Salt Lake City organizers remain on the fence between bids to host the Olympic Winter Games in either 2030 or 2034.
“We don’t have an answer for you on the date for the Games at this time but we’re going to be ready whether it’s 2030 or 2034,” Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games Chair Cindy Crane said following a meeting held Wednesday.
“I can assure you that the team is working very hard in order to position us to be successful on the path that we decide we’re going to go forward to pursue a bid,” she added.
After a domestic campaign In 2018, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) nominated 2002 Winter Games host Salt Lake City to bid for a ‘future Games’ without specifying a target date. USOPC officials maintain that the organization remains in a dialog with an International Olympic Committee (IOC) Host City Commission, but the date remains undecided.
“We remain ready, willing and able – and I will add to that – we’re eager at this point.” Crane said, adding “we’ve all been chomping at the bit to be able to move forward to be able to really bring the Games back and to host a fantastic Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”
“I can assure you that the team is working very hard in order to position us to be successful on the path that we decide we’re going to go forward to pursue a bid.”
The bid’s governing board Wednesday approved a Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy, a Conflict of Interest Policy and a Diversity Resolution, setting the stage for the future campaign
“We are now positioning ourselves with our partners, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee so we can showcase America as well as Salt Lake City, Utah to the world,” Crane said.
“It really is now, the time for us to move forward so that we can bring the Games back to Utah.”
In January the IOC announced that groups from Sapporo in Japan and Pyrenees-Barcelona in Spain had also entered into a dialog to host a future Games, and in February officials from Vancouver in Canada also expressed interest. The race was expected to intensify this year before the Coronavirus pandemic delayed the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games and brought active bids to a halt.
“For the time being, Tokyo is taking 99 percent of [the IOC’s] focus,” SLC-UT bid president Fraser Bullock told reporters, further elaborating that an active dialog was still underway.
“There are meetings taking place in the not-to-distant-future where that will start to pick up,” he said.
“But there is no definition around when a Games could be awarded.”
Spanish sports officials last week said that they were ready to continue with their bid, and will confirm intentions with the IOC as soon as the government signs off.
Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) President Alejandro Blanco confirmed the bid is well on track and said “there has never been an Olympic Games in the Pyrenees and, without any doubt, it is a winning bid, but agreement, understanding and dialogue must prevail.”
In Japan, focus has been on delivering the Tokyo 2020 Games next July. Discussions on a potential Sapporo bid have been left on the back burner for now.
It is believed the USOPC would prefer to host the Winter Games in 2034, six years following the scheduled Los Angeles 2028 Summer Games. A Games in 2030 would cause an overlap in the traditional four-year sponsorship and marketing window for the organization, possibly limiting the earning potential for both events.
However if the IOC faces challenges in finding a suitable host for the 2030 edition, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a deal could be arranged that might make hosting the earlier Games more attractive to the U.S.
The SLC-UT bid board is expected to meet again in mid-November.