Salt Lake City Olympic bid delegation set to visit IOC headquarters in November

The Salt Lake City Olympic bid committee has planned to send a small delegation to International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in November to make its case for hosting the Winter Games in 2030 or 2034.

Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah hosted venues for Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games (Wikipedia)

Following a Governing Board meeting for The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games (SLC-UCG) Tuesday, President and CEO Fraser Bullock said bid Chair Catherine Raney Norman and a small delegation from the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) will accompany him to Lausanne, Switzerland for two days the week of November 29 to discuss the United States’ proposal to host its first Winter Games since the Utah capital last staged the event in 2002.

Bullock downplayed the planned meeting, an important opportunity in the IOC’s new dialogue-based bid process, because of the timing.

“This visit with the IOC is fabulous but I recognize that it is just a step in the process, that their main focus is Beijing [2022 Winter Olympics], and that activity will pick up post Beijing,” he told when asked following the meeting.

Salt Lake City is among four other regions that have expressed interest in hosting a future Winter Games including Sapporo in Japan, Pyrenees-Barcelona in Spain, Vancouver in Canada and Ukraine.  Bullock said that the IOC has been fair with the process behind the scenes and expects that those bids will be having similar meetings in the near future.

“We really enjoy the process as it is now, we’re engaged very frequently with the USOPC and they truly are a partner,” Bullock said.

“Now we’re going as partners together to the IOC to express our joint interest in a future Games, that we’re ready, our bid is in very good shape and that we can host a fabulous Games.”

SLC-UCG has been solidifying organizational and governance plans and work has begun on the important bid book, a document that contains the vital blueprint for hosting a possible Games in Utah.  With public support steadily polling between 80 and 90 percent, strong government partnerships and most needed venues built and already in use, the bid believes it is in excellent shape.

“We’re ready,” Raney-Norman empathically told reporters.

The only obstacle that remains with the bid is a decision on whether to host in 2030 or 2034.  Bullock said he has been in contact with Los Angeles 2028 Summer Games Chair Casey Wasserman to discuss what back-to-back Games within the same domestic market might look like and what the challenges are.  The LA sponsorship rights extend until the end of 2028 which would cut into Salt Lake City’s potential with its pre-Games window only 18 months long.

Bullock said his focus is on “how do we potentially collaborate with them… but in every case not hurting the hosting of the Games but enhancing them, and how do we be a partner with them in that scenario.”

Waiting until 2034 has been seen as problematic as Salt Lake City’s 2002 venues continue to age and might need more costly renovations four years later.

Bullock gave no hints on which year the bid is currently leaning towards, but assured that the public will learn about it in advance of the IOC’s selection of a preferred candidate for the 2030 Games.

“As soon as a decision is made for 2030 or 2034 of course we will announce that because that puts us firmly on a track for a dialogue,” he said.

Earlier this year under the new IOC bid process, Brisbane in Australia was suddenly named the preferred candidate for the 2032 Summer Games, catching rival bids and many stakeholders by surprise.  IOC members voted to approve the hosting choice in July.

“With the Winter Games for 2030 and 2034 we know who the candidates are, the IOC has been very open with us that there are discussions so we don’t see anything that will potentially surprise us or the public,” Bullock said.

When asked by about the timing of the target year decision and the IOC’s naming of its preferred candidate, he added “I think it will be more methodical, that we will come out in support of a particular year between us and the USOPC; take that forward to the IOC; that becomes public; then we continue on our journey.”

There is no set schedule for the election of the 2030 or 2034 host city.  Beijing is set to host the Winter Games in February and Milan-Cortina in Italy will stage the event in 2026.

About Robert Livingstone

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.