Sunday, August 07, 2005

When Cities Compete

2006 will be a good year for European cities in the international events department. From 10 to 26 February, Turin will host the Winter Olympics. 84 medals in 7 sports will be distributed to about 2,500 competitors who will be kept in line by about 2,500 officials. About 10,000 journalists will provide critical support to the local wine industry. 2006 also sees the Football World Cup come to Germany. From 9 June to 9 July, national soccer teams from around the world will compete in 64 matches in 12 German cities from Hamburg to Munich. Preparations are already underway to accommodate the 3.2 million expected ticket holders. Berlin has announced the plans for the ‘Artemis Facility’, a convenient 25 minute walk from the stadium. With a whirlpool, sauna, cinema, buffet restaurant and a staff of 100 hookers, this is planned to be the biggest house of horizontal recreation in the world. Not to be outdone, the City of Dortmund is planning to install ‘drive-in sex garages’, giving new meaning to an oil change and a lube job. Unfortunately the German city of Köln (Cologne) will have to postpone installing the mirrors on the ceilings in the visitors’ centre for a while.

From 11 to 15 August 2005, Köln is hosting XX World Youth Day. It might be thought that the arrival of 800,000 visitors between the ages of 16 and 30 would provide a good trial run for the city’s plans to service the Football Fans in Raincoats market segment. However the arrival of 600 Roman Catholic bishops, an army of priests and nuns, and the Pope, will tend to put a damper on Cologne’s carnal commerce. For a week there will be hundreds of religious services and hours of contemplation and prayer. It is expected that the 4,000 journalists covering this event will maintain a contemplative attitude. It’s just as easy to get pissed on German white as it is on Italian red.

Competition to become the host city for a major international event is fierce. Seven cities have already signed up as potential hosts for the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Football World Cup is rotated around the continents and South Africa defeated such African countries as Nigeria and Egypt after a spirited competition for the 2010 event. (Sports journalists universally approved the decision as South Africa produces a very nice merlot.) The big question now is which city will get to host the XXI World Youth Day in 2008. Sydney, Australia is already ahead in the running thanks to Mel Gibson. In a plan to strengthen their bid, Gibson has been asked to recreate the Passion of the Christ as a part of the event. There’s nothing like a live crucifixion to jazz up a bid for an international event. Luckily for them, it’s also pretty clear to the reporters on the religion beat that Oz produces a quite decent cabernet sauvignon.

Although no US city has been considered for the 2014 Winter Olympics or the 2010 World Cup, there’s still a chance for XXI World Youth Day. Las Vegas would be perfect. For the clergy, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Beating the house is a certified miracle. The Bellagio could offer to comp the Pope. The hookers are already there and the reporters can get back to drinking gin. All Vegas has to do is figure out how to compete with Mel Gibson.

Of course, putting on a tableau of the money changers being driven out of the temple is a problem, but Caesar’s Palace could do one hell of a recreation of the lions and Christians.


Blogger Abby Taylor said...

The Pope should probably stay at the Venetian.

9:03 AM  

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