U.S. Out of 2020 Olympic Bid? Vegas says don’t bet on it

With the clock ticking towards a September 1st deadline to submit applications to host the 2020 Olympic Games, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is expected to announce its intention not to bid – possibly within the next couple of days. USOC CEO Scott Blackmun has long maintained that his organization will not bid until a revenue sharing agreement has been finalized with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – and to date, no deal has been reached.

Several United States cities have already expressed an interest in bidding for the 2020 Games including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Minneapolis and Tulsa – but at this late hour GamesBids.com has learned that a group from the Las Vegas, Nevada area is still aggressively pursuing this goal.

A source close to the project told GamesBids.com “a bid effort has been quietly mounted during the past nine months in Nevada under the title Vegas 2020.”

The intent is to privately fund the bid and propose venues across the surrounding Las Vegas area, with the main physical site in the City of Henderson.

USOC spokesperson Patrick Sandusky confirmed that the Las Vegas group has been in contact with his organization but “…we are not considering a 2020 bid at this point.”

But the Vegas group doesn’t seem concerned.

Citing the precedent where Moscow launched a bid for the 2012 Olympic Games before the Russian Olympic Committee backed it – Vegas 2020 organizers say they may move forward to meet the September 1st deadline with or without the USOC nod. If the USOC isn’t on board by September, they believe they’ll have until February 15, 2012 – the due date for the formal application – to convince the USOC to fully endorse the bid.

The IOC normally expects an applicant letter from the national Olympic committee so it is not certain whether they would entertain the application from a rogue bid.

The USOC already met an earlier deadline by filing preliminary documents confirming compliance with rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency and Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In July Sandusky said, “We submitted compliance papers as a matter of protocol. We did not submit a city name along with them. We just signed them as the NOC”.

That left the window ajar for Vegas 2020, or any other U.S. based bid.

To date Rome, Madrid, Tokyo and Istanbul have confirmed that they will bid for the 2020 Games. Doha, Qatar has indicated an interest to bid but has not yet finalized plans.