With excitement building for the 30th Summer Olympics, it might surprise you to know that the City of Detroit was the United States’ nomination to host the world’s premier quadrennial sporting event four times in a row from 1960 to 1972. Unfortunately for Detroit, Rome, Tokyo, Mexico City, and Munich emerged victorious over each of Detroit’s bids, and by 1976 attention had shifted to Los Angeles. What we are left with are some fantastic descriptions and renderings of the Detroit Olympics that never was.
Already in place were venues such as Cobo Arena, Tiger Stadium, Olympia Stadium, Brodhead Armory, the Light Guard Armory on 8 Mile Road, University of Detroit and Wayne State University athletic facilities, Lake St. Clair, Michigan State Fairgrounds Coliseum, Brennan Pools at Rouge Park, and the Bloomfield Open Hunt Club in Bloomfield Hills. But there would still have been much new construction required. The Olympic Village would have been built adjacent to the campus of Wayne State, while possibly a Shooting Range and Rowing & Canoeing Facility would have been added to Belle Isle. The State Fair Grounds would have seen the major additions of a Velodrome and Main Stadium, which had it been built would likely have prevented the Detroit Lions football team from ever moving out of the city in the 1970s.