Salt Lake City Sets Sights On '30 Winter Games; Denver Forms Feasibility Committee
The committee studying whether Salt Lake City should host the Winter Olympics "again is leaning toward" a bid for the '30 Games, according to a front-page piece by Annie Knox of the DESERET NEWS. Fraser Bullock, one of three committee chairs for the Olympic Exploratory Committee, said, "We're targeting 2030. That's our focus. That's our objective." Bullock added that the committee of elected leaders, sports execs and others "still is hammering out the budget" to possibly host the Games, but early estimates hover above $1.5B. Denver and Reno-Tahoe also have said that they are "interested in hosting" the Games in '26 or '30. Calgary; Sion, Switzerland; and Sapporo, Japan; also are "seen as contenders" for '26. The Utah group is not ruling out a potential '26 bid, though Bullock said that the "field of cities who have expressed interest in that job is crowded." Additionally, L.A. has "rights to sponsorship deals" ahead of the '28 Games, which makes it "more difficult for Salt Lake to pursue sponsors before then." The USOC has until March 31 to "announce an American candidate" (DESERET NEWS, 12/19). Bullock noted that Utah’s team "already has subcommittees looking at the numerous functions of putting on a Games," led by people who were involved in preparations for the '02 Salt Lake City Games and, in some cases, are "still actively providing consulting to organizing committees in upcoming Olympic cities." Venue subcommittee Chair Colin Hilton added that there "won’t be many questions about where to hold events." He said that every site involved in the '02 Games "wants to be part of the next Olympics" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 12/19).
FURTHER LOOK: In Denver, Danika Worthington noted Mayor Michael Hancock has "convened a statewide committee of influential leaders to explore the feasibility of hosting" the Games in either '26 or '30. The 36-member committee is "charged with assessing" whether the city can fund the Games through private dollars, and with "considering environmental impacts, community support, venue requirements, protocol, process and timing of a bid for the games." The panel is a "powerful mix of politicos, including Hancock, Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks, and chieftains of major companies and large employers." Among the "many notable people on the committee" are former NFLer Peyton Manning and former NBAer Chauncey Billups, a Denver native (DENVER POST, 12/16).