Ron Creel, chairman of the Greater Birmingham 2020 Committee, said the Alabama city could be a contender for the Olympic Games. He is quoted in an Alabama newspaper saying, “there are a lot of things we need to do between now and 2020, but I think we can do them”.
Creel said Birmingham needs to prove to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) it can put on large events and manage them successfully to win the group’s nomination. Venues must be assessed and improved as well. Holding large events and upgrading venues can have a huge economic windfall and also benefit local youth who use the sports facilities, he said.
“My philosophy is you have to reach for the moon, and if you don’t get it, you’re going to grab a lot of stars”, said Creel.
State Rep. John Rogers lobbied for funding for a domed stadium in 2005 with the idea of bidding for the Olympic Games and in 2006 Mayor Larry Langford put together the bid committee.
Creel called the Olympic bid a “greater Birmingham effort”, saying the committee will reach out to surrounding communities and outside groups. He added that it will support Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.