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Houston won't sweat weather
Organizer says city's heat and humidity, loss of Enron support, won't deter bid.
February 22, 2002: 5:22 p.m. ET
By Staff Writer Chris Isidore

graphic NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Houston's heat and humidity is enough to keep many locals inside during July and August, and keep most tourists looking for other destinations during that time.

But organizers of the city's effort to land the 2012 Olympics insist their bid won't be disadvantaged by the weather.

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"Perception-wise, yes, it may be an issue," said Susan Bandy, president of the Houston 2012 Foundation. But if you look at weather patterns, we're about the same as (Washington) D.C., and not much hotter from New York. The difference is we've figured out it's hot in the summer -- all of our events will be inside air conditioned venues."

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Houston's new Reliant Stadium, on the bottom of the picture, and the existing Reliant Dome, in the center, along with the Reliant Center now under construction, gives the city three venues next to one another for the proposed 2012 games.
To make such a bid took a change in track and field regulations that allowed competitions that formerly had to be held outside to be held inside and still qualify for world record status. Bandy said the fact that the Houston facilities such as the Reliant Dome (formerly the known as the Astrodome), and the expansion football team's new Reliant Field will have the same dimensions for track and field as a traditional outdoor facility is what allowed the change in rules.

"We think climate-controlled track and field is the wave of the future," Bandy said.

Houston has about 90 percent of its sports venues already completed, and the close proximity of Reliant Field and the Astrodome next to one another would allow the opening and ceremonies to use both facilities, as athletes parade through one on the way to the other. The additional fans would allow organizers to charge less per ticket than the $885 face value in Salt Lake City.

Bandy's $4.5 million budget through this November has been supported by both the city and private corporations.

One of the corporate sponsors is Enron Corp., the city's now infamous bankrupt energy trader.

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"Enron was the biggest philanthropic organization in the city of Houston," Bandy said. "It's a hole not just for us but for performing arts and every other organization."

But Bandy insists that there's plenty of financial support left in the city to cover an estimated $10 million-to-$15 million it will need if it is selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee to be the U.S. city that goes to International Olympic Committee for final approval.

"We had 11 gold partners on the committee. They were just one," she said of Enron. "We're also the only city with city funding. We consider that very important in terms of support." graphic





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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
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