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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Charlotte's Olympic dreams shattered

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Charlotte would need to add about 21,000 hotel rooms to its 24,010 if it wants a shot at hosting the 2024 Olympics.

The New York Times reported that Charlotte was one of 35 cities that received a letter from the United States Olympic Committee meant to gauge interest in making a bid for the Games.

olympic-swimming3.jpg

However, Charlotte is automatically disqualified because it doesn't have the required 45,000 hotel rooms. The Times reports:

[The cities] range in size from New York, with 8.2 million people, to Rochester, with 210,000, and many are probably virtually disqualified by the requirements listed in the letter, which include having 45,000 hotel rooms available for the Games.

That Charlotte was even considered is unusual, since the committee usually only includes the largest of the large American cities in the bidding process, such as New York and Los Angeles. Per the Times:

"Our objective in this process is to identify a partner city that can work with us to present a compelling bid to the I.O.C. and that has the right alignment of political, business and community leadership," the letter to the mayors reads. "We are seeking a partner that understands the value of the Olympic Games and the legacy that can be created not only for their community, but for our country."

But:

The list of requirements is steep, and the U.S.O.C. predicted the operating budget for a Games would exceed $3 billion. Cities not only need adequate hotel space, but they must also construct an Olympic Village to house 16,500 athletes and operations space for 15,000 news media members. An extensive public transportation network is required, and the letter states that a work force of 200,000 people is necessary.

UPDATE: CL gathered the number of hotel rooms used in the previous version of this story from a phone conversation with the CRVA's information desk. However, an email sent Thursday morning from CRVA spokeswoman Laura Hill amended the number to 24,010.

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