Proposals from cities interested in serving as USA Basketball's new home are due today, and Philadelphia will be one of those cities putting up its hand.
Jessica Myers, who serves as director of Olympic opportunities as part of the local sports congress, said Tuesday that her group was "in the final stage of putting together the proposal."
The organization announced in October that it would explore the idea of taking its headquarters out of Colorado Springs, Colo., and moving it to a city where, according to the release, it can "establish a focal point for excellence in the sport of basketball and . . . promote its presence in the host community on a year-round basis."
A spokesman for Wasserman Media Group, of Raleigh, N.C., which is assisting in the evaluation of these proposals, said Tuesday that a request for proposals had been sent to more than 30 cities. They'll spend the holiday break weeding out the weaker candidates. A decision is expected by as early as next spring.
USA Basketball, one of 20 national governing bodies in Colorado Springs, is housed in a single building with a dozen or so employees and other tenants. City officials have a bigger problem than losing USA Basketball; the United States Olympic Committee has threatened to go if the city doesn't meet its request for, among other things, more downtown space.
While Myers wouldn't talk about specifics of the proposal, she was enthusiastic about the chance to bid and the potential payoff.
"It really does have the possibility to come here and I think change the region," she said. "One thing they emphasized throughout the bid was an involvement with the community and being engaged in the community on a youth level, which I think would be a huge asset for our region, too. It's not just this big entity coming in, they really want to do things [with the community]." *
- Paul Vigna