Reporting from Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy – A new poll has revealed that an overwhelming majority of Utahns are solidly behind a bid to host the Olympic Winter Games again in Salt Lake City.
According to the poll commissioned by UtahPolicy.com and conducted by Dan Jones & Associates, 87 percent across the state “strongly” or “somewhat” support hosting the Games after they were successfully staged in 2002. Only 11 percent are opposed and 2 percent “don’t know.”
The poll, taken among 882 adults from January 3 to 15 has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent. The results demonstrate that support for the bid is strong regardless of gender, age, religion or political affiliation.
With nearly nine-of-ten respondents in favor of the Games, Utah support stands alone as the highest in the Western world.
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in December chose Salt Lake City over Denver as its choice for a “future Olympic bid” but the organization has yet to pinpoint a specific year. Currently a Italian Milan-Cortina bid and Swedish Stockholm-Åre project are campaigning for the 2026 Games with a decision expected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) June 24.
The next possible Games for the United States would be in 2030, with the IOC electing that winner in 2023. Projects from Sapporo, Barcelona and Lillehammer are already in early preparations for that campaign.
Salt Lake City remains a top consideration for the IOC because of the wealth of existing and maintained venues from the 2002 edition of the Games. While adhering to the IOC’s Agenda 2020 sustainability reforms, the Utah Capital could also still offer a compact footprint.
The current Italian and Swedish projects offer 80 percent existing venues, but at the cost of widespread regional plans. Currently in Cortina d’Ampezzo as part of a site inspection tour, an IOC Evaluation Commission team has traveled from Venice and will continue to visit several mountain venues on its way to Milan where the ice events will be held. Plans include multiple Olympic Villages.
Recent polls have indicated that over 80 percent in Italy support the bid while 55 percent in Sweden are behind Stockholm-Åre.
The United States will be hosting the Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2028 and recent indications are that the USOC may want to wait to host the next Winter Games in 2034 instead.