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NYC 2012

17 Apr 00


Though still in its preliminary stages, some basic components of the plan are clear. Doctoroff and other members of NYC 2012 maintain that NYC is a logical choice because many of the would-be venues already exist: Yankee Stadium, the Meadowlands, Madison Square Garden and the Javits Center could all host major events. The 369th Regiment Armory on Harlem River Drive, the old World's Fair grounds, and Ashe and Shea Stadiums are also viable venues.

The Olympic Village would be sited in Western Queens aside the East River, and would serve as the center of the "Olympic X." Under the X design, all events would run along two axes, running north-south (Staten Island to the Bronx) and east-west (New Jersey to Queens).

"Let the Games Begin - in NY" - Last winter, the Daily News described the growing movement to bring the Olympics to NYC.

"Olympic Village Could be a Shore Thing for Queens" - Coverage of the plan by the NY Post.

"Queens Pitching Games" - Daily News on the Queens part of the plan: Queens has both a lot to offer and a lot to gain.


The Observer reports that NYC 2012 is largely the brainchild of its president, Daniel Doctoroff. Doctoroff peddled his idea to City power brokers - bigwigs in government, real estate and the private sector. They signed on, as did the Mayor and the powerful developers the Rudins, and now, it seems to be a done deal. Though this may raise questions of process, at this point, the issue is moot; NYC has officially filed its bid with the Olympic Committee.

"Rudy Goes for the Gold" - The Observer dishes the usual inside dirt on the politics of NYC 2012.

THE FINANCING: Stadium? What Stadium?

Doctoroff asserts that this could be a win-win situation for New York. Based on past North American Olympics, such as the 1996 Atlanta Games, NYC 2012 estimates that mounting the event will cost around $1.8 billion, and bring in around $3.1 billion in revenues. That leaves a $1.3 billion to pay for the construction of the Olympic Village, refurbishing of various venues, ferries, and rail transport necessary for the Games. All this construction and infrastructure development would of course, be permanent. After the games, the Olympic Village could be converted to middle-income housing; the ferry system would stay.

"The core of the proposal is to build a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan that could be used as an Olympic stadium. We could make a naming rights deal. We'd get a lot of money for that -- maybe $200 million, maybe $250 million. I don't know, we could come up with a name like . . . "Johnson and Johnson Stadium." I just picked one out. We could have the Jets play there." Mayor Giuliani, State of the City Address, 13 January 2000.

That just leaves the small matter of the stadium.

The linchpin of the NYC 2012 plan is a stadium, probably located over the West Side Railyards (though some noises have been made about Queens). Mayor Giuliani, has been talking stadium for years now, in hopes of wooing the Jets back to the City. Now that new owner Robert Wood Johnson IV has said the Jets will leave the Meadowlands when their lease expires in 2008, the Mayor is back to his old tricks, this time with a new spin: a stadium for the Jets and the Olympics.

Doctoroff hopes that the stadium will be paid for by the City and by the Jets - a pricetag that could total as much as $300 million. But if the Jets demand a publicly-financed stadium - and given the current state of stadiums in New York and across the country, that seems likely - City costs suddenly appear. Some may dismiss the costs with the argument applied to other infrastructure investment: the City gets to keep it. After the Olympics have come and gone, we will have a state-of-the-art, Olympic-tested stadium for many years thereafter. Some might even argue that in exchange for the prestige of hosting the Olympics and the accompanying $10 billion pumped into the local economy, one measly stadium is a small price to pay.

So today I am proposing to work with the Mayor and Governor to come up with an alternative master plan for making the West Side Railyards a new mixed-used community. - Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields

The price may be bigger, in fact, if one considers the other possible uses of the area that will be bypassed in favor of the stadium. Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, in her February State of the Borough speech, said the site would be ideal for a "mixed-use community" including affordable housing, a media and biotechnology industrial park, and commercial and open space.

"The State of the Borough" - Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields proposes her vision for the West Side Railyards.

"Political West Side Football" - The Daily News reports on the political tug of war over the West Side.

"New York City is Off and Running" - In one of the Mayor's weekly addresses, he describes the plan for the Olympics, as well as the essential West Side sports stadium.


As determined as NYC may be to host the 2012 Olympics, so too are a handful of other North American and foreign cities. Each must make the case to their nation's Olympic committee that they are the best qualified and committed to hosting the Olympics. The application asks questions about motivation and objectives; political and public support, infrastructure, both general and for sporting events; logistics and financing. Seven other US cities - Dallas, Houston, Tampa-Orlando, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington-Baltimore and Cincinnati - are competing for the nomination of the US National Olympic Committee. The USOC will make their nomination in 2002. Once chosen, that city will then compete with other international bids; thus far, those include Dublin, Ireland; Warsaw, Poland; and Monterrey, Mexico. The International Olympic Committee will make their final selection in 2005.

The International Olympic Committee - A word of explanation about the bidding process

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