BATTLE IN BADEN-BADEN
For the eighth time in 27 years Detroit goes before the International Olympic Committee next month with an invitation to hold the 1968 summer Games where, of a surety, there will be no lack of motor transportation for athletes and officials. This may be Detroit's best chance yet; for the first time the city has all its big wheels of government and industry backing the effort.
In other years Detroit has relied on the soft sell, but in 1963 it is spending close to $250,000 on such items as movie films and personal pitches to be made before the IOC gathering at Baden-Baden, Germany. Both Governor George Romney and Mayor Jerome Cavanagh plan to make the trip, along with two dozen or so of the city's biggest business names. Then, too, Dwight D. Eisenhower has sent a personal letter, backing Detroit, to each of the 60-odd IOC members. Ike signed the letters on a train en route from Chicago to Gettysburg, and a Detroit committeeman had the U.S. Post Office Department open its Gettysburg branch on July 4 so that each letter would bear the patriotic postmark. A bit of a collector's item, that.
But the selling job will be difficult. Each of the other three candidates—Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Lyon, France—has better physical facilities. All have stadiums, for instance, and Detroit has none available. Lyon's stadium is small but expandable. On the other hand, Michigan has approved a $35 million bond issue to build a 100,000-seat stadium in Detroit, though construction cannot start until Detroit is awarded the Games. And Buenos Aires concedes that, for economic and political reasons, its bid is a mere token offer. Mexico City is bearing down hard, but its altitude (7,800 feet) has a reputation for wearing out athletes. Lyon, sentimental favorite of Europeans, has few hotels, no jet airport and is 300 miles by train from Paris.
Detroit has an excellent case but will get precious little help from the three U.S. members of the IOC. IOC President Avery Brundage of Chicago has plumped for a combined East-West German sponsorship in Berlin and has, on the other hand, said he thought Lyon would be just fine, too. John Jewett Garland of Los Angeles has tried unsuccessfully for years to take the U.S. bid away from Detroit. Douglas F. Roby of Detroit, though he will certainly vote for his city, holds himself above partisan politics and has refused to campaign for his home team.
It's a tough prospect, Detroit, but so was the four-minute mile.
OLD AL WOULD LOVE THIS
A federal grand jury has indicted 15 men as on-track bookies at Chicago's Sportsman's Park, where, it would appear, truly serious bettors prefer to gamble with bookies rather than with pari-mutuel machines. Something to do with better odds, no doubt.
For Chicago this was but a minor scandal, though there were the usual announcements of investigation accompanied by denunciation. There was a fine pretense of furor and, while it was going on, sheriff's police picked up five more suspects in a bookie raid. The place: the office of the clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court.
GOLF WITHOUT SUNBURN