With the U.S. Olympic Committee just hours away from an expected announcement as to which U.S. city they will back in a bid to host the 2024 Summer Games, and the San Francisco organizing committee likely feeling a little heat, San Francisco is now pitching the idea of building a new Olympic-sized stadium for the games in Oakland rather than a temporary Olympic stadium on landfill in Brisbane as had originally been proposed and mocked.

And with the potential for becoming a permanent home for the Raiders, the new plan appears to have the backing of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, as long as Oakland isn’t saddled with the Olympic-sized tab.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Adam

    That very handsome stadium complex which I believe was featured on this site would serve perfectly as an Olympic park and then be turned over to the Raiders and actual residents. The real issue however is that even if the Olympics are literally in my backyard, NBC will still force me to stay up until 1:00 in the morning to watch the highlight reels.

    [Editor’s Note: Oakland’s “Coliseum City” Rendered And Master Plan Revealed.]

  2. Posted by Sierrajeff

    Hmm, this makes more logical sense… but actually decreases my enthusiasm. Because, as I noted on another post yesterday, this means all the media will refer to “the opening ceremonies in Oakland” – with the majority of events dispersed and the opening and closing ceremonies in Oakland, how would these be the “San Francisco” games?

    • Posted by oakland resident

      highly unlikely. usually when nationally televised sporting events take place in oakland and and the viewers see an ariel shot of the stadium, the announcers call it the san francisco bay area. when has oakland ever taken the SF spotlight? would it really bother you if the city of oakland got a couple of shout outs instead of sf? from what i understand, SF proper isn’t fit for the olympic games and thus events will be spread around the entire sf bay area including east bay and south bay. you’d really lose enthusiasm over this?

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        I’m happy for Oakland to get all the good press it can. But it seems like a “San Francisco Olympics” should happen in San Francisco. If Oakland wants to form a bid committee, go for it.

        Also, will the local government financial backstop guaranties come from Oakland, or San Francisco? If they’re coming from the City of San Francisco, why should the key venues (which help make-or-break the event) be outside of the City? You’re expecting SF to take the risk, but not the gain?

        • Posted by shza

          It is not like this doesn’t happen in nearly every Olympics. There are almost always a slew of events that do not happen within the city limits of the host city — particularly when the city is as small as SF. The Lillehammer winter games were a big success and had events spread fairly evenly out among four cities, one as far as 50 km away. This is not a new thing. The second paragraph of the wikipedia entry on Olympic venues confirms this: “As a multi-sport event, competitions held during a given Olympics usually take place in different venues located across the host city [b] and its metropolitan area.[/b] However, [b]some Olympic competitions may be held outside the host metropolitan area, and instead in other regions of the host country [/b] (as it is usually the case with Football at the Summer Olympics and its requirements for large stadia).”

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            Thanks for assuming I’m an idiot. See my comment below.

          • Posted by shza

            Not my assumption or my intention with that comment; this thread aside, I tend to agree with and find well-presented nearly all of your comments on this site.

    • Posted by anon

      Despite your civic pride, not everyone in the world knows where San Francisco is — they have a general idea. When they think of California, they think of Los Angeles. Ever watched the English version of international new stations and the weather report showing temperatures of international cities? San Francisco is not shown. France 24, DW T.V. (German), CCTV (China.) When I travel abroad and speak to regular Joes in other parts of the world, they don’t know where SF is or what it is like until I mention it is where all the gays are. Seriously. Then everyone giggles with a knowing smile and the topic ventures off from there.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        Hmm, not sure what to make of that comment, so I’ll let it pass…
        I do know that when I was in Paris, even snooty French waiters would perk up with interest when I’d mention that I was from San Francisco.

      • Posted by Not Bashing

        Never experienced this in my own travels in Europe and Asia – everyone seems to know New York, LA, San Francisco and the state of Florida, if they nothing else about American geography…

        • Posted by david m

          europeans are europeans.

          i spent three months last year in south china (guangzhou and hong kong) along with a little while in shanghai and i can confirm that san francisco is not very well known in china but los angeles is. i’d say 10-15% familiarity with sf, using the chinese name for the city, whereas la was somewhere around 70%. very surprising to me, i have to say. i experienced something similar in japan a few years ago. i’m guessing it would be the same in russia, most of africa and the arab countries, etc. so the comment does make sense.

          • Posted by Not Bashing

            Can’t speak to Russia and Africa. I’ve only been to each of them once, briefly. But in Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Bangkok everyone knew SF and as someone previously noted “got excited about it”. Maybe outside of the major cities is different….

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        ive travelled a lot too and agree San Francisco is not commonly well known.

        people know DC, Florida as a State, NYC, Chicago, LA and California as a state.

        SF and Boston as pretty equal I would say

        • Posted by shza

          Chicago, seriously? I find that more surprising than people not knowing SF. I know it is a much larger city, but so is Houston.

          It should surprise no one that NYC, DC, and LA are the most recognized cities in the U.S.

    • Posted by c_q

      Instead of saying “opening ceremonies in Brisbane”?

  3. Posted by tom h

    One relatively attractive feature of the Baylands site was that the residential Olympic Village at Hunters Point/Candlestick would be relatively close by the opening and closing ceremony site. Wondering if San Francisco would still house the athletes with a ferry service between Hunters Point and Oakland Coliseum.

