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Big Apple still hopes to land 2012 Olympics

Erin McClam Associated Press

NEW YORK – Their Olympic dream suddenly revived and drastically revised, New York planners were immersed Monday in the tedious work of putting together technical proposals for the 2012 Games centered on a stadium in Queens.

NYC2012 bid committee executive director Jay Kriegel said he hoped documents outlining the new plan could go by next week to the International Olympic Committee, which will choose a host city for 2012 in Singapore on July 6.

“We have no question that this plan technically will be outstanding, will demonstrate the games will be an outstanding games,” Kriegel said in a telephone interview.

The revised bid hinges on a $600 million stadium to be built by the New York Mets in Queens, next to the existing Shea Stadium, that would be converted into an Olympic stadium should New York City be selected.

The city and state would provide about $160 million in infrastructure and $100 million to convert the stadium from 45,000 seats to 80,000 for the games.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s dream of a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan for $2 billion, including $600 million in city and state funding, died last week when powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he could not support it.

The new proposals NYC2012 must submit to the IOC are highly detailed, described by a spokesman for the bid committee as even including where trash cans will be placed and how camera angles would be configured.

New York organizers also must work quickly with international federations for soccer and track and field to get them to sign off on the new plans before they go to the international committee.

The new plan would put the Olympic stadium near the Olympic village and the International Broadcast Center, also planned for Queens.

Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow are the other finalist cities for the 2012 Games. IOC evaluations of the five bids released last week appeared to give Paris the edge.

Kriegel and Bloomberg suggested on Monday that the IOC should be impressed with the city’s ability to make quick changes to unforeseen circumstances.

“Faced with adversity, New York has gotten back up off the mat very quickly and has demonstrated the capacity to put something big, bold and incredibly complicated together in just a few days,” Kriegel said.

Bloomberg said all New York City construction unions have signed a no-strike pledge for Olympic-related projects, soothing an IOC concern.

The mayor, appearing at an unrelated event in Queens, also said New York could offer unmatched diversity, with hometown crowds speaking the languages and waving the flags of the athletes.

“And they would have all gotten there by the subway,” he said. “No one else can possibly do that.”

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