A Different Kind of OlympicsWatch the Video
WE BELIEVE HOSTING THE SUMMER OLYMPICS IN OREGON COULD TRANSFORM THE LIVES OF OREGONIANS
WE’D LOVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK
THe Olympics will be Transformative for ORegon
We Have What It Takes to define the new olympic vision
We will apply lessons from past hosts
The lessons learned from Past games are well documented
The lessons learned from PAST games are WELL DOCUMENTED
Our Guiding Principles Will ensure immediate Success and lasting Benefits
WE can leverage Our existing World class venues & We can build five new community facilities in Portland
WE Already have most of the World class venues we'll need
And We can build five new community facilities in Portland
The Costs make sense
$1B Security funded by US Dept of Homeland Security
$2.8B Long-term improvements financed by federal, state, and city governments, and private sources
$2.5B Capital investments in new venues funded by public-private partnerships
$3.6B Operating budget of the Games, offset by Games revenue
ORganizing commitee for the Olympic Games (OCOG) operational budget
City and state funding
$1B City and state will fund only 10% of total, and the public funds will only be used for projects that directly benefit the community
$1.5B Federal money will fund security and some transportation / infrastructure projects
$2.5B Private developers and other investors will provide a major source of funding for new venues and infrastructure
$5B+ Revenue from ticketing, sponsorship, and broadcasting
The Costs make sense
We're starting to make headlines
And we answered questions on OPB's Think Out Loud.
KGW News recently aired a segment on Oregon 2028.
YOUR FEEDBACK AND OPINIONS WILL SHAPE OUR VISION
This site was created so that we could hear what the community has to say about the idea of Oregon hosting the Olympics. The feedback you have provided is invaluable, and will help shape our vision and approach. Both positive and negative comments, and our responses, are shared below. By airing the concerns and constructive criticism that we receive, we hope to further demonstrate our commitment to a community-first Games.
"LET'S MAKE IT HAPPEN!!"
"I have been thinking about this for years! Oregon should absolutely host the games. I have thought that one way to do it would be to partner with Seattle and Eugene giving impetus to (finally) building a high-speed rail corridor from Vancouver BC to Eugene. This would be a regional and international economic game changer, creating a socio-economic ""state"" on par with California. Seattle of course would host the water based sports but swimming and diving would be hosted in Portland in The Schollander Aquatic Center. We could absolutely build the world class stadium that we need for our MLS team. I'd place that on the site of Lincoln High School. But the waterfront would be great too. Too many ideas to communicate here. An all Oregon Olympics would be amazing."
I believe in your vision for bringing the Olympics to PDX. I think it will be great for the city and community.
"Love it! Portland could be a great location for the Olympics, and we have so many amazing things to share with the world!"
"This is called thinking big and yeah it might sound a little crazy, but this is how transformative change happens. I love the vision and would love to see this amazing place we call home take center stage in 2028!"
"I, as a Portland native (NE 18th & Fremont) am on board with this initiative. As a native, I've lost track of my city's identity, this is a focus we all can get on board with. And I believe the leadership and inspiration behind this wide-angle thinking is a perfect focus for us a community of various backgrounds. And I know for a fact this is not something that was thought up as a response to the Rio 2016 game and all that goes with that. This idea is from someone who could actually lead this effort. Oregon as a state has every venue needed. While I am a bigger fan of the winter O's. Oregon is best suited for Summer, take a look out your door it's a beautiful time of year. And as a life long Sailor, Cascade Locks is already a world class Sailing venue, check out CGRA.org. Don't forget about Track and Field and the born heritage behind that."-Brian Manske
"The ideas is awesome. The website is great. The only issue I see (and you guys surely see as well), is if L.A. gets the 2024 games, then it's over..."
"I would love for Portland to have a grand vision and goal for once."
2 small problems:
1.) The Olympic Stadium will (hopefully) built way after a baseball stadium is built and team has started playing in Portland. An Olympic Stadium as an upgrade for the Timbers might be a better angle.
2.) The movement infrastructure is horrible in Portland. I know the pitch will be public transportation and the plethora of biking options, but the truth is visitors don't share that value. They will want auto-transportation...and Portland's infrastructure is massively behind in capacity improvements.
The positive points far out weigh these two negatives...like connecting the 3 major universities to the games. That is a very good idea. Maybe I haven't gotten to it yet (I've pursued the site for a couple minutes), but do you have suggestions where the new Olympic venues would be located?"