  4. Posted by oakland resident

    this makes no sense to me, can somebody explain it: “The original proposal from the San Francisco bid committee was to have a $350 million temporary stadium in Brisbane serve as the signature venue. It would be designed to be torn down afterward.” in today’s world, how can we spend that much money, use that many materials and spew that much carbon into the air just to knock it down when it’s done?

    • Posted by BobN

      Now, now, I’m sure they intended to compost it…

  5. Posted by anon

    It will be called the San Francisco Olympics with venue sites at various parts of the Bay Area. Just don’t blow it with a gas or water main break due to neglected and aging infrastructure. Or the blackout at Candlestick when the Pittsburg Steelers game was televised on prime time television. Or have some fringe group of protesters trying to gain their 15 seconds (or less) worth of sympathy. Or have close-up shots of the homeless on Market St and the Tenderloin, or the boarded up and vacant storefronts in Berkeley.

    Even the Beijing game venues were spread out far and wide, in neigboring provinces, and not in the city proper. What? You expect everything to take place inside the Forbidden Palace (nothing was, it is a historical site.) Same with the London games. They did a good job bridging the wealthy parts with the poorer parts. The point is how well each city thoughtfully planned out the logistics beforehand. This is where our tech industry titans can really showcase its cutting edge products to the world. One chance to exceed your own expectations.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      I think pretty much anyone reading this blog understand that game venues are dispersed. But at some point the use of the name “San Francisco” becomes laughable, when all the key venues get pushed to other jurisdictions.

      • Posted by shza

        But aren’t we talking about moving a single venue from one non-SF jurisdiction (Brisbane) to another? I’m really not following how that change would make the “SF” Olympics more or less laughable.

        • Posted by Sierrajeff

          We’re talking about moving a venue that would contain the opening and closing ceremonies, and presumably most of the track and field events. It’d be a very significant and material shift of venue.

          • Posted by shza

            Its a venue-shift from one non-SF jurisdiction to another. How does that support your point at all? There was never any proposal that included having the opening and closing ceremonies, and presumably most of the track and field events, in San Francisco.

            If you were making the same arguments against the original (Brisbane) proposal, then fine. But the “shift” should be irrelevant to you.

  6. Posted by CH

    The Brisbane idea was arrogant and ill advised to say the least. Oakland proposal is significantly better but just highlights the lack of foresight, planning and leadership behind the SF bid.

    • Posted by Not Bashing

      They do seem to be botching it, i don’t know who’s brain child a temporary stadium was but that is ridiculous.

    • Posted by MarketSt

      I think that the “last minute change” wasn’t so last minute.

      If the leadership assumed there would be the usual screeching objections to the idea of an Olympics in the bay area, which they might well have, holding this back to the last minute helps nullify those objections, because they can say that all those were for a different plan, essentially

  7. Posted by Mark F.

    They won’t be picked.

  8. Posted by VancouverJones

    HBO’s program Real Sports had an excellent report on how the Olympic games have been boondoggles for the cities/countries who host them. Does anyone see the cruel irony in the fact that Oakland might get a stadium as a result of poor planning and hubris of San Francisco. The tech titans, unfortunately are just normal people. I don’t think they deserve any more or less consideration (deference) than the rest of us. It’s not like the Silicon Valley is the paragon of success: 1) There’s no world class public education system (the same old achievement gaps are there etc.). 2 )Income inequality seems to be growing. 3) Civic participation/ engagement is no better than anywhere else. 3) I don’t see any enlightened urbanization or a kick ass investment in transportation infrastructure. 4) Jobs get outsourced just like anywhere else. 5) Taxpayers pay for billion dollar stadiums…just like everywhere else. 5) Minorities get profiled in stores while shopping or as they drive around town…just like everywhere else. The tech titans aren’t mean, and they strive for excellence in their field. But overall… they’re just ok…

  9. Posted by myview

    This is a great idea. The Bay Area is a regional economy with regional and interconnected housing, transportation, economic, environmental and social problems yet too often Bay Area cities see each other as competitors or separate entities. Hosting a massive event like the Olympics is a regional endeavor that should be leveraged to create permanent regional benefits- like a stadium in Oakland, a city that actually wants the stadium and has the land and infrastructure to accommodate it on a site with excellent transit and freeway access.

  10. Posted by francis

    If anything, Silicon Valley ought to host it.

  11. Posted by Ham

    And the nail in the coffin is hammered in.
    It was nice to dream though.

  12. Posted by c_q

    Despite all the naysayers, if SF could pull it off similar to London (i.e., no ‘temporary’ structures, everything either existed or got re-used afterwards), and we could get some permanent transportation infrastructure improvements that would be a good thing overall.

    • Posted by shza

      The cost of the London games was still 8.92 billion British pounds (~13.4 billion dollars today), including 3 billion pounds of public money (~4.5 billion of today’s dollars). (see namelink)

  13. Posted by liveinsf

    Excellent, practical idea, to the extent one believes the proposal could be a net positive for the region. I’d like to believe so, particularly in finding any and all excuses possible to give our infrastructure, especially transportation, the kick it has needed for decades.

    Blimp shots would be just as pretty, and other commenters are right on about Brisbane vs. Oakland in terms of perception. It’s far more embarrassing to watch the “SF 49ers of Santa Clara” anyway. Speaking of which, the only way to get a stadium of this size in the city proper would be the Hunters Point area or a full 180 on Kezar (ha!). Either such fantasyland would mandate huge transportation investments, and implicitly bifurcate the NFL market from north to south. Alas.

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