Los Angeles Named Finalist to Host 2016 Olympic Games

Los Angeles Named Finalist to Host 2016 Olympic Games
By United States Olympic Committee (USOC)
Joins San Francisco and Chicago as potential United States host cities

Los Angeles, California – July 26, 2006 – Los Angeles has been named one of three American finalist cities to host the 2016 Olympic Games, according to an United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announcement made today. Los Angeles joins San Francisco and Chicago as the potential United States candidate cities, narrowing the playing field from an original list of five, and eliminating Philadelphia and Houston in the process.

“This is a great day for all Angelenos,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “We are one step closer to realizing our dream: to host the 2016 Olympic Games in our fair city, at no cost to Los Angeles taxpayers.”

The original five cities were asked by the USOC to respond to a series of 15 questions, including plans for Olympic facilities, should that city be awarded the Olympic Games. A panel of four technical experts, identified by the USOC, reviewed the information from each bidding city. The USOC also queried 50 individuals from the international Olympic community to gauge opinion on America’s overall chances to stage the 2016 Games, and which of the five cities might be in the best position to succeed.

“One of Los Angeles’ unmatched assets is its existing world-class facilities, which we believe may have been a factor in our city being named as a finalist,” said Barry Sanders, Chairman of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games (SCCOG). “Just as important, we will do the Games in different and innovative ways. For example, we will break new ground by using two gathering places, one for day and one for night, to introduce the world to Los Angeles’ exciting downtown that will be newly completed: the Grand Avenue Project Park and the Los Angeles Live development.”

Mayor Villaraigosa added, “Los Angeles’ facilities, our vibrant and diverse community, our entertainment genius, and the support of Angelenos and the business community alike provide powerful reasons for Los Angeles to host the 2016 Olympic Games.”

A survey conducted by Harris Interactive revealed that 89 percent of Angelenos favor a bid to host the 2016 Games in Los Angeles. In addition, there is unanimous support for an Olympic bid from the Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors.

The USOC will make a final decision on whether to bid for the 2016 Games by the fall of this year. If they decide to go forward with a bid they will select a U.S. candidate city by March of 2007. The candidate city then would begin an international campaign leading to the selection of the 2016 Olympic Games host city by the International Olympic Committee in 2009.

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.