After Russia’s pricey winter Olympics in Sochi, more and more cities are realizing what a bad deal hosting the Olympics is. But the District is all in! At a press conference today, Mayor Vince Gray told reporters that he’s “very excited” that the District is one of four finalist cities being considered for an American bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.
“We were very happy just like many were last week when the District was named as a finalist,” Gray said.
Gray’s administration provided a letter of support for the bid made by DC2024, an effort that includes Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis.
If the District beats out rivals San Francisco, Boston, and Los Angeles—-and any international competition—-Gray said his administration is eying sites around the Anacostia River for Olympics construction. If the District survives the Olympics, the Olympic Village and any other housing built for the festivities could be turned into affordable housing, according to Gray. (Of course, Gray won’t be mayor anymore by the time the U.S. Olympic Committee picks its candidate, much less by the time the International Olympic Committee does.)
“We know that constructing housing that can be used years afterwards on the east end of the city would be of tremendous benefit to the people of the city,” Gray said.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery, Olympics photo by Shutterstock. Graphic by Will Sommer.