Everyone Wants New York to Bid for the 2024 Olympics but Its Killjoy Mayor

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Beautiful and talented athletes could be descending on scenic Queens for the 2024 Olympics, but New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio aren't on the same page. A source close to the governor says he's considering another bid after the expensive but unsuccessful attempt for 2012, but a de Blasio spokesman said the mayor's not into it. 

As the Financial Times reports, Cuomo is “seriously assessing the viability of an Olympic bid for New York City” according to someone "familiar with the situation." There could be an advisory committee set up soon, and “the governor’s office is open to reviewing a proposal once it receives one.” Daniel Doctoroff, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's former deputy and a current chief executive at Bloomberg LP, is designing a plan based out of Queens, Cuomo's home borough. 

The only problem — other than the cost of preparing for a bid and the fact that several other U.S. cities are also bidding — is that de Blasio isn't excited. The New York Times reported last week that a de Blasio representative said the city would not seek a bid. A spokesman told the Financial Times that bidding “is not something the administration is considering.”

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Part of his hesitation might be the cost of applying for a bid. When New York applied to host the 2012 Olympics (which eventually went to London) in 2005, the city ended up building many of the projects in its proposal. As WNYC pointed out in 2012, in addition to funding commercials like the one below, the city paid for the proposed gymnastics center that turned into the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, and the Olympic stadium turned into Citi Fields.

At the same time, those investments are still around today. “The net effect of having this is that we basically took underused parts of our city and put them to use,” Michael Moss, an urban policy professor and informal advisor to Bloomberg, told WNYC. “The Olympics are 17 days of sports, but what New York got is a century’s worth of new housing and infrastructure.” Supporters of NYC-2024 hope that the idea of housing might sway de Blasio, who promised to create more affordable housing buildings during his term. At the very least, hosting the Summer Olympics would be easier than building a luge in Times Square

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.