Detroit bid for 1968 Summer Olympics

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The bid launched by Detroit for the 1968 Summer Olympics was the city's 8th straight bid that was sent to nomination by the IOC between 1944 and 1968. However unlike those other 7, Detroit was successful in it's bidding and won the rights to host the 19th Olympiad, and became the 3rd city in the United States to host the Summer Olympics, following St. Louis in 1904, and Los Angeles in 1932.

Failed Nominations[edit | edit source]

Detroit seemingly became cursed to never host the Olympics after the city's 1964 Summer Olympics bid which finished in a very disappointing 3rd place behind runners-up Tokyo and winner Melbourne. The city had previously lost bids for 1944 (which didn't matter because it was eventually cancelled), 1948, 1952, 1956, and 1960. The main reasons why the city lost so many times were similar obstacles in the city's very poor homeless issue, the city's often criticized mafia influence which the IOC noted as "very dangerous for potential Olympians and the future of the city as a whole", and the lack of standing infrastructure which provided a very much lacking of places to do most Olympic sports, which most notably includes Football (Soccer in the United States) as the only standing stadium which hadn't been built in the biddings before came from Tiger Stadium, a less than 40,000 capacity stadium. The promises of Infrastructure done rapidly were not convincing enough to the IOC, which Detroit stubbornly pushed forward, without realizing their mistake time and time again.

The Rethink and Grand Success[edit | edit source]

After the failed bid in 1959, Detroit rethought their approach to why the city failed where the likes of Helsinki, London, Buenos Aires, Rome, and Melbourne, and found out the 3 major causes of why the city was failing to succeed so much in their bids were the issue and needed to solve them fast before the city's opportunity to host ran out. First off, the problem with the lack of proper housing was growing larger and larger every bid, so the city proposed to the local government to build apartments inside of the downtown, and make a mass effort to re-organize the city's suburbs, which were both accepted. Second of all, the Detroit mafia was growing at an unbelievable rate with the power becoming obviously bigger than the city government's power was. As a result, Detroit made strides to improve the city's safety by arresting mafia members to try to reduce their power, which worked wonders in keeping the city's streets way safer for travelling fans. Finally, the stadiums were few and far between inside of a potential Megacity inside of the United States. Detroit wanted to build a 50,000 seat stadium for local team Detroit City SC and another 45,000 seat stadium for another local side in the very controversial Dynamo Ford alongside a massive 75,000 seat stadium known as Olympic Lions Stadium to be built for the Olympics and future use for the local National Football League team Detroit Lions. These were all accepted and the new stadiums for the massive soccer rivals were built by the time 1963 came around, with the new Olympic Stadium proposed to be finished just in time for the 1968 Summer Games.

At the 60th IOC Session in Baden-Baden, West Germany, Detroit had smaller but tougher competition for hosting the Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Tokyo, and Lyon, but the city knew that this was potentially their last shot to host the Olympics as cities like Houston, Atlanta, Miami, and Dallas have caught up in population and even surpassed the motor city's population. With all of this in mind and even more infrastructure to benefit during and after the 1968 Summer Olympics, the city were slight underdogs to Mexico City, who had piled up a very convincing bid of their own and a very unique approach to how they would host the Olympics. After 2 very convincing votes in the eyes of the IOC, it came down to the cities that everyone was anticipating to make it there, Detroit and Mexico City. After a bid that was tied with the last vote about to be made by the representative from Yugoslavia, who had a very tense decision to make. He voted Detroit, which meant after 24 years of pushing for the bid are over, and now can finally get to work on the infrastructure they promised, which would change the fate of the city as a whole.

1968 Summer Olympics bidding results
City Country Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Detroit Flag of United States United States 20 27 28
Mexico City Flag of Mexico Mexico 16 20 27
Tokyo Flag of Japan Japan 14 14 -
Lyon Flag of France France 5 - -

External links[edit | edit source]