Ted Leonsis on Washington’s Olympics bid

August 29, 2013

(Chip Somodevilla /Getty)

Ted Leonsis posted a brief blog item on Monday, enthusiastically backing the launch of a local bid for the 2024 Olympics. He went into far greater detail later in the week during an interview posted on the Monumental Network.

“The Olympics is really the global village for competition in sports,” Leonsis said. (Any questions were edited out, so the segment was just Leonsis speaking for about three minutes.) “And all the eyes of the world are focused on that community that’s hosting the Games. In our lifetime we’ve never had a Games here in Washington, D.C. It’s a thriving community, it’s a very educated, very wired community. It has an infrastructure that’s second to none in terms of security, in terms of technology, in terms of infrastructure regarding buildings. And obviously we need to rally as a community to figure out the best way to fill in the blanks – aquatic centers and the like – but that’s what the organizing committee’s trying to figure out: what is the best way for a public-private partnership to figure out a way to rally the community.

“We have Verizon Center here in downtown D.C. — this would be a wonderful venue for fans, this would be a wonderful venue to host ceremonies and certainly to host basketball,” he said. “Basketball is the highest-quality competition next to the NBA and NBA playoffs out there. Obviously it’s a games that we would want to host here. We have Nationals Park, a great stadium, it would be great for hosting track and field. You have the football stadium for the Redskins, you have lots of venues like Patriot Center, there’s the baseball stadium and football stadiums in Baltimore for the Ravens and the Orioles, Comcast Center for the University of Maryland. The list goes on and on.

“All of the people here at Monumental Sports & Entertainment are rooting for the committee to be successful in this,” Leonsis said. “And we’ll be just an ingredient in this overall great soup that has to be cooked and served to all of the committees that can approve this. But we’ll play a very, very small role. This is something that is a big, big endeavor. We’re gonna need to have the governments of Virginia and Maryland and D.C. in coordination, all of the big businesses in the community, all of the media partners, all of the media partners, all of the sports team owners, all of the major federal auspices like Homeland Security, they literally all have to come together and say that this is something that we want to do. That’s the challenge but it’s also the opportunity, that all of those forces can come together. And if we do bring them together, then I think we’re as well situated as any city in our country to try and compete.

“I think it’s our time,” Leonsis said. “It’s a once in a lifetime bid, and I think we should work really, really hard as a community and do our best, put our best foot forward and try to bring the Games here in 2024.”

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Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Sarah Kogod · August 29, 2013

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