The five-member Tulsa 2020 bid committee Tuesday presented to Tulsa city council the idea of the city making a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, reports Tulsa World.
Committee member Michael Jones said, “a lot of you are probably thinking what I thought the first time I heard this – Tulsa? Olympics? Are you out of your mind? That’s exactly what everyone said about Atlanta when they started proposing the same thing”.
Tulsa World reports much of the committee’s presentation centred around the similarities between Tulsa now and Atlanta in the early 1990’s when it was bidding for the Summer Games.
The Tulsa 2020 bid committee said Atlanta’s population was about four times larger, and they had pro-sports stadiums, but there’s no minimum population requirement.
Jones said, “the problem most people think of when hosting Olympics is that they think everything needs to be done here. In actuality, Atlanta, when they did it, they proved that what you’re looking at is a regional model”.
Neil Mavis, Tulsa Olympic Committee member said, “we’ve got the facilities. We’ve got the dorm count. And, we have the venues”.
News On 6 reports the feasibility study proposes using facilities at the University of Tulsa, OSU Tulsa, Oral Roberts University, Northeast Oklahoma A&M, Northeastern State, Rogers State, Oklahoma State, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Arkansas.
Jones said, “we actually have more facilities, in some degrees, than Atlanta had when they were going forward and pitching this idea”.
Atlanta 1996 outsourced soccer to Miami, Orlando, Alabama, Georgia and Washington D.C. and Tulsa would reportedly similarly outsource soccer to large university stadiums around the region.
Jones said, “if you don’t look at it and examine it, then you’re never going to know if anybody is willing to do anything”.
The committee said it would raise private funds to conduct a campaign, but it would need the mayor and council’s approval to apply.
The bid committee is holding off on a decision until Oct. 2 when the host city for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games will be elected. If Chicago wins the bid, the Games won’t come back to the United States four years later.