May 08, 2006
Wow. Has it really been almost four years since Houston's Olympic-hosting hopes were last dashed? Time does fly. Well fear not, it's time to try and impress the USOC again.
USOC chairman Peter Ueberroth will lead a four-member group today that will meet with Mayor Bill White and city representatives at City Hall to discuss Houston as a potential candidate to host the 2016 Olympics.
USOC officials asked to meet with the mayor, public and private sector officials and Olympic athletes. The Houston delegation will include White, George DeMontrond III, chairman of the disbanded Houston 2012 Foundation, 1992 relay gold medalist Leroy Burrell, and two-time taekwondo gold medalist Steven Lopez.
Don't know that Houston will be taken any more seriously as a potential host this time around, though at least we'll have a completed and successful light rail line to point to as a feature, but I support the effort. I'll worry about the big logistical questions later, if and when Houston survives the first round of cuts. The final IOC decision is not until 2009, so there's no rush just yet.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 08, 2006 to Elsewhere in Houston
IIRC, while the IOC was quite impressed with the venues offered and the offer in general, they found Houston too ugly to expose to the world.
It isn't a lot prettier that I can tell.
Maybe if a certain John Culberson hasn't done so much to block rail lines, we would be a much more serious contender.
Sam Malone on 740 KTRH was really laying it on this morning - no way should Houston be applying for this he said. Made remarks like "Hello terrorists, here's Houston" and "We can't even buy another Super Bowl." (not direct quotes) If anyone from the USOC was listening in, they sure got a long list of reasons to pass right on by.
We have to be the only contender that has as a member of our delegation an athlete (Lopez) currently under suspension from the US Anti-Doping agency. Brilliant.
If the city is interested in bidding or even trying to market itself in a positive light, for God's sakes, get some NEW people on these committees.
George DeMontrond couldn't get the bid going last time. I see his right-hand person Susan Bandy is trying for this again. Time for some new blood.
Get local people who know how to do marketing and with proven track records. Mattress Mack (seriously) knows how to get things done. Ad execs like Alex Lopez Negrete, Phil Morabito. Entrepreneurs like Michael Garfield who used creativity to create a local/regional brand.
Try something new or get out of the game.
How much was spent on the last bid? I seem to recall it was in the tens of millions. There were a lot of people on the receiving end of that money (including a lot of Mayor Brown's cronies). Another effort would surely be a waste of time and money since there's no way Houston will win. But there a lot of people who want to tap into the money, and certainly some political officials who will be more than happy to hand out payola.