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Olympic Committee considers relocation

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) ” The U.S. Olympic Committee, a fixture here for nearly three decades, is considering various proposals to relocate because of its aging, cramped facilities.

USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said Saturday that the committee’s needs include training space for athletes, news headquarters and administrative space for the various sports’ national governing bodies.

“We’re looking at options. No decisions have been made,” Seibel said. “We have not established a specific time line.”

Seibel and city officials confirmed that one of the proposals for upgrading the training center came from Colorado Springs. Seibel declined to discuss any other proposals.

City officials said Thursday that they have talked to the USOC for the past several months about helping it find new space are prepared to make a commitment.

“We want them to be here. We want them to stay,” Councilwoman Margaret Radford told The Gazette of Colorado Springs. “That’s why we’re focusing on what we can do to meet their needs.”

The USOC moved to Colorado Springs from New York City in 1978. Its 34-acre campus includes the committee’s headquarters, offices for national bodies overseeing different sports and an Olympic training center that draws athletes from across the country.

Business and civic leaders have offered financial incentives, free office space and other perks through the years to keep the USOC in Colorado Springs.

Mayor Lionel Rivera said he believes the committee has received offers from other cities in the past to relocate.

The USOC and at least 40 other sports organizations in the city generate at least $316 million in economic benefits and 4,800 jobs, said David Bamberger, a Colorado Springs economist.

In 2003, former Colorado Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic judo team, fought what he said was an attempt to move the USOC headquarters to another state. He held up a bill on USOC reforms until a compromise was reached to require approval from the full board to relocate.

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Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com/


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