Rochester's Olympic surprise


The US Olympic Committee is asking 35 cities whether they'd be interested in hosting the 2024 games. And Rochester is one of them.

"It came as a surprise," city spokesperson Mike Keane told me during a phone interview this afternoon.

Keane says that while the city appreciates the Olympic Committee's attempt to be inclusive in its search, it wouldn't be able to support the Games. For starters, the city probably wouldn't be able to meet the infrastructure needs, which include 45,000 available hotel rooms. A New York Times article points out that many of the cities probably won't meet the criteria, and singled out the requirement for hotel rooms as an example.

There's also the cost of preparing a bid. New York City and Chicago each spent in excess of $10 million on past bids to host the Olympic games. Rochester can't afford that, Keane said.

The Times says that the US Olympic Committee hasn't decided whether to pursue a bid to host the 2024 Olympics.

And even if Rochester wanted to put itself in the running, should it? Some host cities have been left to pay off large tabs, which they've struggled to do. Athens, Greece, which hosted the 2004 Summer Olympics, is an extreme example. The country is facing a financial crisis and there's been open speculation that the Games played a role. Time magazine addressed the issue in a piece published last year.