olympians from the Los Angeles area.
Mayor Villaraigosa, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, SCCOG board members, Olympians including Rafer Johnson, Evans, Banks and others, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and President Jeanie Buss and additional guests joined the USOC commission for a special Getty Center dinner on Thursday night.
On Friday, the USOC commission and members of the media were given a tour of many of the venues that would serve a Los Angeles 2016 Games. The trip, which included transportation on one of the many rail lines that are integral to the transportation program for the proposed Games, – 94% of all tickets sold for the Games will be accessible by rail – took the two groups through Home Depot Center in Carson, multiple venues in Long Beach and concluded in Downtown Los Angeles at STAPLES Center.
“As it does in so many diverse and exciting situations, Los Angeles put its best foot forward during this visit,” concluded Sanders. “We are pleased the USOC commission was able to spend some time in our wonderful community and hope they leave here as confident as all of us are that there is no better place in the world for the 2016 Olympic Games than Los Angeles.”
About the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games (SCCOG)
Formed in 1939, the SCCOG is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the Olympic movement in Southern California. Since its inception, the SCCOG has bid for the Olympic Games on behalf of and in conjunction with the City of Los Angeles, garnering the award of the Games for 1984. Hailed world-wide for their near-flawless organization, the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles generated an operating surplus of $235 million (in 1984 dollars). Further information about the SCCOG can be found on their website at www.sccog.org.