Organizers of Salt Lake City’s Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bid have revealed they are in the late stages of their bid proposal that has yet to be requested by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games (SLC-UT) Chief Fraser Bullock announced during Wednesday’s Strategic Board Meeting that his team has completed as much as ninety percent of the IOC’s Future Host Questionnaire that will be the key component of the Preferred Host Submission. But according to the IOC’s own records, the document is to be requested “during Targeted Dialogue,” when “the Preferred Host(s) are asked to respond to this streamlined winter-specific questionnaire and submit the relevant guarantees.”
Bullock explained that SLC-UT has opted to do the work in advance to be prepared and have it vetted by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC). The document has also been reviewed with the IOC during as many as six workshops that the team has attended.
Previously the Chair of the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics, Bullock shrugged off the notion that this level of preparation and cooperation that would be expected of a preferred candidate makes Salt Lake City a shoe-in to host in 2030 or 2034.
“There is nothing to read into this other than [the IOC] are our partner in this new model and they are a partner to every city – they’re working hard with potential European candidates to bring them to the table. And none of this has anything to do with targeted dialogue at this point in time, it’s helping us get ready for the day when we may enter targeted dialogue.,” he told GamesBids.com at a media availability following the board meetings.
The questionnaire is 39 pages long and asks bidders to answer 43 questions involving topics such as vision, venues, fan experience, legacy and the proposed Games dates. The response is limited to 55 pages, not including an annex of 32 technical documents and 23 written guarantees from governments, venues and other service providers.
Bullock said the document could be ready enough to share with the USOPC in two weeks, giving the national Olympic committee the summer to review it for a possible endorsement in September.
Download IOC’s FUTURE HOST QUESTIONNAIRE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
IOC members are expected to reference this document when they cast their votes to elect the host city at an IOC Session.
For Salt Lake City, that Session could be next year in Paris on July 23 or 24 just ahead of the Olympic Games in the French capital. For that timeline to be met, SLC-UT would have to be officially named a preferred candidate no later than the IOC Executive Board meeting planned from November 30 to December 1.
The IOC’s Future Host Commission is expected to meet with interested parties in the second half of November during what Bullock described as “a very positive period for the SLC-UT team.”
If the IOC hopes to execute any plans around a proposed double allocation of both the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games and pursue potential initiatives including a permanent rotation of Winter Games hosts based on a climate study currently underway, a vote could be required at an all-members Session in Mumbai, India From October 15 to 17 this year.
The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) is laser-focused on hosting the 2034 edition of the Winter Olympics to maintain a gap following the Los Angeles 2028 Summer Games, maximizing revenues between both events. But officials repeatedly claim they will step in and come to the aid of the Olympic Movement if no other host is found for 2030.
“Assuming we get invited into a targeted dialogue… they will invite us into a particular Games edition and they know our preference is ‘34,” Bullock said.
“They know we’re ready for ‘30, and so it all depends on what’s best for the Olympic Movement at that point in time.”
The 2030 race has been volatile and there is no clear candidate at this time. Bids from Canada, Japan and Spain have stepped back due to domestic barriers prompting the IOC last December to pause and extend the campaign. Earlier this year new potential bids from Sweden and Switzerland have emerged, but they are far from concrete. The IOC claims there are more interested parties involved in discussions, but they haven’t provided details.
SLC-UT has planned to launch a new website in June.
Salt Lake City was chosen by the USOPC in 2018 to be the next American Winter Olympics bid city. The Utah capital last hosted the 2002 edition of the Games, leaving a significant winter sports legacy that positions it as a favourite to stage again in the near future.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com 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.