Dallas bid for Olympics and Paralympics is not on our agenda right now say USOC

Wednesday, 16 May 2012
By Tom Degun at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas

Dallas at_nightMay 16 - The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) have said that they are not considering putting forward a Dallas bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games at this stage after amid reports that the city in Texas is looking to be a future American Candidate City.

Dallas is one of the major sporting cities in America and illustrated its capability to host a major sporting competition last year when it hosted the Super Bowl for the first time ever at the 80,000 capacity Cowboys Stadium in the Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area.

Dallas also hosted the prestigious 2012 Team USA Media Summit here where speakers have included First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama (pictured) and swimming star Michael Phelps, the most successful Olympian in history with 14 gold medals.

Michelle Obama_walking_onto_stage_Dallas_May_14_2012
But USOC chief communications and public affairs officer Patrick Sandusky said that the Summit is in no way designed as a prelude to an Olympic and Paralympic bid.

"Eventually a Dallas bid may be on our agenda but not at this point," Sandusky told insidethegames.

"That didn't factor into why we came here for the Team USA Media Summit.

"They have got a very good Sports Commission here and they have been very helpful with us in terms of volunteers and getting behind this but that is not because they are interested in bidding at this point.

"It is because they are a real sporting city and one of America's main sporting hubs.

"They have just had the Super Bowl in 2011 and they have National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MBL) annual meetings at this venue [the Hilton Anatole] so it was an opportunity for us to tap into that expertise."

Sandusky's comments are no major surprise due to the fact that negotiations between the USOC and International Olympic Committee (IOC) over their revenue-sharing agreement are still on-going.

The USOC currently receives a 20 per cent share of global sponsorship revenue and a 12.75 per cent share of US broadcast rights deals but many international officials, including the IOC, think it is too big a portion.

The issue has caused huge tension between the IOC and USOC in the past with America still recovering from the humiliation three years ago of seeing Chicago eliminated in the first round of voting for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, which was awarded to Rio de Janeiro.

It came after New York's bid for 2012 also faltered, with London eventually awarded the Games, and America sat out the bid campaign for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, declaring that they will not bid for the Games again until they have reached an agreement over revenue sharing.

"We are not looking at any cities right now," continued Sandusky, who served as spokesperson and vice-president of communications for the Chicago 2016 Olympic and Paralympic bid.

"We certainly know that Dallas, among many other US cities, would be interested in bidding but that is not our focal point right now.

"This week in particular, our focal point is actually on the athletes, not on the negotiations or contract talks.

"It is just about our athletes."

Patrick Sandusky
Sandusky added that he has been delighted with how the 2012 Team USA Media Summit has gone and the interest that it has created.

"This is a great event because it has 500 journalists from around the world," he said

"It is not just US journalists; it is BBC, AFP (Agence France-Presse), insidethegames and many others.

"We have almost every major newspaper and broadcaster here.

"One spot, one weekend, some of our highest profile athletes, like Michael Phelps (pictured above), so it has been a great event.

"This is a great opportunity for the world's media to get to know our athletes.

"We are here mainly because this (the Hilton Anatole) is a fantastic hotel.

"Hilton is one of our sponsors and this hotel is amazing in terms of space, it is near the airport and therefore conveniently connected for flights.

"So it has been really good."

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