2024 Olympic Bid?

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MNdible
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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby MNdible » August 12th, 2015, 2:47 pm

talindsay wrote:I have to say that it really bugs me that Division I schools are giving such disproportionate attention to football that they would even consider building a stadium without a track.
The UofM should definitely have a great track capable of hosting the Big Ten or regional NCAA champinships, but I don't think it makes sense for DI programs to be including them within their football facilities. The negative impacts to the sightlines for football by pushing the seating bowl back far enough to accommodate the track, coupled with the real disparity between expected attendance, means that they really need to be separate facilities.

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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby BoredAgain » August 12th, 2015, 3:01 pm

Honest question: Would this end up being called the "Minneapolis Olympics", the "Twin Cities Olympics", the "Minnesota Olympics", or something else again? The venues being talked about are spread out enough that I foresee problems.

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Nathan
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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby Nathan » August 12th, 2015, 3:03 pm

The Sochi Olympics were quite spread out.

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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby Didier » August 12th, 2015, 3:32 pm

The thing about the Olympics is that costs aren't always comparable, and the big numbers thrown around don't necessarily mean what we think they mean. For starters, there are two distinct budgets, one for operating costs and one for long-term capital improvements. Also, importantly, the host country (and it's government) matters a lot.

Take Sochi, for example. The estimated cost is usually cited as being around $50 billion. That's not an indication that it cost $50 billion to host the Winter Olympics. It's an indication that a totalitarian country can build a modern city almost from scratch, including Olympic sports and transportation infrastructure, while using corrupt business practices, and at the end host a Winter Olympics, all for $50 billion.

In theory, the host city doesn't "cover" the operating costs. You know how NBC agreed to pay $7.65 billion for the U.S. broadcast rights to the 2022-2032 Olympics? And how Visa, Coke and McDonalds spend millions to use the Olympic rings logo? And how hundreds of thousands of people buy tickets? All of that goes into the operating costs. But yes, the city is on the hook if it goes over budget.

There's a legitimate question as to whether the IOC should cover long-term capital improvements, like improved or new transportation infrastructure. Of course, the answer to that question is that the IOC is never going to pay for your city to build a new train line.

So the point is, the Olympics are obviously expensive, and the nature of hosting an Olympics means the host city will likely have to pay for certain things. But in a country like the U.S. — where the Olympics are important, and our corporations largely bankroll the Games as is — hosting doesn't necessarily mean a $50 billion public expenditure. Boston 2024, for example, was budgeting for wide-ranging insurance policies to protect the public from just about anything that could go wrong in the operating budget. Los Angeles, should it bid, will likely have extensive safeguards in place as well.

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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby BoredAgain » August 12th, 2015, 3:42 pm

Nathan wrote:The Sochi Olympics were quite spread out.
From what I can tell, some venues were about 20 miles down the coast (and near an airport) from Sochi proper. The other venues were about 30 miles away, up in the mountains. Both sets of venues are in the "Sochi Region" and there are no other cities of meaningful size nearby.

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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby Didier » August 12th, 2015, 3:59 pm

The Winter Olympics almost always have a significant distance between the ice venues and the mountain venues. Vancouver, for example, held it's mountain events in Whistler, which is about 90 minutes away.

The IOC adopted a set of reforms aiming to curb hosting costs, and one of the reforms was to allow certain sports to be held separate from the main Olympic competition. So in theory, Minneapolis could host the ice events and Park City host the mountain events. But in that case, it'd make more sense just to host everything in Salt Lake City.

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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby acs » August 12th, 2015, 5:16 pm

IIRC, Denver almost has a lock on hosting the next Winter Olympics in the U.S. The only Minnesota city with the natural resources (real mountains) close by to host the winter games is Duluth, and even then it would take a lot of investment. Maybe I'll be proved wrong but I just don't think buck hill and Afton would cut it.

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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby mattaudio » August 12th, 2015, 6:35 pm

Maybe Duluth could do the mountain events if we had NLX https://forum.streets.mn/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=69 but my guess is that Lutsen would be the only place in MN which could support a number of events (and even that's a stretch). And at 1:45 driving beyond Duluth (4:00 from Minneapolis) that's a tough sell.

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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby Rich » August 12th, 2015, 6:37 pm

An Olympic Downhill requires a 3,000 ft. vertical drop (roughly). The largest hill in the midwest (Lutsen) has a vertical drop of only 825 ft. So I think that pretty much rules Duluth out.

