Loose Lips

Not Everybody Hates the Olympics Bid

LL's been looking for a reason to actually want the 2024 D.C. Olympics bid announced today to succeed, but it's hard. There are just so many reasons to want the Olympics to stay far away from the District.

But not everyone's immune to Olympics fever. The nonprofit behind the bid pitched councilmembers on the idea, and at least some of them were sold. LL found three councilmembers who, at least for now, support the bid: Mary Cheh, Jack Evans, and Tommy Wells. Here's why.

Transit: Wells says he's "thrilled" by the prospect of an Olympic bid, in part for what it would do for forcing the city to improve public transit. "It's a game-changer," says the mayoral hopeful.

Housing: When the athletes are finished with the Olympic Village, Wells hopes the dorms could be turned into apartments.

No City Money: Stadium-loving mayoral hopeful Evans says he told DC 2024 president Bob Sweeney that he thinks hosting the Olympics is a great idea, but only if no public money is spent. "Under no circumstances would I support any city money going to the Olympics," Evans says.

Evans' dream Olympics is probably impossible—the 1996 games in Atlanta, for example, cost that city $2 billion.

Statehood...?: Cheh thinks the Olympics would expose out-of-towners to the nonfederal side of the District. "Who knows?" says Cheh. "Maybe we'll get statehood out of it."

  • double income no money

    We can import former missionaries from Salt Lake City as translators, and have Mitt Romney run it!

  • John

    That would be $2 billion for the Olympics? Waste of city money and space. Cheh does not understand that these athletes could care less about DC voting rights. Cheh take the issue to Capitol Hill where it will get resolved.

  • ceefer

    DC an Olympics contender? Seriously?!!!!

    Get real!

    Olympics requires construction - lots of it. New venues and (gasp!) roads would need to be built and DC is a place where you can't build a molehill without upsetting some preservationist or NIMBY group. Years would be wasted with endless "community input hearings" and lawsuits.

    Not to mention the horrific traffic problems that CAN'T be addressed thanks to legions of local car and road haters who will be damned before they would allow one inch of new highway anyplace where anyone could "Take Metro!" instead.

    And does anyone really think the Olympics Committee or foreign athletes give a damn about DC statehood?

  • Art

    Statehood is a distraction. DC is NEVER going to be a state. That is the entire reason it was created. IF (and it is a a big IF) there is going to be a change, either eliminating the federal income tax for DC residents or returning all but a core piece of DC to MD have better chances of actually happening than statehood.

  • 7r3y3r

    @Art - DC was created as a federal district distinct from the states because at that time states were more powerful than the federal government and Congress feared giving one state control/leverage over the collective. That is certainly not the case now.

  • Notinbred

    Where would the money come from to pay for this?

  • Art

    @7r3y3r, I do not disagree with you. But it does not change the fact that the chances of DC statehood are slim and none.

  • Jamnew44

    What disaster a DC Olympics would be. Sure DC could pull it off, but should DC be building stadiums when the schools are falling down. Additionally an Olympics would be an open invitation for terrorists (DC would be the big event they love)and nuts like the crazies at the Boston Marathon and the Atlanta Olympics

  • noodlez



    DC FOR OLYMPICS 2024!!

  • Drez

    Thanks, but no thanks.