SBD/December 21, 2012/Olympics

USOC Will Meet Next Year With Cities Interested In Bidding For Future Olympics

The USOC next year will begin meeting with cities interested in bidding on the '24 Summer or '26 Winter Games, but it will not be putting forward a bid city any time soon. USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said that the informal meetings will allow the USOC to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of interested cities and help the organization make a decision about whether it should bid for a Summer Games, a Winter Games or both. Blackmun said, “I don’t know when we’ll make a decision as to whether when we’ll submit a bid or not.” USOC Chair Larry Probst added, “We want to put forward a bid that we think we have a high probability of winning. That will continue to be a guiding principle.” The comments came after a USOC BOD meeting in California Thursday where the organization received feedback from a working group assigned to evaluate the pros and cons of bidding for the '24 or '26 Olympics. The working group’s evaluation showed that the revenue benefit of hosting a Summer Games or a Winter Games is roughly equal, but the costs of hosting a Winter Games is far less, Blackmun said. The next step in the process is gathering information on cities that would want to bid on the Games. Blackmun said he does not expect the USOC to announce whether it will bid for the '24 or '26 Olympics next year. Probst said, “First and foremost we have to look at ourselves and the quality of the bid we can put forward and how it could benefit the Olympic movement, but of course we’ll take into consideration the competition (from other cities worldwide) whether it be ’24 or ’26.” In addition to meeting with cities, the USOC will be evaluating how a domestic bid process will work. Blackmun said the organization wants to hold a far more informal process than it held last time when cities like Chicago and L.A. spent more than $10M in a competition to be selected as the USOC’s bid city. Blackmun: “We want to have a more cost effective domestic process this time around than we have had in the past. We’re going to try and make this a little more informal.”

FOUR MORE YEARS: Probst Thursday was elected to serve another four-year term as USOC Chair. The term would have been his last but a change in by-laws adopted following the Tagliabue Report in '10 means he can serve again. Probst: “What I said to the board was it’s been a privilege to chair the organization the last four years. I think we’ve made some good progress. Scott and I work really well as a team and the two of us are committed to taking this organization to new levels of excellence.” In addition to re-electing Probst, the board named USSA President & CEO Bill Marolt and Whitney Ping, a Stanford alum and member of the '04 Olympic table tennis team, to the board. They replace Braves Exec VP/Business Operations Mike Plant former Olympic gymnast Jair Lynch, respectively.

AHEAD OF BUDGET FOR THE YEAR: The USOC ended the year $10-11M ahead of budget. The extra money was primarily a result of controlling costs during the '12 London Games.
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