SBD/December 4, 2013/Olympics

USOC Declares Intention To Bid For '24 Olympics If Criteria Fall Into Place

Probst says a lot of things still need to fall into place for the U.S. to bid
USOC Chair Larry Probst yesterday gave "the strongest indication yet" that the U.S. will put forth a bid city for the '24 Summer Olympics, according to Eddie Pells of the AP. Probst said after the USOC BOD meeting, "It is our intention to bid. ... A lot of things have to fall into place. But we continue to be focused on that opportunity." Pells notes a small group from the USOC "has been visiting potential host cities," including Boston, Dallas, L.A., Philadelphia, San Diego, S.F. and DC. USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said that the list of cities "will be slowly and quietly culled next year, with the process speeding up" after the Sochi Games. Pells notes the USOC "must commit to a bid" by the end of next year. The most recent U.S. cities to put forth bids -- Chicago and N.Y. -- have been "humbled in the selection process, each finishing fourth" (AP, 12/4). IOC President Thomas Bach has said that he "would like to see an American bid." Probst, who was recently elected to the IOC, said, "I've heard a lot of encouragement from numerous IOC members." In L.A., David Wharton noted the USOC in the past has "held a formal -- and expensive -- selection process, with cities spending as much as" $10M during the domestic phase. But U.S. officials are "trying to keep things streamlined and cheaper" this time around (LATIMES.com, 12/3).

CALIFORNIA LOVE: In San Diego, Mark Zeigler reports the San Diego County Board of Supervisors yesterday "passed a resolution 5-0 that supports 'in principle' the region's efforts to pursue" the '24 Olympics. However, board Chair Greg Cox said landing the Games is "probably a long shot." Zeigler notes the resolution "comes with no financial commitment." For the past six months, a San Diego Olympic exploratory committee headed by local businessman Vincent Mudd "has been quietly working with the USOC on a potential 2024 bid, along with seven or eight other U.S. cities." Mudd last month said, "We have to do this in an unbelievably quiet way. We are an exploratory committee. We can only explore the feasibility of it and apply our knowledge to it and see if it’s doable." Zeigler notes Mudd's group is "currently funding itself." Mudd said that the group would seek $2.8M for operating costs in '14, "but only if San Diego is short-listed by the USOC" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/4).

ALL THINGS RECONSIDERED: In Toronto, Steve Buffery reports former IOC member and former Toronto Olympic Council President Paul Henderson believes a possible Toronto bid for the '24 Olympics "should be switched" to '28. Henderson yesterday said, "The way IOC does it, the games go to Europe, the Americas and then somewhere else. And what most people don't realize is that the IOC considers North and South America the same continent. Now there are always funny things once in a while that change that, but normally that’s the thought process. If the IOC had gone to Istanbul or Madrid instead of Tokyo (for 2020), then I think Toronto would have a much better chance for 2024. Now I predict 2024 will go to Europe" (TORONTO SUN, 12/4).
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