New York City has been nominated Saturday by the U.S. Olympic Committee to run for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Meeting in Colorado Springs, the headquarters city of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the group's 123 board of directors have overwhelmingly voted for New York over San Francisco. The two cities were the finalists in a four year competition in that started out with eight cities across the U.S..
The final presentation of New York City included appearances by former mayor Rudolph Giuliani and comedian Billy Crystal, as well as current New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The mayor will play the leading role in overseeing New York's Olympic plans, which he said will bring great benefit to the city. "The construction projects alone would generate roughly a 100,000 man-years of construction work. And the impact on tourism will go on for decades. It's not just two weeks," he said. "Yes, two weeks you get a lot of people, but it's afterwards. People say 'hey, I've been to New York, you should go. I've been to New York, it's safe, it's easy to get around, people are open.'"
The plans for New York City's Olympic bid depend on $6 billion worth of development that will include a new subway line, an Olympic Stadium and an Olympic Village that will become private housing after the Games.
Leaders of the New York bid say theirs is a compact plan that keeps nearly every event in the city, using high speed ferries and dedicated subway trains to move athletes to their events.
The next step for New York's Olympic bid is the international campaign to convince the International Olympic Committee, which will make a decision in 2005.
Anita DeFrantz, the senior member of the IOC in the United States, said with the rigorous process used by the U.S. to select a nominee, any U.S. city will be a formidable contender for 2012. "Every city has the capacity of making a great games. And, it's now a question of who else is in the game," she said.
The IOC won't launch the race for 2012 until July 2003, but the early indications are that the field could be the biggest ever.
Bids are likely from Germany, London, Paris, Moscow and Istanbul, possibly from Brazil and Cuba. Budapest is considering running, so is New Delhi and other Asian cities. A bid from Africa might emerge. Even Tel Aviv has been giving the 2012 Olympics some thought.