Salt Lake City Olympics: Los Angeles Games pose a challenge for Utah’s 2030 bid


While Utah’s Olympic bidders are focused on securing the 2030 Winter Games, four years later might be more likely.

“There are other very good candidates,” said Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games during a public meeting of the board of directors on Thursday. “As we look at the dynamics of other cities compared to us, we recognize that back-to-back Games are tough.”

Besides Salt Lake City, host of the 2002 Winter Games, three other cities that have also hosted Olympics are competing for 2030 – Sapporo, Japan; Vancouver, Canada; and Barcelona, ​​Spain, and the mountainous region of the Pyrenees. Barcelona’s offer, however, seems to have stalled on the location of the venues.

With Los Angeles as the site of the 2028 Summer Games, Bullock, chief operating officer of the 2002 Games, told community, business and sport leaders on the committee’s broader strategic board that it would be difficult for the International Committee Olympic to choose another. American city for the Winter Games that will follow.

“Geopolitically, it’s difficult for the IOC to award back-to-back Games to the United States, for ’28 and for ’30. We know it’s difficult. But we also recognize that there are opportunities through Games back-to-back, through collaborations,” he said. “We continue to work on these issues and make our case.”

But the bidders are “cautious”, Bullock said, ensuring that any contracts put in place in anticipation of hosting would extend to the 2034 Winter Games as well as 2030. This includes commitments for more of 17,000 hotel rooms as well as ski slopes. resorts and other venues during the Games.

Concerns have already been raised about the impact of back-to-back U.S. Games on the value of domestic sponsorships for Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, an issue still being debated behind the scenes by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, which shares that revenue.

Utah has about six months to convince the IOC that the United States should host two Olympics in a row. The IOC’s executive committee plans to narrow the field to 2,030 candidates when it meets in early December according to a timetable made public last month that calls for ratification by the full IOC membership in May 2023.

Bullock said Thursday that more than one city could be chosen to enter hosting contract negotiations with the IOC in December under the new, less formal bidding process that allows multiple Games to be awarded at the same time.

There has been speculation that could happen with the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games, with Salt Lake City and Sapporo seen by some observers as the favorites. Candidate cities are currently evaluated by an IOC commission which will make recommendations to the organization’s management.

“We will have a pretty good idea of ​​the situation, really, in six months. So this is the most intense part of the application process. We were extremely well prepared. We did so much work ahead of time that we feel very comfortable with where we are today,” Bullock said during the group meeting at Vivint Arena and online.

He informed them that Utah had a “very, very strong bid proposition. We believe we have the best technical offering in the world, of any potential Winter Games. You all know the reasons. Everything is in place. People are in place. We have incredibly great support. So all of this bodes very well for us.

Following a closed-door meeting of the bid’s small board, Bullock also underscored the strength of Utah’s bid when asked during a virtual press conference for his comments on back-to-back Olympics in the United States.

“We just recognize that any country being awarded back-to-back Games is obviously difficult because the Games are seen as something they want to run,” he said, adding that there was also “a little strength there”. , because they have to go back to North America.

The last North American city to host an Olympic Games was Vancouver in 2010, and the last American Olympics were held in Salt Lake City in 2002.

“So, yes, there could be a challenge with the back-to-back summer-winter, but also an opportunity to get them back to North America,” Bullock said. “We are not encountering anything difficult per se. We’re just saying logically that it makes sense that they need to fix this.

Salt Lake City is “an excellent candidate for North America. We have a good chance for 2030 and we are working hard on it,” he said, later adding that “the IOC has been incredibly encouraging to us to apply and guide us all the way to 2030.”

He also said there was no mention of a double award, the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games.

“We haven’t heard anything about it. It’s totally up to the IOC and we’ll support whatever action they take,” Bullock said, noting there was precedent for this, when Los Angeles received the 2028 Summer Games at the same time as Paris was chosen to host the 2024 Games. Summer Games.

The vision for other Winter Games in Utah was discussed during the hour-long closed-door meeting, he said, something that is still being refined but will be “focused on our ability to expand winter sports not just here in Utah, but around the world.”

The $2.2 billion budget proposed by the 2030 Winter Games bid committee includes a legacy sports endowment of $300 million that would be used to fund state Olympic facilities, including jumps ski slopes and the Utah Olympic Park Sliding Hill, as well as the Utah Athletic Commission.

Bullock and the chair of the bid committee, four-time Olympian Catherine Raney Norman, will visit the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, later this month to sit down with IOC President Thomas Bach and discuss other officials after the cancellation of scheduled in-person meetings due to COVID-19.

A debriefing with organizers of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games that was to be held in Milan, Italy, later in June will now be held virtually, Bullock said. He, Raney Norman and a bid consultant had their trip to China to observe the Olympics last winter canceled, also because of COVID-19.

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