The International Olympic Committee (IOC) could narrow down candidates to host the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games by the end of this year and elect a winner in the summer of 2023 claimed United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) chair Susanne Lyons Monday.
Speaking during a conference call following the USOPC board of directors meeting held last week, Lyons outlined a clear path for the Salt Lake City 2030 Games bid following a period during the Beijing Games where she admitted there was “zero conversation.”
Lyons told GamesBids.com “Members of the IOC technical committee are coming to Utah to take a look at our technical plan, that’s actually happening late April.”
“Then we have a meeting on the books in June where [USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland], myself and members of our Utah-Salt Lake City Committee for the Games will travel to Switzerland and give them a more robust presentation on the meat and bones of what is part of the whole plan of the bid which is in very, very good shape.”
Plans for a bid team to travel to IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland were postponed late last year due to a rising wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, but during a virtual meeting IOC President Thomas Bach said he observed “great unity and enthusiasm” behind the project.
Salt Lake City is locked in a possible four-way battle to host the Games with Japan, Spain and Canada. Plans by Ukraine to submit a bid are suspended due to the Russian invasion.
Like Salt Lake City – all three are seeking to host their second Games. Sapporo was an early frontrunner in the race and the city hopes to reprise the 1972 Games and make up for the lack of fans at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games due to the pandemic. A Pyrenees-Barcelona project could make the Catalan capital only the second city to host a Summer and Winter edition of the Games, but it must endure a planned referendum before moving forward. Vancouver, the latest entry to the contest, could face a fall plebiscite should the vote get approved by city council at a meeting on Tuesday.
The IOC, under its new bidding rules approved in 2019, does not have a set timeline for the election of its hosts. The organization’s Future Host Commission will identify a suitable partner when one is found, get signoff from the Executive Board and then conduct due diligence before asking IOC membership for rubberstamp approval.
“We don’t expect any decision to be made by the IOC until the their general Session which will be next summer,” Lyons explained, referring to the IOC’s plans to hold its all-members meeting either May or June in Mumbai, India.
“We have quite a long runway,” she added.
“They don’t have a time urgency to get to this decision before the middle of next year.
“We would expect by the end of this year it should evolve to at least who the leading contenders are, and we certainly hope and expect that Salt Lake City will be among them.”
In the meantime the USOPC has been engaged in dialogue with Olympic and Paralympic Properties, the commercial joint venture between the Los Angeles 2028 and the USOPC to determine the possible impacts and opportunities of staging the already planned Summer Games in California and a Winter Games in Salt Lake City only 18 months apart.
Games organizers are typically given exclusive domestic marketing and sponsorship windows, and hosting both events will cause an overlap that could result in the sharing of revenue opportunities. The USOPC has previously indicated that it would consider hosting in 2034 if the 2030 edition was awarded elsewhere.
“One could say that there are actually some very interesting things you can do with the notion of a bundled package of two Games in the U.S. that we are offering to our commercial partners,” Lyons said.