Ron Creel, a former U.S. Olympic Committee Board member who helped Atlanta win the 1996 Games, was introduced to Birmingham’s city council Tuesday by Mayor Larry Langford, who said Creel will make the 2020 Games a reality for the city.
Creel is president of the Alabama Sports Festival and the mayor wants Creel’s group to direct exploratory work about the city’s potential to host the Games reports NBC. Creel called it a “do-able deal. It’s going to take a lot of hard work. It’s going to take a lot of work in individuals’ parts”, he said.He added, “this is going to be a regional effort. We got to sell the region, but we can’t sell anybody until we come up with a plan, so we’re going to involve a lot of communities, Tuscaloosa, definitely the University of Alabama, the colleges in this region”.
According to NBC if Birmingham wants to attract the Games a larger airport may be needed, more mass transit, new hotels and better infrastructure, and up-scale athletic facilities as well as a large arena for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Creel said, “everybody wants to know how much is it going to cost. I tell folks, you’re getting the cart before the horse. Give the committee a chance to come up with the report and all this will be in the report”.According to planners in the mayor’s office, an Olympic Committee could be in place within three weeks.
The mayor said Birmingham may not win the bid but announcing the city’s Olympic interest has already given the area global news coverage.