Possible 2026 Winter Bid From Anchorage

Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan has announced that he is looking for volunteers to form an exploratory committee to look into a possible bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games. The Anchorage Daily news reports Sullivan said communities across the state would help host the Games.

About 30 years ago there were attempts to bring the 1992 and 1994 Games to Alaska. Alaska lost out to Albertville France and Lillehammer Norway. But this time Sullivan says things are different.

He said, “I’d like to think we’ve become a better city, in virtually every category, since that time”.

Sullivan said Anchorage has grown by about 100,000 people since then. It also holds more hotel rooms and other amenities for visitors and features better athletic facilities, he said. And Alaska’s geographical location and time zone for TV broadcasts are also major selling points.

Former Mayor Rick Mystrom, who chaired the city’s Olympic organizing committee, said boosters in Reno Nevada, with winter-sports-friendly Lake Tahoe nearby in California, have already expressed interest. So has Salt Lake City, Denver and Lake Placid could throw their names in the hat too. “We’ve beaten those cities before” he said.

With the “reservoir of good will” built up with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the previous bid, Mystrom things Anchorage would have a good shot at getting the Games in 13 years.

He said the television revenue Anchorage might take in would likely, by itself, cover the city’s costs.

Sullivan said, “the goal is that you do not have to spend a significant amount of public money, between the support of the (U.S.) Olympic Committee, the International Committee, the television revenue and all the other ways you can raise money”.

The newspaper reports that in the coming weeks the mayor’s staff will be compiling a list of potential members for the exploratory committee, which Sullivan said will be a combination of former committee members and fresh faces.

He said, “it’s time, certainly, for a new generation to carry the torch and be the lead on this new effort”.