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Cuomo: State, city considering 2024 Olympics bid

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on May 14, 2014 in

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on May 14, 2014 in Tarrytown, New York. Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton

The state is considering a proposal by a Bloomberg administration veteran to bring the Olympics to New York City in 2024, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday.

The idea is being floated by Daniel Doctoroff, a former deputy mayor to Michael Bloomberg and a driving force behind a failed bid to convince the International Olympic Committee to award the Summer Games to the city for 2012.

Doctoroff is now president and chief executive of his boss' namesake company, Bloomberg LP, but is acting as a private citizen.

Crain's New York Business reported that Doctoroff's idea is to put an Olympics stadium and housing over the rail yards in Sunnyside, Queens, and to relocate the city's convention center there from Manhattan's far West Side. He contends that bringing the games to New York City would catalyze economic development, including the transformation of 167 acres of rail yard and the building of tens of thousands of housing units, according to the Financial Times, the London-based newspaper that first reported the proposal.

Cuomo's aides are reportedly seriously assessing the proposal.

"We are looking at it, and I look forward to talking to Dan about it," said Cuomo, speaking at a tourism event in Manhattan.

Doctoroff could not be reached for comment Wednesday, and a Cuomo spokeswoman declined to provide any details of Doctoroff's submitted proposal.

Bloomberg was an enthusiastic booster of the 2012 bid, but he failed to attract the Olympics to New York the last time after the state refused to greenlight a stadium on the West Side.

His successor, Mayor Bill de Blasio, is lukewarm to the proposal. But he said he would work with the governor's office to assess the plan's feasibility.

"I think we can safely say that the history of the Olympics, in a variety of cities around the world, has been a mixed bag," de Blasio told reporters in Brooklyn. "So that's something we'd look at very carefully. There may be a scenario where it makes sense, but I would say the bar is high."

Cuomo said his aides and de Blasio's aides have discussed the proposal at a staff level and they were at "a very preliminary point."

Mitchell L. Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning at NYU's Wagner School, credited the 2012 plan with jump-starting development across the city, even though the city did not win its bid.

"The purpose of an Olympic bid is not just to hold the games, but to rejuvenate an urban landscape, Moss said Wednesday. "What the Olympics can do is provide the impetus . . . [for projects] that might not otherwise get done."

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