A delegation from the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games and United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee will travel in November to meet with the International Olympic Committee and talk over Salt Lake City’s bid to host the Olympic Winter Games in either 2030 or 2034.
A small delegation will head to Lausanne on the week of November 29 for two days of meetings with the IOC. Salt Lake is one of five markets that have declared interest in bidding for a future Winter Games along with the Ukraine; Sapporo, Japan; Barcelona, Spain; and Vancouver, which is seen by Olympic observers as the top competition.
SLC Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Fraser Bullock said the group is in contact on a near-daily basis with the USOPC ahead of the trip to Switzerland while also knowing that both the USOPC and IOC have to prepare for the upcoming 2022 Games in Beijing.
“We think our particular case is very strong,” Bullock said, adding the primary focus of the trip will be engaging with the IOC and making sure there is a direct line of communication over time as the SLC committee prepares its formal bid documents.
Most of the questions Tuesday focused on whether Salt Lake will seek either the 2030 or 2034 Games. The main concern around a 2030 bid is having only two years of clear sponsorship landscape run-in to the Games because of 2028 being in Los Angeles; Bullock said they have had direct talks with LA28 and have explored with the USOPC on how potentially to collaborate.
But, as Bullock said, “we have to be very respectful with their Games” and mindful of the rarity that would be having the same country host back-to-back Olympics. No country has done so since World War II; the last country to do it was Germany in 1936 and before then, the 1932 Winter Games were in Lake Placid, New York, before the Summer Games were in Los Angeles.
Hosting in 2034 would potentially require increased costs in making sure the scheduled venues remain online and operational. It could, however, make for a longer run-in commercially with sponsors; the IOC gets most of its revenue from its broadcast deal with NBC, which expires in 2032, making the 2034 Games potentially a big-money TV and streaming reward.
All venues from 2002 remain in active use throughout the Salt Lake City region and work is ongoing to get them all under contract to be part of a future Games; Bullock said even with new events in the Games program that were not around in 2002, they can be fit into the existing venues. The committee also has commitments for 3,000 hotel rooms and is looking to have guarantees on another 21,000 rooms by the end of November that would be put aside for sponsors, broadcasters, volunteers and the Olympic family.
“We’re ready, I think you can see by the presentation provided,” said Committee Chair Catherine Raney-Norman. “We’re working extremely hard behind the scenes so that when that time comes, we can move forward.”