Of course, even if funding is procured, the Olympics are not a sure thing by a long shot. There are still seven other U.S. localesLos Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Cincinnati, Tampa-Orlando, and Baltimore-Washingtonyearning to be selected as the U.S. candidate when the field is narrowed down in the fall of 2002. And whichever bid clears that hurdle will face a still more grueling competition in 2005, against international competitors like Toronto and Rio de Janeiro. There's already speculation that the IOC would prefer to avoid the scandals and logistic snafus that accompanied the Atlanta and Salt Lake City Games, with Salt Lake Olympic Committee president Mitt Romney predicting that his 2002 Winter Games would be "the last Games on American soil for a long, long time."
Even if the bid ultimately fails, though, Fisher is not sanguine about the threat of a West Side stadium. "We take this seriously," he says. "There are a lot of people who say it'll never happen for a lot of good reasons. But they said Disney would never come to Times Square. Who knew?"