Washington-Baltimore files Olympics papers Commitment to 2012 Games further cemented

The region

October 01, 1998|By June Arney | June Arney,SUN STAFF

The Washington-Baltimore Regional 2012 Coalition filed legal papers with the United States Olympic Committee, further cementing a commitment to the Summer Games 14 years from now.

That approximately 20-page document, called a bid committee agreement, was due yesterday at the USOC office in Colorado Springs.

"It establishes the ground rules for the conduct of the bid cities," said John Morton III, president of NationsBank Corp.'s Mid-Atlantic Banking Group, and volunteer chairman of the regional coalition.

"It's really an understanding that we all agree to as to the rules of the game as we go forward."

In part, the papers confirm the commitment of the mayors of the cities involved and address licenses, sponsors and compliance with requirements covering amateur athletics. The coalition did not make the document public.

"It is my sense that the USOC would prefer to keep the contract confidential, and we are going to respect that," Morton said. "Everything I do here is with an aim to win the Olympics."

By midnight yesterday, all the cities competing with Washington-Baltimore for the Games: San Francisco, Cincinnati, Houston, New York, Seattle, Tampa-Orlando, Fla., Los Angeles and Arlington, Texas, which is changing the name on its bid to Dallas, were expected to have submitted their paperwork.

However, several would not have the required city council resolution. Only Houston, Dallas, Cincinnati and Tampa had told USOC officials that they had secured the resolution, USOC spokesman Mike Moran said yesterday. In Seattle, the matter is set for council action Oct. 5. Washington-Baltimore has yet to obtain that required paperwork.

The cities now have until Dec. 15 to obtain their city council

endorsements, but even that deadline may be extended if there are unusual circumstances, Moran said. "It is required," he said. "If ultimately it can't be done, they're going to be disqualified."

The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association is asking for an extension on its bid -- also due yesterday -- for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Media Summit to be held shortly before the Sydney Games. The Sept. 30 deadline was flexible, Moran said.

Houston and Dallas have entered the race for the media summit so far, and other cities also have expressed interest, Moran said yesterday. He hopes to select a city by Thanksgiving.

BACVA officials estimate the cost of the event at $250,000 to $400,000. The summit would result in an estimated $1 million economic impact. But the real economic benefit would come from national and international media exposure.

The convention group is turning the media summit over to the regional Olympic organizers.

"The question is, does the committee want to proceed?" said Carroll R. Armstrong, president and chief executive officer of BACVA. "It's great exposure for the city, but someone will have to underwrite it."

John Moag, chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority, is organizing the Olympic committee's effort to attract sporting events to the region, and he said the matter would be reviewed as soon as BACVA officials bring it to Olympic organizers.

The media summit brings together top athletes in 28 sports, 400 media outlets, Olympic sponsors and the USOC and the national governing bodies, the administrative bodies for Olympic sports, for three days of news conferences, interviews, photo sessions and social events.

The U.S. competition for the 2012 Games will be narrowed to an unspecified number of finalists in March 2002. The final selection of a U.S. city will be made by the USOC later that year. An international competition follows, with the selection of a host city in 2005.

Pub Date: 10/01/98

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