Loose Lips

Vince Gray Excited About District’s Olympics Bid

gray_olympicsAfter Russia's pricey winter Olympics in Sochi, more and more cities are realizing what a bad deal hosting the Olympics is. But the District is all in! At a press conference today, Mayor Vince Gray told reporters that he's "very excited" that the District is one of four finalist cities being considered for an American bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

“We were very happy just like many were last week when the District was named as a finalist," Gray said.

Gray's administration provided a letter of support for the bid made by DC2024, an effort that includes Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis.

If the District beats out rivals San Francisco, Boston, and Los Angeles—and any international competition—Gray said his administration is eying sites around the Anacostia River for Olympics construction. If the District survives the Olympics, the Olympic Village and any other housing built for the festivities could be turned into affordable housing, according to Gray. (Of course, Gray won't be mayor anymore by the time the U.S. Olympic Committee picks its candidate, much less by the time the International Olympic Committee does.)

“We know that constructing housing that can be used years afterwards on the east end of the city would be of tremendous benefit to the people of the city," Gray said.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery, Olympics photo by ShutterstockGraphic by Will Sommer.

  • Joe

    What a moron. Vince Gray never met a bad idea he didn't like, so glad we're getting rid of this clown.

  • JES

    "Gray said his administration is eying sites around the Anacostia River for Olympics construction."

    Yeah, good luck getting NPS to just fork over all that parkland...

  • Tight Lips

    Good news, if you buy a property east of the river, in 10 years it might be worth something!

  • revitalizer

    I think hosting the olympics in DC would be great. I'd love to see DC presented to the world for something other than its federal/governmental role.

    And, also...... DC and its suburbs already have the vast majority of the sporting venues that it would need to host the olympics. The reason why Sochi cost so much is because none of the venues were already there. They all had to be built. Same goes for Rio de Janeiro. This will not be the case for a DC olympics. Yes, money will be spent, but there would be money to be made as well.

    I also like that the olympics could force/fast-track some infrastructure improvements (Potomac and Anacostia River cleanup, mass transit expansion, etc). There's nothing wrong with that, and it's not like we don't need infrastructure improvements.

    I like how some of these articles speak of how "shocking" it is that a DC olympic bid is getting serious consideration. It shouldn't be shocking at all. It's a reality that DC can compete on the national and international stage. And, there is something special about being host to an international event. Part of it is called civic pride. If cities didn't want the olympics, they wouldn't be competing for it. Did London "need" the olympics? Well, that is not the point.

    It is not a coincidence that DC shows up on the top 5 and top 10 lists of many a survey and rankings out there.

    Bring the olympics to DC. It's about time.

  • Agreed

    I agree with you revitalizer! The entire area around RFK is prime for this and it'd be right around the time that the 'Skins lease is up at FedEx Field. Build a new stadium back here in DC, get all of the infrastructure built up around it and kill 2 birds with one stone! NPS shouldn't have an issue giving up the park land because once the games are done it'll leave a goregous Olympic Park along the riverfront. Seems pretty ideal to me.

  • DC Parent

    We don't need the Olympics. The Olympics costs cities exponentially more in building infrastructure than the city gets in return through tourism. The only ones to benefit are the developers.

    Also, is this Gray's plan to finally create affordable housing in DC? Waiting 10 years to create desperately needing housing is ridiculous. Why isn't he talking about more immediate plans to build affordable housing? Gray should not be promoting this idea as justification of why people should support the Olympics coming to DC.