Salt Lake City is 1st in US to seek 2030 Winter Olympic bid

Published on February 07, 2018 at 03:10PM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Salt Lake City on Wednesday became the first U.S. city to announce its intentions to bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics as this year’s games get ready to kick off in South Korea.

The city’s Olympic exploratory committee concluded that Utah could host the Winter Games again without losing money thanks to existing venues and the budget expertise of a team that put on the 2002 Olympics.

The committee’s 140-page report, which includes a budget estimate of $1.35 billion, will be sent to the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee, said Fraser Bullock, Utah panel co-chairman. Bullock will be in Pyeongchang this month and plans to meet with officials.

Utah’s bid would focus on Salt Lake City being a reliable, experienced Olympic city that could host at a lower cost than other places, which state officials believe aligns with the IOC’s “Agenda 2020” blueprint for future Olympics. It calls for fewer billion-dollar projects and more venues already in place.

Salt Lake City could face competition from Denver and Reno, Nevada, which are considering bids. Internationally, cities weighing the move include Sion, Switzerland; Calgary, Canada; Stockholm, Sweden; and Sapporo, Japan.

Salt Lake City, which prefers the 2030 Winter Games but is open to 2026, has a “reasonable” chance because of its history of hosting alpine events and the success of the 2002 Olympics, but the IOC would prefer a European city for at least one of those slots, according to Chicago-based sports-finance consultant Marc Ganis.