The Washington Area Olympic Committee announced plans yesterday to attract the National Sports Festival here as early as 1985.
The sports festival is a competition for U.S. amateur athletes and is contested annually except during an Olympic year. It was held in Indianapolis last summer and is scheduled for Colorado Springs in 1983.
The city will support efforts to bring both the National Sports Festival and soccer's 1986 World Cup here, Mayor Marion Barry said at a breakfast at the Capital Hilton yesterday. The breakfast honored Washington-area Olympians and served as a vehicle to announce a $100,000 local fund-raising drive for the U.S. Olympic Committee and the effort to bring the National Sports Festival here in 1985, 1986 or 1987.
"Go for '85; I'll be in office for sure. And in '86, I may be campaigning. So go for it in 1985; I'll be able to give it my full attention," Barry told an audience that included area business, military, and education leaders, as well as top amateur athletes, coaches and USOC officials.
Steve Danzansky, chairman of the Washington Area Olympic Committee, said Washington will bid for the 1985, 1986 or 1987 National Sports Festival. Danzansky said what facilities Washington would need to hold the Sports Festival will not be known until next month when the USOC releases its specifications.
There were 33 sports for men and women in the most recent festival at Indianapolis. Danzansky said no decision has been made whether all events would be held in the District of Columbia or whether such facilities as Capital Centre and Byrd Stadium would be used.
He said that there was no swimming facility in the area that could play host to that competition and that one would have to be constructed or reconstructed. Danzansky also said the possibility of putting a track in RFK Stadium would be considered.
Danzansky, a Washington attorney and former president of the now-defunct Washington Diplomats soccer team, also is a member of the executive committee of the Washington Area Sports Authority, as are two other members of the WAOC executive committee, Joe Riley, president of National Savings and Trust Co., and Dave Abramson, an advertising executive and Barry's media consultant.