SBD/February 20, 2013/Olympics

USOC Gauging The Interest Of 35 Cities About Possibly Hosting '24 Summer Olympics

The USOC yesterday took the first step toward bidding for the '24 Summer Games by mailing a letter to 35 cities to gauge their interest in becoming a bid city. The letters went to cities ranging in size from Rochester and Tulsa to L.A. and N.Y. The USOC has two years to make a decision about whether or not it will bid for the '24 Games. The organization has said that it will not hold a formal domestic bidding process, but will select and put forward a city that it believes offers the best chance to win the Games. It may opt to forgo nominating a '24 host city and instead nominate a city to host the '26 Winter Games. The letter advised the cities that the cost of bidding could exceed $10M, take a multiyear commitment and the cost of hosting a Games could exceed $3B. It asked that interested cities contact USOC Chief of Bids & Protocol Chris Sullivan, who will provide information to assess a city’s viability as a host. The USOC highlighted some of the major requirements to host the Olympics such as providing 45,000 hotel rooms, developing an Olympic Village that accommodates 16,500 and has a 5,000-person dining hall and providing public transportation service to venues. In the letter, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun wrote, “Our objective in this process is to identify a partner city that can work with us to present a compelling bid to the IOC and that has the right alignment of political, business and community leadership” (Tripp Mickle, Staff Writer). USOC Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer Patrick Sandusky indicated that the organization "has sent out letters in the past but the goal this time was to streamline the process and make it less costly for cities to put together bid campaigns" (USA TODAY, 2/20).

POSSIBLE HOST CITIES FOR '24 GAMES
Atlanta Indianapolis Pittsburgh
Austin Jacksonville Portland
Baltimore Las Vegas Rochester
Boston L.A. Sacramento
Charlotte Memphis San Antonio
Chicago Miami San Diego
Columbus Minneapolis S.F.
Dallas Nashville San Jose
DC N.Y. Seattle
Denver Orlando St. Louis
Detroit Philadelphia Tulsa
Houston Phoenix  

TOO EARLY TO TELL: Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose Diaz said that the county "already has drawn up a resolution in support of exploring an Olympic bid." Diaz said, "We have a lot of the infrastructure and venues. We've hosted 10 Super Bowls. We would have to analyze what it would mean to citizens, taxpayers and business people. If the community isn't behind it 100 percent, don't go for it" (MIAMI HERALD, 2/20). Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said of receiving an invitation to bid, "It's way too early to say what we're going to do. But I think it's a testament to the work that we're doing, shining a spotlight on Baltimore as a sports city" (Baltimore SUN, 2/20). In Seattle, Nick Eaton wondered where the events would be held during a potential Seattle Games, as the region would "need to invest in dramatic improvements to existing stadiums and would need to spend millions -- if not billions -- on many new venues and buildings." Eaton: "And let's not even get started on transportation" (SEATTLEPI.com, 2/19).

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: Chicago was a finalist to land the '16 Summer Games before being eliminated on the first ballot, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Dir of Communications Sarah Hamilton said that the city "is not interested" in hosting the Olympics. Hamilton: "Our position remains the same -- we are not bidding" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 2/19).
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Olympics, USOC

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