"I love the ideas of learning from past Olympics mistakes and successes. And I love the idea of improving Portland public transit, airport, and increasing the lower income housing."
"Fantastic idea - Oregon has so many incredible venues, it would be a tremendous success."
"I love the idea of making the 2028 Olympics a Portland/Oregon Olympic games. In fact, while building new facilities will be required for some thing, I honestly believe most of the infrastructure is already in place and I would love to talk more about this! Oregon is perfect for the Summer Games, and being a part of this would be amazing."
"Love it, would love to help you guys share your vision."
"I was thinking almost the exact same thing as I watched the Olympic trials, what can we do to make a competitive bid for the Olympics to be brought here?"
"I do worry a bit that the infrastructure (roads, public transit, etc.) might not be able to support that amount of influx over the Olympics by today's level development -- but I would hope that 10 years is enough time to develop the infrastructure necessary to do so. It would also provide a much needed benefit to Portland that is already beginning to experience infrastructural problems due to increase residency."
"I think it can help to transform Oregon."
"Keep the Olympic stadium at 75,000 and bring the NFL instead. I'm a fan of the idea either way, I love baseball too. I support this plan based on the stadium alone, the Olympics would be nice, but I want to go to football or baseball games long after they are a memory."
"I think that it is a great plan, Oregon is very driven by the few professional sports that we have so I can imagine a very large support in bringing the Olympics in upcoming years."
"Amazing idea! This website maps out everything!"
"I think this would be amazing."
"All for it!"
"Very well planned out"
"I think that you have a great idea and using all of Western Oregon is a fantastic way to show Oregon to the world."
"I like it."
"Good idea, however, taxing the entire state to only benefit the northern I5 corridor makes this seem less feasible. People of southern and eastern Oregon already feel neglected by local government. The Rogue River could host the white water rapids portion of the Olympics and has been exploring the creation of an Olympic training course in the river. Wouldn't Bend be a great place for some events too? If the whole state is to be taxed, bring events to the whole state. Medford and Bend both have airports capable of large aircraft so travel wouldn't be difficult to plan."
"I think it can help to transform Oregon."
Well thought out. Where in Portland do you envision development?
"Very unrealistic assumptions about venue requirements, existing infrastructure to support and Oregon's ability to financially back the olympic games. Love the enthusiasm! Would be a huge statement for a small state."
1. IT'S A WASTE OF TAXPAYER MONEY
"Complete waste of tax dollars. I don't care who is paying for it, the US shouldn't host the Olympics. It cripples the areas who host. Facilities will be built then under-utilized in the future. I will not pay a dime for the Olympics. I'd rather pay a tax to see it stay out of Oregon."
"Not no, but hell no. Keep the games away from Oregon, it would be a total waste of money to spend any tax funds on this proposal."
"More deficit spending for an economy that is already unable to meet its financial obligations. Developers win and the average middle class taxpayer is saddled with more debt that is not of his making, ask Brazil how the finances are doing this year. How about China?"
Although there have definitely been some economically unsuccessful Olympics in the past, there have also been some very successful ones. The models and examples we are following are Barcelona and Atlanta, not Rio or Beijing. You can read more about the successes of Barcelona and Atlanta here. Both were very successful and profitable games, that resulted in a lasting and positive legacy for their cities and citizens. And both were in cities / states that were about the same size as ours is now.
Developers will indeed win, but Oregonians will win more. Even if you completely discount the positive impacts to the economy and civic pride, Oregonians will directly benefit from huge investments in infrastructure, housing, and education. Investments that we will desperately need as our state grows, and that will predominantly be funded by the revenues generated by the games, and from those private developers. The rest of the investments will be for things we need to build anyway. The Olympics just gives us the catalyst to do it now, rather than 20 years from now.
There is no doubt that the US will be hosting the summer Olympics at some point in the next 20 years. The only question is in which city and state will the investments in infrastructure be made, and the revenues and profits generated and spent. We’d rather they be generated and spent in Oregon, so that they can directly benefit Oregonians, and be used to build the transportation, housing and educational infrastructure we will desperately need as the population grows.
2. THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO SPEND THE MONEY ON
"Please don't do this. There are more important things, like affordable housing, that should be higher on the priority list than more athletic facilities."
"I'm a huge track fan, and am eagerly looking forward to the 2021 World championships in Eugene. But it's absurd to spend so much money on a two-week event when Oregon so desperately needs the money for crumbling schools, thousands of homeless people and pot-hole-filled roads. There is also no way that that Oregon's share of the would be held to "only" $1 billion."
