Houston 2012 plans need
larger track and field stage
Olympics 2012 -- in Houston?
The Summer Olympic Games -- every four
years it's the center of the world's focus, and Houston wants it 3,970
days from now. Can the city handle it?
Well-thought are the plans for basketball,
volleyball, baseball, field hockey, yachting and equestrian events -- which
would be in existing or planned facilities -- and
for the Olympic Village, which would be
constructed in the UH-Texas Southern-Interstate 45 triangle.
Decent ideas are in place for flat-water
canoeing (the Texas City reservoir) and swimming and diving (a proposed
natatorium near Reliant Park).
UH is even included in some of the good
ideas, such as water polo in the future Wellness Center to be built at
University Drive and Calhoun Road, and practice
facilities on campus for soccer, baseball,
softball, volleyball, basketball, water polo, wrestling, fencing and weightlifting,
The modern pentathlon is proposed for UH,
but this is only a fair idea. Swimming, running and fencing are good for
the Yeoman Field House, the Carl Lewis track
and the Wellness Center, but something
about the riding events on the track and the shooting events inside the
field house strike me as wrong.
What has not truly been addressed is soccer,
track and field, and the opening and closing ceremonies.
On www.houston2012.or> -- the Web site
for Houston's Olympic bid -- there are plans for opening and closing ceremonies
to be held in Reliant Stadium and the
Astrodome (questionable at best), and
soccer at Rice, Texas University, Texas A&M and in San Antonio.
Austin? College Station? San Antonio? This
is Houston 2012; why are we going to send people three hours away to play
a soccer game?
Rice would be a good site -- except it's
turf. Why not Robertson Stadium? Plain and simple, it isn't big enough.
People are hanging off the edges of the stadium for
Mexican league games. We're talking about
putting the biggest soccer event behind the World Cup there? Simply not
For some reason, the site states plans
to hold beach volleyball in Reliant Stadium, though it would be a nearly
perfect site for soccer.
The proposed site for track and field is
the Dome. Huh? Olympic track and field is not meant to be indoors.
There is no place in the Houston area big
enough for Olympic track, and there is no way you'll be able to get the
city of Houston's taxpayers to build yet another
stadium with two already in the works.
Houston has what it takes to beat out all
the other proposed host cities, except possibly San Francisco and Dallas.
But with a large enough stage for the Games
unavailable in Houston, and plans for
a capable venue in the other cities, Houston, with all its ideas at hand,
will be left without hope for the 2012 Olympics come