After a full year of serious consideration, Mayor Nutter has decided to withdraw Philadelphia from the bidding process to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, citing cost as the major factor.
Nutter told reporters that the city has a full plate, between hosting the international delegation of the 8th World Meeting of Families next year and potentially vying for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
“It is a tremendously costly endeavor,” he told reporters today.
“It is probably in the hundreds of millions of dollars to host such an enterprise.”
Although many of the expenses associated with hosting the Olympic Games come from private fundraising, Nutter said the city still bears the brunt of the cost.
“When you add it all up, collectively, with our stakeholders, we made the decision that at this time, for the time, the effort, the fundraising, the prospect of creating new venues – any city that is a bidder, let alone a winner of a bid – always has to build additional facilities,” he said.
“It is millions and millions and millions of dollars. Multiple facilities literally would have to be built, and in many cases, they are only for the Olympics. Some of them remain, but in many instances, those facilities go away. I do believe the city, in the future, should be and will be a bidding city and ultimately successful for a future Olympics.”
More than a year ago, the U.S. Olympic Committee included Philadelphia in a complement of 35 other cities which expressed interest in hosting the international sporting event. But with the financial woes troubling the school district and the city’s many other fiscal obligations at budget time, Nutter said, the city’s financial realities have made the prospect of placing a bid an impossibility.
David L. Cohen, Comcast chieftain and part of the advisory team exploring the feasibility of hosting the Olympics in Philadelphia, supported the mayor’s position.
“We’ve looked closely at this opportunity over the past year with the city and a number of other key stakeholders and agree that the timing is just not right for Philadelphia,” Cohen said in a news release.
Bidding for the Summer Olympics host city will begin next year, with the winner announced by the International Olympic Committee in 2017.