It Seems the Morning News Thinks the Olympics Can Help Save Southern Dallas

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Talk of Dallas serving as a potential host city for the Olympics has ramped up in recent weeks, in part because Dallas attorney Matt Wood has begun work to woo the 2024 Summer Games, and partly because Dallas, along with Tulsa, Oklahoma and Rochester, New York, was one of an elite group of 35 cities the U.S. Olympic Committee invited to bid on the games.

The prospect has undeniable allure, what with the attention of the world, not to mention thousands of lithe young athletes, descending upon the city for the better part of a month. And an Olympic host city is nothing if not world-class.

Then again, Dallas is blessed with scorching summer heat and ungainly sprawl. In other words, a tremendous long shot, albeit one that has the Morning News' official blessing. Yesterday, the paper penned an editorial exhorting planners to forge ahead with an Olympic bid.

To its credit, the News acknowledges that sponsoring an Olympics would require mountains of cash ($3 billion for operating costs alone); that there's a real possibility of epic failure, a la Athens 2004; or that Dallas might have to swallow its pride (and slight revulsion) by partnering with Houston. But:

That said, the many pluses are worth considering. Top on the list is the vast expanse of available, cheap land just across the Trinity River and Interstate 30 in southern Dallas. It is an area long neglected by developers that could reap enormous benefits from an Olympic Village site construction, which later could be converted into low- or moderate-income housing, recreational venues and commercial facilities.

For last year's London Olympics, a vast, run-down industrial neighborhood on the east bank of the Thames River was transformed and is now being used for thousands of affordable homes, new parks and a large school complex. Southern Dallas needs exactly this kind of large-bore investment.

Hmmmm. Construction of athletic facilities as a game-changing investment southern Dallas? Sport as a vehicle of urban transformation? It all sounds eerily familiar.

The Olympics are, of course, much bigger than a golf course and concentrating the associated development along the Trinity and in southern Dallas could have a much longer-lasting impact.

More often, though, the Games seem to have the effect of screwing over the poor, either through the razing of low-income neighborhoods to make way for new venues or, in London's case, skyrocketing rent prices that force poor families out.

Careful planning could help mitigate such effect, but let's be clear: the Olympics are a vanity project. There are reasons, both in terms of economics and prestige, Dallas might pursue them, but the idea should not be sold on southern Dallas' back.


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36 comments
UGenre
UGenre

The best way to deal with societal issues is to confront them, not pretend like they arent there. Bringing the Olympics to Dallas would allow growth in parts of town that need the attention. Most of Dallas has grown from the provision of transportation, and building new flashy things (which Dallas loves) in south Dallas would require providing an ample amount of public transportation. Progression is any direction...is still progression.

MisterMean
MisterMean

Another effort to squander tax dollars for our elected politicians egos.

whareagle
whareagle

Well, why not? The US is responsible for either a 60/40 split or a 40/60 split (can't remember) of all Olympic Revenue and Global Audience. All the other cities around the country and around the world who could host it that haven't yet ,  are broke-ass broke broke, and the Games have to be held on this Continent every once in a while to assuage said Major Audience, so again - Why Not? Of course, you could always have some sabotage from City Hall again, like Laura Miller's Fax Machine, but hey - love it or hate it, JerryWorld's generating revenue that Fair Park or the Trinity River would have LOVED to have had, no? 


It's also an opportunity to show off your Public Worx projects, like Empty trolley Cars and gutter lanes for bikes and stuff. How Euro. How Modern.

Dallasphotog
Dallasphotog

Why would anyone want to come to Dallas for the Olympics???  Why would Dallas go bankrupt trying to sponsor them?  It's a fool's errand to even try to catch the eye of the IOC.

casiepierce
casiepierce

Oh my lord! Do NONE of you remember that we have already had this discussion, like 10 years ago?

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

It is ridiculous for any US city to compete because the IOC sets the requirements so that only an entire country can afford to build all the new structures and provide the operating budget. Chicago learned iits lesson and wants nothing to do with it. If your nation has something to prove like China or Brazil, go for it.

We cannot keep our pools open and we want to run the Olympics?

anon
anon

I'd actually like if it was put on in DFW. Jerry would want some of the action, so he'd force the city of Arlington to allow rail to be built between Fort Worth and Dallas, stopping at the Death Star. The athletic facilities in the northern suburbs (Allen especially) would also want some of the action so we'd get transport there too. I actually don't think that spending on Olympics has a high ROI for older cities and I generally don't like the eminent domain issues it brings with it. But for an area like DFW that has political stumbling blocks that have prevented widescale adoption of fixed, off-street public transportation options, the lure of hosting the Olympics could be the catalyst that soothes objections. 

casiepierce
casiepierce

Same song, different verse. We've been here before and it we didn't host the Olympics in 2012 after all. Move along.

downtownworker
downtownworker

The Olympic Village would be in Fair Park, where it should be. 