"It’s naive to think that you can actually deliver on all these promises and still get the Olympics to come here. We need to work out sustainable solutions for income, housing, and infrastructure before trying to lure in big, one-time events."
Exactly! The whole reason we want to bring the Olympics to Oregon is to provide a catalyst, framework and funding sources to address and solve many of these issues. By hosting the Games we will gain access to $9 billion of additional private and federal funding we wouldn't otherwise have access to. And, we won't build anything we don't already need, or will need in the near future.
Everything we build will be built for their lives after the Games, and retrofit to support the Olympics. For example, we'll use the Games to fund and build lots of new affordable housing that will be used as the Olympic Village and hotel space during the event. The 2000 Games in Sydney provide the model for this, as seen in this article. We'll gain federal funding to improve roads and build more public transportation. We'll gain private funding for new world-class community recreation and educational / after school facilities. And we'll also build a high speed rail connection between Eugene and Portland that will change the future of Oregon.
All of these projects are worth building regardless of the Olympics. By tying them to the Games, we raise the stakes, and provide funding and a deadline to start building them now, rather than 20 years from now.
3. OREGON CAN'T HANDLE THE OLYMPICS
"Well my vision currently with the way traffic is that no one would be able to get where they need when we are hosting said Olympics. I see no budget for improving the highways for this event. Traffic alone would be a nightmare. If the answer is our mass transit system we can even get the state of Washington to agree to a max line that would help decrease congestion on the I-5 corridor. Which you should note is right where the Moda Center is located. Overall I think that even in 12 years our city wouldn't be ready to handle or even want to handle an event like this."
"Portland doesn't have the infrastructure. We need more freeways, highways, hotels, parking, did I mention freeways. We have enough crappy bike stuff, we need to support cars, not waste money on trimet and bike lanes."
"Oregon is strongly dominated by a single political party, which diminishes political oversight and encourages cronyism and cost overruns. The state is also dealing with looming pension obligations, housing affordability issues, and chronic homelessness. Now is not the time to blow a bunch of money on stadiums that will sit empty after the Games are gone."
History has shown that traffic actually declines during the Olympics, as seen in Atlanta, London, and Sydney. And, hosting the Olympics gives us access to $9 billion in additional funding sources that we would not have without the Olympics to help us build out the infrastructure, housing and educational facilities we need in our state. In addition, hosting the Olympics will give us an opportunity and priority for federal transportation funding.
We already have nearly all of the venues and infrastructure we need for the Olympics. Our airport, for example, is already capable of handling Olympics level traffic, and nearly all of the events can be held in the existing world class venues in Portland, Eugene and Corvallis. We only need to build five facilities – a new MLS / MLB stadium that will host the opening and closing ceremony, new affordable housing that will act as the Olympic Village and additional hotel space, new office and commercial space that will act as the media center, a new commercially viable, and likely privately managed and funded, aquatic themed community recreation facility that will act as the Olympic pool, and a new commercially viable cycling oriented recreation facility that will act as the velodrome.
4. THE OLYMPICS AREN'T TRUE TO OREGON'S IDENTITY
"This isn't true to Oregon's culture. We're not a showy, build-it now group. Furthermore, we don't need it. Portland is growing faster than we can get a handle on it. Much of the rest of Oregon doesn't want even a taste of Portland's growth. Maybe in Colorado?"
"I came to Oregon 25 years ago to avoid the type of projects you envision."
"No more people in Oregon. Please."
"Nothing would more quickly ruin our lovely NorthWestern paradise than the Olympics: your estimates of expenses are WAY off, too. Do you really think only ONE Billion Dollars will need to be spent on Security in 2028? That's absurd. Don't ruin our city with the Olympics! Instead, please help convince the Olympic Movement to build a permanent site somewhere, with expansion possibilities, that countries can "host" events at every four years. But please don't bring the Olympics -- if there even will BE an Olympics, look how the Russians have ruined it this year! -- in 2028. Stop this silliness please!"
According to United Van Lines, more people are moving to Oregon than any other state. We are growing and changing dramatically no matter what we do. We need a catalyst and funds for the investments we will soon desperately need in infrastructure, housing and education, as well as a framework that ensures the growth that is coming happens in line with our values and culture. Without that catalyst and framework, a big event that gives us a purpose and deadline, we stand to lose everything that currently makes Oregon great. In our view, a big part of the reason we need to host the Olympics is to protect and preserve our culture. By hosting the summer Olympics in a way that is not showy, but proves that you can have the greatest sporting event in the world in a way that is different, truly sustainable and not over the top, we will demonstrate that we can grow as a state without sacrificing what we love about living here. Without something like this, Portland will likely become a city very much like San Francisco or Seattle within the next 20 years, and Oregon will move towards being a split personality state.
