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Philly Bid for 2024 Olympics

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The William Penn Foundation funded a study on Philadelphia

hosting an Olympics.

Here is the story in today's paper.

Olympic Bid Story

Could this region pull together and do it?

Story from Daily News below!

FOR HIS next trick, Joe Torsella will attempt to bring the Summer Olympics here. Think 2020 at the soonest.

Torsella led a six-year effort to build the $185 million National Constitution Center.

"This amounts to 10 Constitution Centers," said former Gov. Mark Schweiker, head of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, which is encouraging the effort.

"It might be more like 20," said Torsella.

He's not kidding. New York City's budget for the 2012 Olympics is $3.6 billion. That's with a "b."

Torsella has just been named to head an advisory committee to determine whether the Philadelphia region - including the suburban counties, New Jersey and Delaware - has the stuff to host the games and whether it ought to.

The committee is working with the Philadephia Sport Congress, a division of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Pennsylvania Economy League. Funding is coming from the William Penn Foundation.

"We're looking at how we stack up against the five finalists [for the 2012 Olympics]," said Larry Needle, executive director of the Sport Congress. "If we compare favorably with these other cities and can compete for future games, it would be a shame if we don't."

Since the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, every North American city that has hosted the games has at least broken even on its expenses. But the real payoff is in raising the city's stature.

"The word that cities use is 'transformational,' " Torsella said. "It transforms how the world sees you and how you think and act about yourself."

You mean our self-loathing and suspicion could be transformed into pride and cooperation?

"The planning and coming together you have to do as a region, the raising of your sights, those are all good things," Torsella said. "The practical impact is worth more than a thousand seminars on inter-governmental cooperation."

Jeff Guarcino, a spokesman for the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corp., said: "The fact we're thinking about this says a lot for the city. Thirty years ago, would we be talking about this?"

It will be Torsella's task to forge the region's famously phlegmatic business leadership into an active driving force on the money and infrastructure that are crucial to any bid.

"I'm not sure anyone's ready to fathom it just yet," Schweiker said. "Any major undertaking requires that someone is going to have to preach the gospel and I'm happy to point to Joe."

Said Torsella: "There's a world between here and there, but I'd like to see this process through to the end."

Torsella is 41. The Summer Games should be arriving in time to make a nice retirement present.

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I'd love to see a Pennsylvania Olympics. Split the events between Philly and Pitttsburgh. :)

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I think Philly would be a great summer city and Pittsburgh would be a great winter city. If that is, the resorts east of Pgh are up to standard for skiing etc. I think that Pgh would be one a only a handful of cities in the US to host the winter games.

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