Yesterday it was announced that the US Olympic Committee had brokered a deal with the IOC about revenue sharing. As you may already know, the USOC gets an outsized portion of IOC revenue. There is a lot of international resentment over this, although I think it bears pointing out that the USOC got a significantly smaller portion of the pot than what was poured in by U.S. sponsors and broadcasters.
Anyway, it clears the way for a US city to bid on future games, with 2024 the most likely target. I can imagine a scenario in which this could be very good for US track.
It hinges on the rumor that the IOC is actually interested in returning to the US, and California in particular. That would be the key, because a new Olympic-capable stadium would have to be built.
The 49ers and the Raiders, along with an as yet nonexistent LA team, want a new stadium too. Build a stadium for both and everyone is happy; neither the public nor the team(s) need foot the entire bill.
But these NFL teams probably don’t want to wait 12 years to get into their new digs, and they probably don’t want to put up with a track between the stands and the field during the wait for the Olympics to come and go. I mean, when was the last time an NFL team’s permanent home included a track?
The solution would be what Paris’ Stade de France has: grandstands that move back to reveal a track underneath. It adds expense, but it makes the stadium far more usable. Britain’s new Olympic stadium would be in high demand if the planners had been as practical as the French were.
If–and it’s a huge if–this all came to pass, the USA would be left with a world-class track facility, and one located in the middle of the track-centric west coast. The major hurdle to hosting the World Championships, lack of a suitable facility, would be cleared.
Lots of ifs, maybes, and I hopes. But it’s something to think about.