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Governor adds support to bid

Schwarzenegger is on board for L.A.'s attempt to lure the 2016 Olympics, touting the city's Games-ready infrastructure.

January 20, 2007|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

Arnold, unveiled.

The Los Angeles bid committee for the 2016 Summer Olympics brought Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on board to make it a statewide campaign, and he vowed Friday to do whatever it takes to land the Games here for a third time.

"I don't think we have a specific program yet laid out of what I need to do," he said, still using crutches as he recovers from a skiing accident in late December. "But as I made it clear, whatever it is, I will do everything. I will fly anywhere.... we are one team.

"I think this is of great interest to California. We deserve the Games here.... It's going to take a lot of work because there's other cities that are bidding.... It's an unbelievable advantage we have because we have the facilities. How many places have the facilities? We don't have to go and start building.

"We luckily just passed infrastructure bonds. That means it will be important for the Olympic Committee, the people that make the decision, to know we [have] $20 billion in infrastructure bonds to rebuild our roads, to get around traffic jams. All of this is very important."

Only one new venue for the 2016 Games will need to be built, and that would be for shooting at Fairplex in Pomona. Bid President David Simon said about $20 million is budgeted for that project.

Those details will be among the three volumes of information, known as bid books, to be submitted to the USOC on Monday. Officials from Chicago, the other city in contention for the U.S. bid, will be doing the same thing.

The next step will be site visits to the two cities in late February or early March.

A final decision between Los Angeles and Chicago will be made April 14.

L.A. bid officials had other updates during the news conference at the Coliseum, which also featured Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The Olympic village for the athletes would be at UCLA, and USC would be host to the media and other members of the Olympic family.

"We're the only city that has the housing now," Villaraigosa said.

Bid Chairman Barry Sanders and Simon said the soccer preliminaries also would include the use of Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, AT&T Park in San Francisco, the Home Depot Center in Carson and Boyd Field in Las Vegas.

The Rose Bowl, which would hold the final, would also hold preliminary games.

San Francisco became an option for soccer when the city abruptly withdrew from the bid process because of stadium issues.

At a summit in November, suggestions were made by the USOC to local bid officials, encouraging additional clustering of sports, namely in Long Beach. Chicago also has made some changes after that meeting.

The L.A. bid shifted several venues to enhance the clustering: Fencing went from Long Beach to the new Nokia Theater, weightlifting from the Nokia to the Shrine Auditorium, table tennis and wrestling from the Anaheim Convention Center to the Long Beach Convention Center, rhythmic gymnastics from Loyola Marymount to the Long Beach Convention Center.

Additionally, the semifinals and final of team handball have been moved to Staples Center, with preliminary games still at the Pyramid in Long Beach.


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