City among 5 rivals for media convention USOC groups, athletes gather for summit before Sydney Games


October 20, 1998|By June Arney | June Arney,SUN STAFF

Baltimore will compete with four other cities for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Media Summit to be held shortly before the Sydney Games.

Houston, Dallas, Raleigh, N.C., and Seattle have joined the race to play host to the planned three days of news conferences, interviews, photo sessions and social events. The event brings together top athletes in 28 sports, 400 media outlets, the United States Olympic Committee, Olympic sponsors and the national governing bodies -- the administrative bodies for Olympic sports.

"Everybody that goes to the Games comes to this thing," said Bob Condron, director of media services for the USOC.

A decision is expected by Thanksgiving, he said.

The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association has put together the bid for the event, which has an estimated cost of $250,000 to $400,000.

The summit is expected to produce an estimated $1 million economic impact, but the real economic benefit would come from national and international media exposure.

The host city will need to provide 300 rooms for media, athletes, sponsors and staff members, along with three ballrooms and a photo area of about 5,000 square feet. Sightseeing, sports and other activities can be part of the bid.

In past years, the USOC has chosen a city rather than put the event out for bid.

Olympic media summits began in 1984 before the Summer Games in Los Angeles. They were held in Colorado Springs, Colo., shortly before each Olympiad until 1996, when the event was moved to Atlanta for the Summer Games. Salt Lake City was host for this year's summit before the Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. The 2002 summit also will be in Salt Lake City.

This summit is one of the events that the Washington-Baltimore region will try to attract as the race for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games heats up. Also seeking those Games are: San Francisco, Dallas, Cincinnati, Houston, New York, Seattle, Tampa-Orlando, Fla., and Los Angeles.

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 is to follow, with the selection of a host city in 2005.

Pub Date: 10/20/98

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