Despite two consecutive failed bids for the Summer Olympic Games, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has taken the first step to bidding again, this time for the 2024 installment. New York bid for the 2012 Games while Chicago sought the 2016 Games – both finishing fourth after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) cast their ballots.
Now with renewed leadership and a more amicable revenue-sharing agreement, the USOC will be in better position to lodge a campaign for the Games, and it is widely believed that a window-of-opportunity exists for the Games to return to North America.
On Tuesday, USOC Chief Scott Blackmun sent a letter to the mayors of “the top 35 cities”, according to information released by a spokeperson for the organization. Among them are past Olympic hosts, past bidders and other interesting choices including Tulsa Oklahoma, Portland Oregon, Rochester New York and Las Vegas.
In the letter, Blackmun indicates that the USOC is considering a bid, but makes no commitments.
Currently Istanbul, Madrid and Spain are in the final stages of their campaigns for the 2020 Olympics and the IOC will not formally open the competition for the 2024 Games until 2015. But should there be multiple cities interested in pursuing the 2024 Games, the USOC will likely run a domestic selection process that could take several months.
The 2024 host city will be elected by the IOC in 2017 from among all international cities chosen as candidates.
Blackmun’s letter was sent to the mayors of the following 35 cities: Phoenix, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Denver, Washington D.C., Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Las Vegas, New York, Rochester New York, Charlotte, Columbus, Tulsa, Portland Oregon, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Nashville & Davidson County, Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Seattle.
The full text of the letter follows:
February 19, 2013
Dear Mayor XXX,
As you may know, the United States Olympic Committee is currently considering a bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. As we explore this exciting possibility, we are actively seeking to gauge the interest of U.S. cities that may have the ability to host an event with the scope and scale of the Olympic Games. To that end, we are reaching out to cities that have previously expressed an interest in bidding as well as the cities in the largest 25 U.S. markets.
As you saw in London, the Olympic and Paralympic Games bring people together in a magnificent celebration of sport and the human spirit, unifying disparate cultures and beliefs around a shared set of values. For 29 magical days, differences are forgotten and human achievement becomes the theme. Win or lose, joy springs from the effort to be the very best we can be, and sport makes the world a better place. Now more than ever, we need to use the power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to encourage our youth to be active and engaged in sport.
Based on expected International Olympic Committee deadlines, we have 2+ years to decide whether we want to submit a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. We would like to begin having discussions with interested cities about possible bid themes as well as the infrastructure, financial resources and other assets that are required to host the Games. Our objective in this process is to identify a partner city that can work with us to present a compelling bid to the IOC and that has the right alignment of political, business and community leadership. We are seeking a partner that understands the value of the Olympic Games and the legacy that can be created not only for their community, but for our country.
The staging of the Games is an extraordinary undertaking for any city, with operating budgets in excess of $3 billion, not including costs associated with venue construction and other infrastructure. Among the many requirements are:
• 45,000 hotel rooms.
• An Olympic Village that sleeps 16,500 and has a 5000-person dining hall.
• Operations space for over 15,000 media and broadcasters.
• An international airport that can handle thousands of international travelers per day.
• Public transportation service to venues.
• Roadway closures to allow exclusive use for Games-related transportation.
• A workforce of up to 200,000.
While the Games require a formidable commitment, they also provide an unparalleled opportunity for a city to evolve and grow. The Games have had a transformative impact on a number of host cities, including Barcelona, Beijing and London. They enable the creation and implementation of a new vision and provide a powerful rallying point for progress.
As you likely know, the U.S. submitted bids to host the 2012 (New York) and 2016 (Chicago) Olympic Games. Both New York and Chicago had to participate in a domestic bid process that cost upwards of $10 million before they were designated by the USOC as an IOC Applicant City. Moving forward, we are going to select our Applicant City through a thoughtful but more efficient process. The first step in that process is to have discussions with interested cities. If you have an interest in learning more about a 2024 Olympic and Paralympic bid, please have an authorized representative contact Chris Sullivan, USOC Chief of Bids and Protocol, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Chris can supply additional information and will begin an effort to assess the viability of a bid from XXX. Your representative does not necessarily need to be affiliated with your city government.
Whether or not we decide to submit a 2024 bid, we are grateful for your support of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Please feel free to call me at any time.
Scott A. Blackmun
Chief Executive Officer