Committee concerned about San Francisco Olympic
By Brigid Gaffikin, Bay City News Service
August 11, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - U.S. Olympic Committee officials
expressed concern this morning that San Francisco might not be
prepared to host the 2016 Olympics and that the city's icons and
bridges could pose security challenges to games planners, but
the decision about whether San Francisco is a suitable Olympic
host city is still yet to be made, Mayor Gavin Newsom said today.
San Francisco has until Sept. 22 to reply in writing to a document
prepared by the committee detailing the group's particular questions
and concerns with how the city would host the games, Newsom said.
The committee has raised questions about how the city can accommodate
track and field events, the opening and closing ceremonies, the
media and athletes. Committee officials also want San Francisco
to demonstrate that it can provide an adequate security plan and
dedicate the time and attention necessary to organizing transit
for the games, Newsom said.
Newsom stressed several times that he thought a football stadium
was not necessarily the best venue for opening and closing ceremonies
and said that any decisions by the San Francisco 49ers about how
to move ahead with constructing a new stadium would run "parallel"
to the city's efforts to polish its Olympics bid.
Still, the city isn't ready for the games yet, he said, adding
that Chicago was in more or less the same place as San Francisco
while Los Angeles -- the site of the 1984 summer games -- had
a leg up on its competitors.
Newsom said San Francisco officials had a two-way, "honest
conversation" about the city's bid and whether it can meet
the committee's expectations.
"It's a very organic conversation at this stage," Newsom
"The question is: how do we secure their confidence?"
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