A decision on which American city will be chosen to bid for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics is set to be announced on Thursday (January 8) but it is increasingly looking unlikely that it will be San Francisco.
San Francisco Bay Area activists have formed a coalition opposing a bid for the Games, which is sure to be a factor when the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is due to meet at Denver International Airport to choose a city from a shortlist which also includes Boston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
"We don't need another big sporting event for the rich," said Ed Kinchley, the co-chair of the San Francisco Committee on Political Education, SEIU Local 1021's Political Action Committee.
"It will only continue the trend of gentrifying San Francisco, and could take valuable tax dollars away from schools, healthcare, and public transportation."
SF No 2024 Olympics has threatened "political action" if the USOC selects San Francisco for the bid.
"If your Committee selects San Francisco as the US host city for the 2024 Summer Games, we are prepared to take political action to ensure that Bay Area voters have a say in ensuring that no public funds are spent to host the 2024 Olympics in our region," read the letter that went on to claim that cost overruns for Olympics held between 1976 and 2012 have averaged more than 200 per cent of initial bid projections.
Tony Kelly, a long-time community activist in the city's southeast neighbourhoods, added that the proposed site for the 2024 Olympic Village, the Hunters Point shipyard, is allegedly "one of the most toxic hazardous waste sites in America".
"The Navy, the site's developer, and the developer's subcontractors have all been caught covering up toxic waste contamination at Hunters Point and misleading the public," he explained.
"The USOC and IOC (International Olympic Committee) would be foolish to gamble with the 2024 Games and athletes' health by relying on their promises."
SF No 2024 Olympics has also developed a website that lists "12 Reasons to Oppose the SF 2024 Bid," along with a sign up page for Bay Area residents to lend their names to the effort.
The USOC delayed a decision last month as which city it would choose to pick forward as its candidate but now appears ready to make a choice.
"In the event the board selects a city, an announcement will be made following the meeting, and USOC and bid city leadership will be available to the media the following morning in the selected city," said a USOC spokesman.
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