Olympic officials to visit Thursday

U.S. Olympic officials will come to San Francisco on Thursday — the second stop on a three-day tour to meet with representatives of the three cities vying to be the American candidate in the international competition to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

The Olympic contingent will travel to Chicago today and Los Angeles on Friday.

While the most recent meetings with Olympic officials — held last month in Southern California — centered on presentations made by each city on what they could contribute to the Olympic legacy, the meetings this week are mostly to provide feedback on those proposals. The group also will work to begin reshaping the bids to better position the cities for the international competition, according to Olympicofficials.

“This is more of an opportunity to listen to them,” said Mark Dolley, spokesman for the newly created San Francisco 2016 Olympic Bid Committee.

While city officials are putting their best foot forward in hopes of being chosen to host the Summer Games ten years from now, the U.S. Olympic Committee has not yet decided if it will make a bid.

USOC spokesperson Darryl Seibel said the “larger question” would likely be decided by the end of the year, with a U.S. city selected by March 2007 if America decides to compete internationally for the games.

A few years ago, San Francisco lost out to New York City for the 2012 domestic bid — which the International Olympic Committee awarded to London. A final decision on the host city for the 2016 Summer Games is expected to be made by 2009.

The United States last hosted a Summer Games in 1996 in Atlanta.

Los Angeles, which hosted the Olympics in 1984, is touting that it still has the stadiums and other required venues ready to host another summer games.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said last month that his city would host an international event that would highlight middle America and has promised a compact event that would be centered on the city's revitalized downtown waterfront district and mass transit.

San Francisco, which received criticism for presenting a 2012 bid that didn't focus enough on The City, has proposed centering the games’ opening and closing ceremonies in San Francisco — possibly at a newly rebuilt stadium at Candlestick Point. The waterfront area also may be the site for new housing built for athletes that would be later rented out to city residents as affordable apartments — although city officials say no plan is set in stone.

“We're looking forward to engaging in a constructive dialogue with the USOC technical team as to how we can strengthen the bid,” said Jesse Blout, Director of the Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

beslinger@examiner.com AP contributed to this report.

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