Lessons for New York as it considers another Olympic host bid
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office is thinking about making a try for the 2024 Summer Games. Cuomo's people have spoken to Mayor Bill de Blasio's people and the whole thing is very preliminary, but a skeptical de Blasio already has splashed cold water on whatever optimism exists.
But Mayor de Blasio might not want to be that hasty. If planned correctly, hosting the Olympics could be an opportunity to realize some big dreams in the city.
As New York makes its plans, it can look toward some past host cities for ways to make sure that investments in the Olympics keep making returns long after the games depart. Here are some examples from around the world.
Use Olympic venues to drive development(Credit: AP / Robb Cohen)
Centennial Olympic Park was built for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta as a site for athletes and spectators to gather. Before the games, the location was a collection of vacant lots and industrial buildings. During the games, it was the site of a bombing that killed two and injured 111 others. The park helped to revitalize downtown Atlanta and currently hosts millions of guests a year. Above, Mumford & Sons perform in Centennial Olympic Park on Sept. 10, 2013.
Build Olympic venues that can be downsized for future use(Credit: Getty Images / Oli Scarff)
The Aquatics Centre used in the London 2012 Olympic Games was redeveloped after the games. That process cost 292 million pounds and required the removal of temporary venues, the refitting of stadia for public use, the removal of Olympic Games sponsor's retail units and extensive landscaping.
Convert athletes' housing into apartments(Credit: Getty Images / Dan Kitwood)
A view of the newly transformed East Village near the Olympic Stadium on March 5, 2014, in London. The former athletes' accommodation for the London 2012 Olympics is starting to be occupied by new owners. The East Village development will eventually contain more than 2,000 rental apartments, with landscaped private courtyards.
Create new attractions from Olympic venues(Credit: AP / Alexander F. Yuan)
During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 25 world records were broken at China's National Aquatic Center, better known as the "Water Cube." After the games closed, the venue that housed swimming, diving and water-polo was converted into an indoor water park. Above, a man works on a water slide while the water park was under construction on July 28, 2010.
Find new uses for venues(Credit: Getty Images / Frank Micelotta)
The Nippon Budokan was originally built for the judo competition at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The arena continues to host martial arts competitions, but it also one of Tokyo's best known concert venues. The Beatles became the first rock group to play there in 1966 and since then it has hosted concerts by Bob Dylan, Ozzy Osbourne, and many others. Above, singers Michelle Williams, Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child perform during a concert at the Budokan martial arts hall on the fifth night of their 2005 world tour April 15, 2005.
Use Olympic venues for recurring events(Credit: Getty Images / Chris Jackson)
The Sydney Olympic Park was developed for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Today, the park continues to be used for sporting and cultural events, including the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Above, Catherine, duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William, duke of Cambridge, meet a ram called Fred during a visit to the show on April 18, 2014.
Use and renovate existing stadiums(Credit: Getty Images / Kim Stallknecht)
BC Place was the main stadium for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver. The stadium was first built in 1983. Since the Olympics, it was renovated and is now home to two soccer teams, the BC Lions and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Above, the newly renovated retractable roof opens during a game between the Vancouver Whitecaps and Real Salt Lake on Oct. 6, 2011.
Don't be like Greece(Credit: AFP/Getty Images / Angelos Tzortzinis)
The venues built for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens have largely gone unused. Since the games closed, the main stadium has deteriorated and the former Olympic village has become a ghost town. Above, an abandoned training pool for athletes in the Olympic Village left behind after the 2004 Games on August 3, 2012.