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Tampa snubbed again by U.S. Olympic Committee

In canvassing for its next potential Olympic city, the U.S. Olympic Committee sent letters to mayors of 35 American cities Tuesday to gauge their interest in making a bid for the 2024 Games.

The list includes 25 of the largest cities in the country and others that previously expressed interest in hosting the Olympics.

But Tampa — which spent four years and raised $11 million in hopes of landing the 2012 Summer Olympics in this region — got snubbed again. Those Games eventually went to London.

The Tampa lawyer who championed that effort, Ed Turanchik, said Wednesday that the bay area should be on the mailing list now. But being left off, he continued, might turn out to be a blessing.

"My advice to any mayor on the list is to say thank you but no thank you," he said. "It is an obscenely expensive and ridiculous process."

Florida cities to get the letter were Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville.

The USOC says it has not decided whether to pursue a bid in 2024, but it began the decision-making process in unusual fashion. The selection pool of U.S. cities is usually limited to the largest, for logistical reasons as well as the need to compete with major international cities.

The USOC is clearly interested in trying again. It said it has just over two years to select a city for the U.S. bid. The IOC will choose the 2024 host city in 2017.

Cities not only need hotel space, but must build an Olympic Village for 16,500 athletes and space for 15,000 media members, and have extensive public transit and a work force of 200,000.

Other cities to get the letter were: Phoenix; San Jose, Calif.; Los Angeles; Sacramento; San Diego; San Francisco; Denver; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Chicago; Indianapolis; Baltimore; Detroit; Minneapolis; St. Louis; Las Vegas; New York; Boston; Rochester; Charlotte, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Tulsa, Okla.; Portland, Ore.; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Memphis; Nashville and Davidson County, Tenn.; Austin, Texas; Dallas; Houston; San Antonio; and Seattle.

Times staff writer Will Hobson contributed to this report.

Tampa snubbed again by U.S. Olympic Committee 02/20/13 [Last modified: Thursday, February 21, 2013 12:17pm]
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