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Houston Official: 'We put man on the moon ... we WILL have a great Olympic Games'

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    Houston Official: 'We put man on the moon ... we WILL have a great Olympic Games'

    Houston Official: 'We put man on the moon ... we WILL have a great Olympic Games'

    Houston 2012 Foundation Submits Bid Supplement Upgrading Plans

    For 2012 Olympic Games

    HOUSTON, April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Houston, the city that put man on the moon, today delivered its revised 2012 Olympic games bid proposal to the United States Olympic Committee today, emphasizing the centrality of the Paralympic Games and the strength of its existing venues.

    The city's proposal, a comprehensive review of Houston's budget and plans should they be chosen the Host City for 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was formed with practical insights from former and current Olympians and Paralympians, coaches, and officials. Houston's substantial experience in hosting major events and first-hand observations of the Atlanta, Sydney and Salt Lake City Olympic Games by the bid's leadership also figured prominently in designing the realistic-and historic-plan.

    "Texas knows how to make dreams a reality: the world turned to us when it came time to put man on the moon. Houston now has the plan and the people to host the most dynamic and inclusive Olympic and Paralympic Games the world has ever seen," said Susan Bandy, President of the Houston 2012 Foundation.

    Houston's supplements is highlighted by:

    -- Houston's Financial Strength. Houston's conservative financial

    proposal was developed to allow for a successful Games no matter the

    state of the world's economy in 2012. Houston's budget conservatively

    projected revenue from broadcast, sponsorship and ticket sales based

    on historical trends, while planned operating costs have been

    increased in anticipation of unforeseen needs. In the final analysis,

    the revenues will not only cover the cost of the Games, but will

    result in a US$219 million surplus. This makes the US$100 million the

    state of Texas approved in 1999 virtually unnecessary and allows for

    over US$219 million in investment in US and international sport.

    Houston's budget is so low because the city has already invested

    US$1.3 million to build a state-of-the-art sporting venue network. As

    a result, the estimated capital expenditures for the 2012 Games-US$165

    million-are significantly less than other US bid cities.

    -- Paralympic Plans. Houston pledges an unrivaled experience for

    Paralympians in 2012, thanks to the planning of the Houston 2012

    Foundation Paralympic Committee. Houston has also benefited from the

    expertise and insights of top disabled athletes serving on the

    Foundation's board. They include, the greatest wheelchair athlete in

    the world, Randy Snow; Vice Chairman of Wheelchair USA's Athlete

    Advisory Committee, Deanna Vanhook; and two-time Paralympian fencer

    Mario Rodriguez. Houston has a long and successful tradition of

    hosting events for athletes with disabilities including the 1987

    Wheelchair Games, numerous domestic and international wheelchair

    basketball events, and the Quad Rugby US tryouts for the 2000 USA

    Team, among other events. The Paralympians will use the same athletes'

    village and competition venues as the Olympic athletes. Many of the

    events, including the Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies, will

    take place at Houston's Paralympic Park, providing a festive

    "Sydney-type" experience for the Paralympians and spectators alike.

    Creative ticket procedures will increase attendance and promote the

    Paralympic Games to new fans (the Houston organizing committee will

    create day-pass tickets to allow individuals to pay one small

    admission fee to attend all events at the Paralympic Park). In

    addition, Paralympic transportation costs are minimized because all of

    the buses in Houston's mass transit system are already equipped for

    wheelchair access.

    -- Celebration City. Houston's strong financial plan will allow a unique

    investment in the celebratory component of the Olympic experience:

    "Celebration Corridor." Made up of the three celebration pods and

    linked by Houston's light rail line, the Corridor will create venues

    for Olympic-focused programming, celebrations, viewing of the

    televised-events, concerts and cultural events. The Downtown pod will

    be located in the recently revitalized Theatre District and will allow

    for public viewing stations, pin trading and concerts. The second

    celebration pod will bring cultural festivals to Houston's Museum

    district where the city's renowned zoo and world famous museums are

    located. The third will be in the main Olympic Park. Admission to

    these celebration cells will be free of charge and each will be fully


    -- Venue Plan. One of the Houston bid's key strengths is its

    near-complete sporting venue network. This system is state-of-the-art

    and built in compact pods to ensure easier transportation and

    unmatched security arrangements for the Games. Houston has spent

    US$1.3 billion on its athletic and convention facilities since 1997

    ensuring that nearly all the required facilities will be ready for

    competition, not by 2012 but by 2005, the year of the International

    Olympic Committee's decision on the 2012 Host City allowing for

    extensive testing-both theoretical and practical. Because of these

    state-of-the-art facilities, a majority of events will be held in

    climate-controlled, air-conditioned venues.

    Like Sydney, Houston has proposed a true Olympic Park. A hub of

    Olympic events, celebration and activity. The Park, built around the

    Reliant Astrodome and Reliant Stadium will house 18 sport/site

    combinations as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the

    Olympic store, sponsor displays, food court and viewing stations. It

    also includes the world famous amusement park Six Flags Astroworld,

    only adding to the festive environment of the Games.

    -- Security. Houston has performed extensive risk assessments and sent a

    team of police and security officials to Salt Lake City to observe and

    be briefed by the security team at the Olympic Games. The City of

    Houston developed and led an unprecedented security pact with the

    other bid cities that will allow for shared resources for the ultimate

    US host city.

    Houston's compact venue structure reflects security concerns as much

    as convenience, and the bid incorporates "best practices" yielded by

    having hosted many large sporting events, from the Super Bowl to the

    NCAA Final Four to the world's largest rodeo, as well as high-security

    meetings like the Republican National Convention and the G-7 summit.

    Houston is working closely with federal and state agencies on security

    arrangements for the 2004 Super Bowl and 2004 Major League Baseball

    All-Star Game.

    -- Olympic Family. Houston is committed above all to the Olympic Family

    -- the athletes, the coaches, the officials, the family's of athletes,

    the media and others that ensure the Olympic Games occur. In addition

    to natural Texas charm and hospitality, the city has instituted

    several programs to ensure the experience and successful performance

    of these individuals at the 2012 Games, including generous ticket

    policies for families of athletes, paid travel for Olympians,

    Paralympians and team officials, and a state-of-the-art and

    conveniently located media center, among other programs.

    "Our revised proposal demonstrates how committed we are to bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Houston," said Bandy. "Like everything in Texas, we will do it big, we will do it right and we will do it successfully."

    Contact: John Gans: 212-445-8336