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Tiller
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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby Tiller » August 12th, 2015, 8:56 pm

How expensive could it be to upgrade Lutsen, though? If the NLX wasn't yet completed (it will be), this would easily complete it. As for transportation from Duluth to Lutsen, an upgraded North Shore Scenic Railway could probably handle that. Afterwards it could be turned into commuter rail and/or intercity rail to Thunder Bay and/or an enhanced connection to the various resorts along the route (the last would basically just be a slight upgrade from what it is now, only being used for tourism). I would prefer extending it to Thunder Bay, with any surplus trainsets from the olympic-Peak traffic that aren't needed for post-olympic service being used elsewhere (ie for northstar).

As for the terraforming itself, northern Minnesota is already full of all kinds of giant earth moving equipment for the mines, and lots of blue collar workers who don't give a shit 'bout no trees, who would politically support the additional work. That isn't to necessarily say there wouldn't be any new equipment/training/workers involved, but that earthmoving is plenty possible, happens every day, and discounting it entirely is unrealistic.

A quick google search for similar proposals yielded two european proposals for artificial mountains, though I didn't find helpful details for either proposal.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/zei ... 84085.html
http://www.archdaily.com/40755/the-berg ... -the-world
There were some articles that claimed the dutch "mountain" would cost hundreds of billions of dollars, though that would probably mean it's more like one of these things (an entire city in a massive tower) than an artificial mountain to be used for skiing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bionic_Tower

It looks like the cost for both the original panama canal, as well as the modern expansion of it, is roughly $7 billion. I bring this up because the amount of earth we would need to move to upgrade lutsen is over an order of magnitude smaller. Lutsen could probably be upgraded for $1B, if not less, some of which the private sector could pay for, though that's an extremely rough estimate, and similar projects/proposals would be helpful in figuring out its feasibility/cost.

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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby Didier » August 12th, 2015, 9:53 pm

acs wrote:IIRC, Denver almost has a lock on hosting the next Winter Olympics in the U.S.
It's actually highly unlikely Denver hosts a Winter Olympics any time soon.

Salt Lake City is the de facto center of U.S. winter sports now, with several national teams based there and all the needed facilities within an hour of each other. Venues like bobsled tracks and ski jumps are super expensive and highly subsidized by the USOC. There'd be no sense in building new ones somewhere else at this point.

Denver also has the distinction of being the only city to win Olympic hosting right and then give them up, which still matters to the people who vote.

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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby BigIdeasGuy » October 24th, 2015, 10:48 am

It's about a week old but here is a really interesting podcast with Bill Simmons and the head of the LA 2024 Olympic Bid. They also touch on the evolution of LA and cities in general. The one thing I found really interesting is Simmons insistences on having everything spread out compared to close in and walkable.

https://soundcloud.com/the-bill-simmons ... -wasserman

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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby tmart » February 10th, 2018, 4:40 pm

Hope it's OK for me to necromance this thread, just for fun. The discussion that's happened before still seems relevant so I didn't want to start a new one.

Watching the PyeongChang games is really reminding me just how wonderful a Minneapolis bid for the Winter Games would be. We're really the center of (non-downhill) Winter sports in America. I think the Winter games would be a perfect fit in terms of logistics, infrastructure, and especially culture--frankly a lot moreso than a Summer Games. I think MN is one of the only places in the US that's more attached to the Winter event than the Summer, and they could really play up the history with, e.g., the Miracle team and Lindsay Vonn. It could really reinvigorate the passion for the Winter games after a string of second-choice hosts and notable withdrawals (e.g. Oslo).

What's changed since the last time this topic came up? Two things: The IOC is putting a greater emphasis on sustainable, long-term investments in bids; and they're having lots of trouble finding hosts, and might be more willing to make concessions.

On the first point, we now look a lot better because we're not another resort town that would need a lot of one-use venues. We already have two suitable sites for the opening ceremony (USB and TCF). We have two top-class arenas that can support ice surfaces, one of the country's best curling clubs, loads of ice arenas that could support smaller events, plenty of x-country trails, etc. Anything that needed to be improved or built would be enjoyed long after the games. And any transportation infrastructure, housing, etc. would be addressing existing needs too. And the moment seems right after the Super Bowl served as a really great demonstration of our ability to host world-class events.

