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LL’s been looking for a reason to actually want the 2024 D.C. Olympics bid announced today to succeed, but it’s hard. There are just so many reasons to want the Olympics to stay far away from the District.
But not everyone’s immune to Olympics fever. The nonprofit behind the bid pitched councilmembers on the idea, and at least some of them were sold. LL found three councilmembers who, at least for now, support the bid: Mary Cheh, Jack Evans, and Tommy Wells. Here’s why.
Transit: Wells says he’s “thrilled” by the prospect of an Olympic bid, in part for what it would do for forcing the city to improve public transit. “It’s a game-changer,” says the mayoral hopeful.
Housing: When the athletes are finished with the Olympic Village, Wells hopes the dorms could be turned into apartments.
No City Money: Stadium-loving mayoral hopeful Evans says he told DC 2024 president Bob Sweeney that he thinks hosting the Olympics is a great idea, but only if no public money is spent. “Under no circumstances would I support any city money going to the Olympics,” Evans says.
Evans’ dream Olympics is probably impossible—-the 1996 games in Atlanta, for example, cost that city $2 billion.
Statehood…?: Cheh thinks the Olympics would expose out-of-towners to the nonfederal side of the District. “Who knows?” says Cheh. “Maybe we’ll get statehood out of it.”