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Volume 25 No. 214
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USOC Chooses Salt Lake City For Right To Bid For '30 Games

Salt Lake City has numerous venues still in place -- some of them upgraded -- from the '02 Games

The USOC "chose Salt Lake City to bid for a future Olympic Winter Games" after "months of deliberation and years of angling by city boosters, politicians and 2002 experts," according to Christopher Kamrani of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. The USOC "favored Salt Lake City" over fellow finalist Denver for the bid, which "specified 2030 as a potential target." The IOC "won't award" the '30 bid until the summer of '23. The USOC "doesn't want to target" the '26 Games, which the IOC will award this summer, as not to "steal the thunder -- and the sponsorship dollars" from L.A. for the '28 Games. The Olympic Exploratory Committee has "vowed that no public funding or taxpayer money will be needed during this bid process." It will be "entirely privately funded, including the IOC bid process." The budget anticipated for a '30 Games is $1.4B in today's dollars, probably $1.7B "by the time the cauldron is lit" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 12/15). Other cities "currently in the mix" to host the '30 Games include Sapporo, Japan, and Almaty, Kazakhstan (DESERET NEWS, 12/15). With venues still in place -- some of them upgraded -- from the '02 Games, Salt Lake City said that it can "host again at a lower cost than other candidates, which aligns" with the IOC's "new blueprint for the Games" (AP, 12/14).

READY FOR ROUND TWO: A SALT LAKE TRIBUNE editorial stated that almost 17 years later, hosting the '02 Games "continues to pay dividends" for the city. Salt Lake City "carved out a niche as [a] winter sports center, with several companies relocating to the state." Potentially hosting the '30 Games "may just be a little easier" than '02 because "this time around we are seasoned pros." The city's bid has a "massive advantage because we have maintained our ice rinks, ski jumps and sled runs, using them for Olympic-level events." Hosting an Olympics is "not without risk, but there is no potential host city that will stand on better financial footing" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 12/16).