Thursday, February 21 2013 12:50 PM EST2013-02-21 17:50:56 GMT
MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – Don't tell Memphian Rochelle Stevens about dreaming big. The two-time Olympic runner won the gold during the Atlanta games in 1996. She knows a little something about what itMore >>
Gold medalist Rochelle Stevens shares her thoughts on whether Memphis can be the host city to the 2024 Olympic Games.
(WMC-TV) - The United States Olympic Committee sent a letter to Memphis Mayor A C Wharton inviting the city to submit a bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games.
The committee sent letters to cities that have previously expressed interest in bidding, as well as cities in the largest 25 U.S. markets.
"We've got some great facilities. Do we have the facilities to host an Olympic Games? That might be a stretch right now," said Kevin Kane, Memphis Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
CVB President Kevin Kane quickly became city hall's point man Wednesday after the media learned of the letter sent to the mayor, as well as counterparts in 34 other cities.
"You know, do I think Memphis is seriously on their radar screen? No. But they did send a letter to Mayor Wharton and Mayor Wharton will respond to it," said Kane.
The requirements for a city to host the Olympic Games usually require the construction of new venues, and operating budgets usually exceed $3 billion. In addition to that, here are a list of requirements provided in the letter sent to the Memphis mayor:
• 45,000 hotel rooms.
• An Olympic Village that sleeps 16,500 and has a 5000-person dining hall.
• Operations space for over 15,000 media and broadcasters.
• An international airport that can handle thousands of international travelers per day.
• Public transportation service to venues.
• Roadway closures to allow exclusive use for Games-related transportation.
• A workforce of up to 200,000.
In the letter, the committee said they will choose the host city through a "thoughtful and efficient process". The first step is to have discussions with the cities that show interest in bidding.
"Yeah, I think we've got our work cut out for us to get to that point in the short term," said Kane.