One of the biggest disappointments of Michael Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor was his failure to lure the Olympic flame to New York. Now, one of his closest lieutenants and the architect of the 2012 bid is pitching a fresh case for bringing the 2024 summer games to the city.
Daniel Doctoroff, a deputy mayor under Mr Bloomberg and now chief executive of Bloomberg LP, the financial data and news service, has submitted plans to New York state governor Andrew Cuomo that trumpet the transformative effect the Olympics could have on the city.
Focused on Mr Cuomo’s home borough of Queens, the proposal being promoted by Mr Doctoroff hopes to win backing from politicians for an Olympic bid by arguing that it would kick-start development, similar to the burst of construction seen in east London in 2012 after it won the games.
“The Olympics could be a catalyst for economic development,” said a spokesperson for Mr Doctoroff, who is acting in a personal capacity. He hopes to transform 167 acres of rail yard, move the city’s only convention centre from Manhattan to Queens and build tens of thousands of housing units, the spokesman added.
Mr Cuomo is “seriously assessing the viability of an Olympic bid for New York City”, according to a person familiar with the situation. Talks between representatives of the governor and Bill de Blasio, Mr Bloomberg’s successor as mayor, are taking place and it is likely that an advisory committee will be formed soon, this person said.
“The governor’s office is open to reviewing a proposal once it receives one,” said a state administration official in response to the Doctoroff initiative.
Mr Doctoroff, in charge of economic development under Mr Bloomberg, led the city’s $3bn bid for the 2012 games, which was lost after the state refused to fund a centrepiece stadium planned on Manhattan’s west side.
However, this time Mr Doctoroff may not be able to count on mayoral support. Mr de Blasio has been cool on the idea of hosting the Olympics, which would incur a hefty price tag. Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for Mr de Blasio, said an Olympic bid “is not something the administration is considering”.
When I heard yesterday that Cuomo was considering trying to bring the Olympics here in 2024, Deputy Dan Doctoroff's name immediately popped into my head along with Bloomberg's.
These were the two prime pushers of the Olympics last time around, I thought they might be making a second go-round on the plan again, this time adding Cuomo to the push (and perhaps offering Cuomo some dollars or political help in return for his aid.)
I dunno, the older I get, the more I start seeing conspiracies like that everywhere.
And lo and behold, here's Deputy Dan Doctoroff's name linked to Cuomo and the Olympics bid.
As Arsenio Hall used to say back in the 80's, "Things that make you go 'Hmmm...'"