SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The 2030 Winter Olympics could potentially be held in Utah and the prospect of bringing the games back to the capital city means a big payout for the state.
The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute and the Salt Lake City Committee for the Games hosted a discussion about the potential bid on Tuesday.
With infrastructure ready to go, Salt Lake City is a great candidate for another round of Winter Olympics. Removing the need for constructing more buildings to host another year of the games means a slightly smaller, but still large, economic gain compared to the 2002 Olympics.
Salt Lake City is sitting as a potential bidder for the 2030 Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Games — being chosen will generate billions for Utah.
“We estimate the 2030 Olympic Winter Games will have a $3.9 billion dollar economic output contribution to our state,” said Natalie Gochnour, Director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.
The strong suit for being chosen?
“We’re experienced and we know what we’re doing in a way that we haven’t in the past,” said Gochnour.
But that experience can also pose a slight downfall.
“When we look at the economic impact, it is less than ‘02, obviously, because of the infrastructure that had to be put in last time,” said Fraser Bullock, President and CEO of the Salt Lake City Committee for the Games.
If chosen, improvements will be made to the existing infrastructure from the 2002 games, but it won’t create the temporary jobs needed to build entirely new facilities. But the growth of the games will create more revenue of its own.
“One of the biggest things is that the games for 2030 would have 40% more events and about 40% more athletes,” said Bullock.
This means a huge spike in revenue for the state and for local businesses in 2030. A potential challenge facing Utah’s future selection? Los Angeles hosting the Summer Olympic Games in 2028.
“LA needs to be incredibly successful,” said Bullock.
Two games back-to-back in the United States means navigating domestic sponsorships. But Utah’s still holding out hope and for good reason.
“Not only is everything in place — it’s better,” said Bullock.
Not only would this mean a boost in the local economy, experts look forward to what it means for the community as whole.
“When the spotlight is this bright, everything has to get better,” said Gochnour. “The forces of nature are such that, you know, we take care of things better, we invest better, we think harder.”
The final decision for the location of the 2030 Winter Olympics will be held next summer. If Salt Lake City is not chosen, all of these current efforts can be carried over into petitioning for the 2034 Winter Olympic Games.