USOC Says They Will Protect Los Angeles’ Financial Interests And Not Bid For 2026 Winter Games

Reporting From PyeongChang, South Korea – United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Chair Larry Probst Friday said that there are no plans to pursue a U.S.-based Olympic Winter Games in 2026.

USOC Chair Larry Probst in PyeongChang (GamesBids Photo)

“It would make things extremely complicated from a financial standpoint with Los Angeles in 2028, hosting the Games,” Probst explained at a press conference for Team USA ahead of the PyeongChang Games.

A 2026 Games in the U.S. would force Los Angeles to split some of its anticipated sponsorship revenue during the run-up.

“We don’t currently have any plans to bid for 2026 and we will keep our options open for 2030.”

Earlier this week a 140-page exploratory report that examined an Olympic bid from Salt Lake City recommended that the state move forward with plans.  Buoyed by a new poll showing 83 per cent statewide support, Utah officials endorsed the bid.

They’re hoping the USOC decides to move forward and include Salt Lake City in a March 31 IOC application deadline.

“We need to be part of that process,” exploratory committee co-Chair Fraser Bullock told The Tribune. “For this exploratory committee, the goal remains 2030 — whether it’s through the 2026 process or the 2030 process.”

Salt Lake City Announces 2030 Olympic Winter Games Bid Target; But Ready To Step In For 2026

But when asked about an application next month, Probst couldn’t confirm the possibility.  There is wide speculation that the IOC could award both 2026 and 2030 Games at the same time – to 2026 applicants.  If that’s the case, a U.S. bid could be shut out of the process.

“If the IOC decides to go down that path, we are prepared to participate in discussions,” Probst said.

Los Angeles was awarded the 2028 Games last year as part of a double-allocation with Paris 2024.

Denver and Reno-Tahoe in the U.S. have also been investigating possible bids for 2026 and 2030.

Sion in Switzerland, Calgary in Canada, Sapporo in Japan and Stockholm in Sweden are part of the IOC’s bid Dialogue Stage.  The winning city will be elected September 2019 in Milan, Italy.

GamesBids.com is reporting from the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games this week.  Follow us @gamesbids on Twitter or on Facebook for updates

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-nominated journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil

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