Earlier today, the USOC announced that it has officially begun looking into potentially making a bid for the 2024 summer Olympics. It has sent out letters to the mayors of 35 American cities (the 25 largest metropolitan areas plus ten others that have already expressed intent) to gauge interest. America’s previous two applicant cities — New York City (2012) and Chicago (2016) — are on the list, as is Miami.
This got me thinking. Is it even remotely feasible for Miami to host the Olympics?
Well, let’s look at it logically. The letter sent out to potential candidate cities included the following requirements:
• 45,000 hotel rooms.
• An Olympic Village that sleeps 16,500 and has a 5000-person dining hall.
• Operations space for over 15,000 media and broadcasters.
• An international airport that can handle thousands of international travelers per day.
• Public transportation service to venues.
• Roadway closures to allow exclusive use for Games-related transportation.
• A workforce of up to 200,000.
And, of course, the city would need competition venues. So how does Miami stack up?
• Miami-Dade county has 48,000 hotel rooms. Easy!
• An international airport? Done and done.
• A workforce of 200,000: as someone who traveled to London just to volunteer for the Games in 2012, I know firsthand that at any Olympics, the workforce will NOT be a problem.
• Miami would need to build several venues, including an aquatic center, indoor cycling track and a BMX course, among others. But the city already has Sun Life Stadium, Marlins Park, the BB&T Center, the BankUnited Center, Miami Marine Stadium, Crandon Park Tennis Center, etc., plus beaches for volleyball and ample open water space for boating and long distance swimming. Not too shabby.
As for the Olympic village and media space, this is where things get a little stickier. It could be a great excuse to update and revamp an older, more run-down area of the city. But is there room? Since this bid is entirely hypothetical, I’m not sure anyone really knows the answer at this point.
My biggest concern would be transportation. Miami has two (two!) metro lines that only differ when one splits off and goes to the airport. The bus system isn’t particularly reliable either, and the traffic on US-1 is awful on a good day. Could you imagine the traffic during the Olympics?
Bottom line? I personally think that, while it would take some work, a serious investment and one hell of a commitment, Miami could make it happen.
What do you think?