On Tuesday, a local group announced plans to promote tthe Washington region to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. Organizers say they want to involve Maryland, Virginia and the District.
DC 2024 will be competing with as many as 10 other U.S. cities. The International Olympic Committee names the ultimate winner in 2017.
Hosting the Olympics would be great for the Washington metropolitan area.
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We can demonstrate to the world how ingenuity, teamwork and determination build better infrastructure, stronger economies and uplift communities.
Proposals and ventures that too often get bogged down by bureaucrats, politicians and squabbling can be wrapped into Olympics planning.
Very few endeavors bring our region together in a large-scale, cooperative manner. Preparing for the Olympics will require greater interstate collaboration than we are accustomed to seeing.
For example, much needed mass transit upgrades that have languished will need to be jumpstarted and completed.
In addition to being an impetus for improvements to transportation networks, the Olympics will bring millions of visitors from all over the planet. Those folks carry wallets stuffed with money that fill local cash registers.
The Olympics presents an unmatched opportunity for Washington to showcase its history, cultural richness, landmark attractions and hidden treasures. That, in turn, will draw future visitors and add incalculable value to one of the region’s most important industries: Tourism.
The economic impact will be felt far and wide. People who come for the games may also want to discover beaches, mountains and countless other destinations.
The Olympics can be a bonanza for individuals, small businesses and nearly anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit.
In addition to all that good stuff, the place will get spruced up. Everyone tidies the house and vacuums before hosting guests. Municipalities and businesses are no different.
And if you have always wanted to attend the Olympics but don’t want to travel halfway around the world, you will have multiple venues throughout the region from which to choose.
What is there not to love about the Olympics?
Critics will say the price tag: $3 billion, $4 billion, maybe $6 billion.
We can afford it.
The 2020 Olympics will be held in either Istanbul, Madrid or Tokyo.
What do they have that we don’t?
If Athens (2004), Beijing (2008), London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016) can host the summer games, we can do it, too.
Chuck Thies is a political, communications and advocacy consultant. He has worked on national projects and internationally in Europe, Africa, the Middle East , China and Mexico. If you are daring, follow him on twitter: @ChuckThies.