City’s tasty Olympic pitch
Panel given bagels, deli treats
By MICHAEL SAUL
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU
COLORADO SPRINGS – Armed with cheesecake from Junior’s, deli from Katz’s and bagels from H&H, New York’s Olympic delegation descended on Colorado yesterday to win the stomachs, and votes, of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Delegates hope the treats will tempt the committee to choose New York over San Francisco tonight as the nation’s nominee for the 2012 Summer Games.
Amid snowcapped mountains and chilly temperatures, officials from both cities began an all-out press to persuade the 123 members of the committee’s board of directors to vote for their town.
“We think we put forth an extraordinary case with a superb plan that puts everything very closely together and leaves a fabulous Olympic legacy,” crowed Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, founder of NYC2012, the group pursuing the games on the city’s behalf.
Anne Cribbs, who heads San Francisco’s bid, said: “We think we have a great plan. This is a very important decision for the USOC.”
In the meantime, everyone ate well.
At New York’s hotel hospitality suite, committee members found cookies in the shape of the Statue of Liberty, a taxi and the “I Love New York” logo.
Over at the San Francisco suite, there was Ghirardelli chocolate and California cheese and fresh fruit. (Wine was banned, and sourdough bread doesn’t travel well.)
Representatives of both cities spent time yesterday rehearsing their hour-long presentations to the board. New York, which won a coin flip, opted to go second.
For New York, Mayor Bloomberg, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani entertainer Billy Crystal and a handful of Olympians will make the pitch. On the San Francisco side, Mayor Willie Brown and a slew of Olympians including Michael Johnson and Kerri Strug will lead the call.
Stars come out
The delegations also corralled some star power for the show.
Bette Midler and Woody Allen will be shilling for their beloved New York. Robin Williams and George Lucas will help showcase San Francisco.
The committee will weigh each bid on a variety of factors, including the quality of venues, climate, finances, security and transportation plans. The cities’ financial plans will be key.
New Yorkers believe they have a big edge there. While San Francisco has boasted it will produce a $400 million surplus, serious questions have been raised about its plans for an Olympic Village.
It has proposed building the village on property owned by the Army – but military officials have different ideas and say the land is not available.
New York’s bid, too, is no stranger to controversy. A $1 billion-plus plan to build a massive stadium on Manhattan’s West Side has sparked neighborhood opposition and raised eyebrows among fiscal watchdogs.
Who hands out prize
The Olympic dreams of New York City and San Francisco rest in the hands of 123 people. Who are they?
The members of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s board of directors are a diverse group of folks – the one link is their commitment to the Olympic movement.
More than half are members of the national governing bodies of the various sports. Another 20% or so are current or former athletes. The rest are members of community-based organizations, the military and the public sector.
Among the more recognizable names are Bill Bradley and Henry Kissinger.
Other notable members include Roland Betts, a college buddy of President Bush’s and the chairman of the company that owns Chelsea Piers; Gordon Gund, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Donald Fehr, head of the baseball players’ union.
Board members serve four-year terms and are nominated by the groups they represent.