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Posted on Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 3:45 p.m.

Detroit mayor says no thanks to 2024 Summer Olympics bid

By Ben Freed

Mayor Dave Bing took Detroit’s hat out of the ring for the hosting of the 2024 Summer Olympics, according to a report from MLive.

The mayor said in a statement that the city’s financial instability prevent the city from being able to mount a bid for the games.

Detroit was one of 35 U.S. cities solicited to consider hosting the games.


Detroit mayor Dave Bing said the city's finances were not able to support a bid for the 2024 Olympics.

AP Photo | Detroit News, Daniel Mears

According to MLive, Bing said it was a difficult decision, especially with the knowledge that Detroit has hosted major sporting events in recent years including the Super Bowl, an NCAA Final Four and the MLB All-Star Game. The Olympics are simply too big of an investment for the city to make.

“The bid calls for a $10 million upfront bid process payment and adding more than a $3 billion operating budget commitment - not including cost associated with venue construction and other infrastructure cost,” he said in his statement.

The Detroit city council has requested a March 12 hearing, after which Governor Snyder is expected to appoint an emergency manager for the city that faces a $327 million budget deficit and $14 billion in long-term debt.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 2:17 a.m.

If they can't afford to have ambulances...


Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 11:19 p.m.

No brainer here. Detroit's financial mess makes Greece (site of Athens Olympics 2004) look like the land of Milk and Honey. We don't need any more deserted and falling apart athletic facilities after the Games are held either.

Morty Seinfeld

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:41 p.m.

The locals would be using the Olympic torch to burn the whole GD city down!

Morty Seinfeld

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:47 p.m.

Come to think of it.....maybe we should host!


Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:40 p.m.

Shoot. Look what it did for Athens.

Ron Burgandy

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:35 p.m.

If Detroit did get the Olympics, Kwame would have to run for mayor again, just so he could shake down contractors/consultants/members of the international community and steer some no bid contracts to Bobby Ferguson for venue construction, and get some lucrative "consulting" jobs for Daddy Maestro! The sad part is they would probably re-elect him again.

C. Montgomery Burns

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:24 p.m.

That's too bad....I think the track and field athletes could have shattered some previous Olympic speed/time records by holding some of the running events in any random Detroit neighborhood after dark! Lord knows there would have been no shortage of starter pistols available to get things moving!

Larry Eiler

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

$14 billion in debt and current budget deficit of $300 million-plus and someone is serious about bidding for the Olympics. How inane!


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 5:01 a.m.

Oh, please. Tom Barrow? He's an also-ran for Mayor of Detroit. The guy can't be taken seriously. Hell, most of Detroit didn't four years ago, why should you? You could be right, Detroit may not be $14 billion in debt; it could be worse. The city spends 35-42 cents on every general fund dollar to long-term debts and liabilities. By 2017, the pension fund will consume 83% of the payroll budget. This is a city that, worse than not being able to turn its dire straits around, has leaders that refuse to address the problem. Even the little things like leasing Belle Isle to the state which would save Detroit $6 million a year, the City Council can't agree to do even that. Sorry, but he may be "Slick Rick" to you, but he's right on here.


Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 11:34 p.m.

Detroit is NOT $14 Million Dollars in debt. CPA, Tom Barrow dismissed this rumor full of half-truths spread by Gov. Rick Snyder's administration yesterday. Bing did not want Detroit to take on the 2024 Olympics because he seeks to profit from Detroit's failure. Not surprising since that is what he was sent to Detroit to do. Back to the financials, the link is below to Tom Barrow's report and Mr. Barrow was the former Chairman of the State Board of Accountancy which certifies all CPA's in he has the background and wherewithal to know what he speaks, indeed.... "Op/Ed: Discussion Reveals Serious Flaws in Governor's Rick Snyder City of Detroit "Financial Emergency" declaration; not meeting GAAP rules denoting actual debt "

Ann English

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 11:32 p.m.

You're right; other cities that have hosted Olympiads took years to pay off the debt for hosting them, such as Montreal. If Detroit DID in fact host the Summer Olympics in 2024, I can see them losing a sports team; Atlanta lost their hockey team after hosting the Summer Olympics; the team went to Winnipeg. I can see a city with more people hosting an Olympiad. It doesn't have to be as big as Los Angeles, but should have a lot of taxpayers. Detroit has lost a lot of taxpayers.

Jay Thomas

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:10 p.m.

Darn it, here I was thinking we had a chance.


Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:10 p.m.

It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the delusional and dysfunctional Detroit City Clowncil would have voted "Yes" to host the Olympics, if it were up to them.

John of Saline

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:04 p.m.

Well, duh. Detroit was second for the '68 games. And Detroit has bid the most times without winning:

John of Saline

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:12 p.m.

No, that was 1967.

An Arborigine

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:09 p.m.

Instead they had the riots in '68


Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:01 p.m.

Bing made the best decision. As much as I'd love to see Detroit (and suburbs) in the Olympic spotlight someday, the city does not have the money for it now.

Kyle Austin

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 9:37 p.m.

I didn't know it cost 10 million up front just to submit a bid. Kind of makes it a no-brainer.

Kyle Austin

Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

Sounds like they eat like kings


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 12:51 a.m.

Kyle, The IOC members have families to feed.

An Arborigine

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

Smart man, he knew that the Olympics would have said no thanks to the City of Detroit, if it is still an entity 10 years from now.


Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 11:21 p.m.

"... if it is still an entity 10 years from now..." Detroit? Or the Olympics?

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

smart decision. The other events sited already had the venue in place.