The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) board voted at its quarterly meeting Thursday to move forward in exploring a possible bid for the Olympic Games, reports The Associated Press, although it didn’t commit to a possible bid.
The USOC will hold meetings with cities interesting in bidding for a future Olympics, and is promising to streamline the domestic selection process if it decides to bid for the 2024 or 2026 Games.
CEO Scott Blackmun said, “we’re just trying to get smarter and see which cities we might want to have serious discussions with. We’re going to view 2013 as more informational, if you will. We’ll be smarter at the end of the year than we are in the beginning. But we don’t expect to make substantive announcements in 2013”.
The 2024 bidding process doesn’t begin in earnest until 2015.
Blackmun said, “we definitely recognize that we want to have a more cost-effective process this time around that we’ve had in the past. It needs to be a little more informal, a little less expensive”.
USOC chairman Larry Probst added, “I think it’s important to have local, state and national support for a bid. We hope to position this as a national bid for the United States”.
Blackmun said he was willing to sit down with any city that was interested in hosting, and that over the next few months the board will put together a “process paper” that will describe a timetable and other details. But he didn’t guarantee a future bid.
He said, “we don’t know if we’re in a position to submit a bid until we know which city we’d submit”.
Los Angeles, Dallas and Tulsa are expected to express an interest in hosting the 2024 Games. The Associated Press reports New York, Chicago and San Francisco have either bid or expressed interest in bidding in the past, and Salt Lake City, Denver and Reno are among the cities that have talked about hosting a Winter Olympics.