R.s. Rosenquist
R.s. Rosenquist

Dumb. If Cowboys Stadium was in Fair Park we'd have a shot at the Olympics. It's not there and we can't host it.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

No.

We can't build a freeport in southern Dallas because of allegations of corruption.

What would the "equity" bill be for this?

mcdallas
mcdallas

We DO NOT have enough solar-powered water taxis to support an Olympic bid.  Also, too much blood in the water (so to speak).

cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

"Dallas is a sprawling mid-sized American city blessed with scorching summer heat and ungainly sprawl"

Sprawling with sprawl? Good sentence there. 

Also: How is Dallas 'mid-sized?' It's one of the top ten most populated cities in the country. 

Tom434
Tom434

It's a vanity project that Dallas needs to ignore

Really
Really

Maybe May would work, but we might get torrential downpours. Very risky. As for September, anyone who has lived here for awhile knows it doesn't cool off until October. And by cool, I mean mid 80s, still warm enough to cause heat-related injuries. Early November or mid-March would be ideal.

Los_Politico
Los_Politico

While I agree with the tone of the post (and let's not kid ourselves, LA will get the USOC nod), Dallas is not "mid-sized". DFW is the 4th most populous region in the country.

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

Why would we need to partner with anybody?  Between the Cotton Bowl, the Convention Center, AAC, and SMU, Dallas could put nearly all of the venues inside Loop 12 and at locations that are currently accessible on the DART rail.  Dallas would need to build a natatorium, and some venues (e.g., the convention center arena) would need significant improvement.  But it could be done without having to partner with Houston or any other such nonsense.


And for the record, the Summer Olympics have been held in September before.  You could have them in May or September in Dallas and the weather would be just fine.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Yeah, all those athletes will love playing games in 105 degree sweltering heat.

The only potential upside would be the Houston/Dallas/maybe Austin partnership, and the construction of high speed rail to connect the cities for the games.

A tri-cites Olympics that gives people some lasting benefits might work.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@Dallasphotog but the jerk offs we send to lobby have fun.  The IOC likes being wooed, and we have money to burn.  You clearly don't want Dallas to be World Class. 

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@bvckvs sorry, but drugs, prostitution, guns, gambling and abortion should all be legal.  If they were, perhaps our police and correctional costs wouldn't strain our education budgets. 

RobertStinson
RobertStinson

@anon You mean, a catalyst like the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta? C'mon, man.

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

@oakclifftownie Yeah, which is why any bid should be a "Dallas" bid and not a "North Texas" bid.  Dallas is perfectly capable of finding a venue for just about every Olympic event without every Tom, Dick, and Grapevine wetting its beak.

casiepierce
casiepierce

@Sotiredofitall Either you have a short memory, no memory, are not a student of history, or are just plain stupid.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@James_the_P3 your momma can go to Easter services in an old dress too; but that's not world class. 

LakeWWWooder
LakeWWWooder

SMU needs a new natatorium, so that fits well.

RobertStinson
RobertStinson

@James_the_P3 That's a total crock of shit. Part of the reason cities want the Olympics is for the short economic gain via commercial real estate and construction. i.e. the monsters that feeds off of the City of Dallas and other local government entities. We would build no matter what.

anon
anon

@RobertStinson @anon If you read what I wrote instead of what you inferred, catalyst is the correct term. Overcoming the infighting and objections of the region to coordinating transportation needs is difficult. But officials would have to come to some agreement, lest they be left in the cold when it comes time to design the bid. Thus, designing a bid would be a catalyst for coordinated actions on the part of regional transportation planners. The Atlanta Olympics did, in fact, involve making infrastructure improvements. Am I trying to say that the spending on the Olympics will provide some fantastic multiplier that will make the DFW economy grow for decades into the future? No. It COULD do that if the right infrastructure was put in place, but if it could do that, it wouldn't need the prospect of the Olympics to get the project done.

casiepierce
casiepierce

@Sotiredofitall @casiepierce I see, you're just plain stupid. "Dallas couldn't even swing a deal..." There was no deal for Dallas to swing any direction. You do realize that the City Council and Mayor of the CITY of Dallas is not the County Commissioners of the COUNTY of Dallas, no? And why bring LaMiller into this? Nobody on this thread has said anything at all about her. Well, except you, just now, to prove some point that no one ever tried to make. LOGIC FAIL.

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