Local officials say no Olympics bid in the works

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 30, 2011 - 12:02 AM

An Associated Press story listed Minneapolis as one of five potential U.S. competitors for the 2020 Games.

Nobody is actively pursuing a Twin Cities bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics, despite Minneapolis surfacing in news reports Wednesday as a potential bidder.

Neither the mayor's office nor the city's prime recruiter for such events is trying to assemble a bid. One suburban commercial real estate broker, who said he spent seven years trying to bring the Olympics here, suspended his efforts last year.

The Associated Press reported Minneapolis, New York City, Dallas, Los Angeles and Tulsa among potential bidders.

"It's not something I'm aware of," said John Stiles, a spokesman for Mayor R.T. Rybak. "It's not something that we have been discussing," said Kristin Montag, the spokeswoman for Meet Minneapolis, which recruits convention and tourism business. Nor is St Paul involved in a bid, according to Mayor Chris Coleman's office.

The most serious bid by the Twin Cities for the Olympics occurred in 1988, when Atlanta won the right to submit the U.S. bid, going on to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Atlanta outpolled Minneapolis by a substantial margin among U.S. Olympic Committee members.

Todd McIntyre said he stopped trying to interest local parties in the Olympics early in 2010. McIntyre is the president of Investment Property Services and a former track athlete and coach.

McIntyre said the biggest unresolved issue in a Twin Cities bid would be a venue for opening and closing ceremonies and track events. He said the International Olympic Committee requires an open-air venue with at least 65,000 seats and a field big enough for a track and field oval.

The largest anticipated athletic gathering in the Twin Cities in the next five years is the 2015 Summer National Senior Games, billed as the largest multi-sport event in the world for people age 50 and older. Promoters say the event will draw 35,000 people and generate $40 million for the local economy.

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438

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