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Weather draws attention to capital's twin sports bids.

After a dry February, rain, snow and hail pounded this capital city and the rest of Northern California Monday.

There were mixed feelings around here about the weather event.

Observers say it could be a curse or a blessing for the region's twin sports initiatives unveiled this week that make sports fans, including Filipino Americans giddy with delight.

The storm ended Sacramento's month-plus dry spell and opened the door for more precipitation that could dump up to four feet of new snow on the Sierra Nevada later this week.

A freak thunderstorm that made its presence felt in the early afternoon pelted many areas, including downtown with marble-size hail that prompted many to think it was snow.

But the Weather Service said it was indeed slushy ice that accumulated and stuck on the ground to blanket the city in white.

Another storm from the Pacific Northwest arrived on Wednesday-with a fresh dose of the white stuff in the Sierras-including Squaw Valley-the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

Amid the proliferation of snow, a group of Squaw Valley businessmen is pushing for the return of the Winter Olympics to the Lake Tahoe area after 60 years.

Ski resort executive Andy Wirth says an exploratory committee he chairs has funded several feasibility studies to identify possible Olympic venues and what it would take to provide the necessary infrastructure to host the winter games in 2030.

The bid would be a joint effort between California and Nevada and will depend on Sacramento and the Reno-Tahoe area as gateways and hosts to visitors.

Denver, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah, the 2002 Winter Games host are also planning to bid for the 2030 Games.

Meanwhile, in the lowlands, the Sacramento Kings, the NBA team once coveted for minority ownership by Filipino telecom tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan has submitted its bid to host either the league's 2022 or 2023 All Star Game.

Vivek Ranadive, the billionaire Kings owner who came from India many years back with $50 in his pocket, sounded enthusiastic before assembled media at the new Golden 1 Center Arena downtown last week.

He said hosting the showcase game will put 'an exclamation point to the fans' love affair with the Kings.'

'I believe that in the not too distant future Sacramento will host the greatest All Star event ever put on,' Ranadive said. 'It will not only be a celebration, it will be Sacramento's coming out party.'

The All Star is usually held in February at the midpoint of the NBA season. Historically February is wintry in the capital region, with a few exceptions like this year.

A dry February in the future will augur well for Sacramento and its desire to host the All Star celebrations.

But the weather is small potatoes compared to the capital's thorny issue in hosting mega events-the lack of hotel rooms for visitors.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Mar 3, 2018
Words:554
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