The second point addresses the elephant in the room, which is the need for a mountain venues cluster. It would be a huge concession by the IOC to host the skiing events in another state, but in exchange we'd give them a guaranteed slam dunk in attendance, reliability, publicity, and enthusiasm after lots of scandals in Russia and empty venues in Korea. The last few skiing events have been rocky anyway: Sochi, and to a lesser extent Vancouver, were way too damn hot. Beijing doesn't even have snow on their mountains right now. PyeongChang is cold enough, but gets little precipitation and so it's all been artificial snow. And the distance to ski events has gradually been getting larger: Vancouver and Whistler are 75 miles apart. The coastal and mountain venues in Korea are 35 miles apart. Beijing will have skiing events 140 miles from the main village.

I'm imagining our bid would use somewhere in the Rockies as the mountain venue, with either a hypothetical bullet train as the primary investment for the games (like making MSP a spur off of an eventual Denver-Chicago line), or more realistically offering a couple expedited Olympics-only shuttle flights each day. The latter could get people between clusters in 2 hours, which honestly wouldn't be that much worse logistically than the train ride from Beijing up into the mountains.

Yes, it'd be unique, but I don't know that anyone has ever tried a bid like this either, and I feel like this is the time to make a serious effort at an unconventional bid when every other aspect would be a smash hit. I honestly think the state and USOC should do some serious, albeit preliminary, research into the idea.

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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » February 10th, 2018, 5:35 pm

You had me going... I didn't start laughing until I got to "hypothetical bullet train"!

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bapster2006
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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby bapster2006 » February 10th, 2018, 5:56 pm

Yeah, you were making some good points up until the train. You got greedy.

tmart
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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby tmart » February 10th, 2018, 6:26 pm

Well I said I was just having some fun! :lol: But like I said, the shuttle flights option would be a lot more likely, and could probably still work quite smoothly.

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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby mamundsen » February 11th, 2018, 9:25 am

I was with it too until using the Rockies and a bullet train. Honest question, is the skiing along the north shore big enough?

Another "problem" with your idea. The Summer 2028 games are in LA. No way they put Winter 2026 or 2030 in the US.

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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby Silophant » February 11th, 2018, 9:29 am

Would probably be cheaper to do some extremely heavy earthmoving to reshape Lutsen into what they need, and then just build NLX all the way up there.

I know they prefer bigger/actual mountains for the alpine stuff, but do any of the events actually absolutely require more than the 1000' of vertical drop that Lutsen has?

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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby tmart » February 11th, 2018, 11:41 am

Quebec was told their bid wasn't feasible because their mountain fell 40m short of the IOC's 800m cutoff. (130ft. short of a 2600 ft. cutoff) That would fall into the realm of feasible earth-moving projects (though there were other concerns about that mountain), or be a concession the IOC would be more likely to accept these days than they were at the time Quebec was considering a bid. More than doubling Lutsen, that would be getting into crazy talk. Might as well build a new mountain in Big Lake and use the Northstar line :lol:
Silophant wrote: I know they prefer bigger/actual mountains for the alpine stuff, but do any of the events actually absolutely require more than the 1000' of vertical drop that Lutsen has?
Looking at Wiki for the FIS requirements on competition Downhill Ski courses, 800m is the top end of Women's Downhill courses and right in the middle of the Men's Downhill range. 450m appears to be the absolute minimum for an FIS downhill. All of these are significantly more than anything in MN.
mamundsen wrote: Another "problem" with your idea. The Summer 2028 games are in LA. No way they put Winter 2026 or 2030 in the US.
We hosted Winter in 80 and Summer in 84; I think it's less of a problem than if we were trying to host two consecutive games of the same season. After games in West Asia and then two in East Asia, I think coming back to North America is probably on their radar in the near future.

Anyway, I'll grant that the train was a very dumb idea and I probably shouldn't have mentioned it. It came from the mindset of an administration with a severe need for showmanship and a desire to pull off an insane showpiece to top the infrastructure built by Russia and China for their hosting gigs; that ignores the realities of politics, gridlock, competence, and having a different administration by 2026. But I don't think that using a well-coordinated shuttle flight program would be out of the question. I suspect there's relatively limited movement between the sites; there's probably not a ton of crossover of either athletes or media between, say, Downhill skiing and Hockey. I suspect the movement between sites would be on the order of thousands per day, which would be very manageable given our airport's size, location, and typical daily traffic.

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Re: 2024 Olympic Bid?

Postby sanchopanza » February 11th, 2018, 2:37 pm

FYI... Salt Lake City is putting together a 2030 bid. They hosted in 2002.


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