DETROIT, MICHIGAN | Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 | 7:53 PM | 39 buildings and counting...

Detroit’s Olympic Bids

in History

on October 20th, 2009

Detroit Olympic Bids

Did you know that Detroit has submitted multiple bids to host the Summer Olympics?

They’ve actually submitted 7 bids in all.  They bid in 1944 (which was canceled due to the war) and then again in every year from 1952 thru 1972.  Many consider their bid for the 1968 Olympics their best chance at landing the event (since a local business man, Doug Roby, was on the committee) , but lost to Mexico City by a margin of 16 votes.  The city’s population had already started it’s decline which continues to this day.  Detroit’s bid for the 1972 Olympics was it’s last.

The Detroit Olympic Committee put together a film called Detroit City on the Move that was presented to the IOC in an attempt to secure the 1968 Olympics.

The film was released in 1965 and is  just over 18 minutes long.

There are a couple narrative gaffs.  My favorites are “ugliness, poverty, and sickness of slums has been condemned and cleared…” referring to new hospital construction in Mid-Town and Detroit’s “outstanding record in community relations…”.  Ironic isn’t it.

Once you get past the 1960’s era filming, narration, and music there are some great period shots of Detroit.  Many of Detroit’s landmarks are currently under construction and there are many views of  the automotive industry at it’s height.  The end has a nice aerial from the River showing a riverfront prior to Hart Plaza and the Renaissance Center.

I haven’t seen any images or renderings of proposed Olympic facilities or planning maps.  There are a couple renderings floating around the web of a stadium and swimming pool, but I can’t confirm if they were part of Detroit’s proposal.

I do plan on visiting the Benson Ford Research Center to view their copy of the Detroit Olympic Committee’s invitation to the IOC.  If anyone has any renderings or plans they’d like to share please let me know.