5. THE OLYMPICS/IOC ARE TERRIBLE
"Looks like a money grab by interests who stand to profit who will socialize the inevitable cost overruns while keeping any revenue for themselves."
"The Olympics destroy healthy communities, they do not build them. This would sell the scraps of soul the city has left to the lowest bidders, and continue to enrich a few billionaires while transforming the city into a tourist trap and then a ghost town. Shame on you for even considering this."
"This is an unbelievably bad idea and I will campaign fiercely against it. The Olympics have been boondoggles in Russia, Brazil, Greece... they are a huge disruption to the residents of the host city. They are a burden on the local budget. They create facilities that are out of sync with the needs and scale of the local community. The Olympic committee demands incredible... farcical concessions and perks for their employees and sponsors. Simply promising to learn from the lessons of the fallout from prior Olympics doesn't mean you can necessarily tackle them all and doesn't address the fundamental problem of the IOC itself."
There are no interests currently engaged in this initiative that are motivated by a money grab. None. This is a community driven initiative. Everybody involved right now is motivated by the positive impact to Oregon and Oregonians or by sport.
Although there have definitely been some economically unsuccessful Olympics in the past, there have also been some very successful ones. The models and examples we are following most are Barcelona and Atlanta. Both were very successful and profitable games, that resulted in a lasting and positive legacy for their cities and citizens. And both were in cities / states that were about the same size as ours is now. You can read more about the success of Atlanta and Barcelona here. Every time the US has hosted the summer Olympics in the past, the host city and state (e.g. LA in 1984 and Atlanta in 1996) have benefitted tremendously while generating profits.
A well run, profitable Olympics is not only possible, it’s the norm in the USA.
Our plan does not include building any venues, facilities or infrastructure that aren’t already needed and/or won’t be commercially viable following the Olympics. We are using the Olympics as a catalyst to spur, fund and provide a deadline for investing both private and public money in the infrastructure (more affordable housing, more public transportation, more educational facilities and after school programs) we already need now, and will desperately need in the future as our population grows. We’re also using the Olympics as a framework that will ensure those investments are made wisely, sustainably, and in line with our state’s values and future vision.
6. This will only benefit Portland
"Once again, this will be about promoting the Urban regions of the State, leaving the Rural areas to suffer. A better idea would be to take the $10b and spread it around the Rural areas of Oregon so that those areas can build infrastructure - THEN - promote the entire state (not just the Coast, Portland, Bend, Wine Regions, and I-5 Corridor. The master plan for tourism should really include directing visitors to regions other than these listed above. Trickle-down Tourism, as it's called, does not work. "What's Good For Portland is Good For the State's Economy" isn't necessarily true - just ask Rural Chambers of Commerce and DMOs around the state how much trickle down is occurring. For many countries/communities, hosting the Olympics is/was a huge financial bust - Look at London 2012. The East Side of London was a wasteland beforehand. Today, it's still a wasteland, it's just got millions of dollars’ worth of underutilized real estate sitting on it. Very sad. I think this is an overambitious idea that will put even more pressure on the limited resources of Portland and other areas. If you want to, as you say, "Create a new model" for Olympics, then do this: Spread the program around the state. Do your homework and find existing venues in other areas and focus on creating the transportation infrastructure and networks to move people around the state."
We are keen to spread out the events, and therefore the economic benefits, across the state as much as possible. However, in order to minimize costs, we want to make sure that we are leveraging existing infrastructure and venues as much as possible, and that we only build new facilities where we see a viable long term community use and benefit, in keeping with the new Olympic Agenda 2020. As such we are open to considering other locations and venues within Oregon that make sense including, for example, Bend for cycling and/or equestrian events, and Hood River for exhibition events like wind and kite surfing, but only if they can be justified economically. Right now, our plan includes hosting events throughout the Willamette Valley and on the Coast. Our plan also calls for us to source everything we need (food, labor, materials) from Oregon based suppliers first. That way we should be able to see some immediate economic benefit to rural Oregon. We also plan to highlight rural Oregon based suppliers and tourist destinations as much as urban ones as part of the marketing campaign around the Olympics.