2024 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, USA?!

olympic-logo4Last week, the United States Olympic Committee sent letters to the mayors of 35 US cities to find out if they were interested in bidding for the 2024 summer games.

My adopted hometown of St. Louis was one of them. We hosted back in 1904, and since then Los Angeles has hosted twice, Atlanta has hosted once.

Mayor Slay’s office acknowledged receipt of the letter, without committing to any action beyond discussing options with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission.

I, as an international transplant to St. Louis, who remembers vividly the 1984 Los Angeles Games, watched from my home in Southern England, encourage them to go for it.

It would take a lot of investment. We would need to build more hotels. We would need to upgrade facilities. We would need to get the City and the County working together.

But it would be worth it. Look at Atlanta. The 1996 Games put them on the map. Look at London, the 2012 Games turned dilapidated areas into new developments and economic growth.

And it places the host city on the international map, creating economic opportunity, tourist attention and bringing regional economic impact. The London 2012 Games has been reported to bring more than $7.5 billion in economic stimulus, 18,000 jobs and a 3% growth in the UK’s economy.

Bottom line. We should go for it. We are the center of the US. We are a great city, a great region. And we should host the 2024 Olympics. It’s the next step in our revitalization.

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