The Associated Press reported Thursday, Sept. 14, that the U.S. committee has “put Salt Lake City up as a candidate for ‘targeted dialogue’ with the International Olympic Committee.” USOPC also said it was open to hosting in 2030 but would prefer to host in 2034, due to the fact that Los Angeles is hosting the 2030 Summer Games.
Fraser Bullock, Salt Lake City’s bid-committee president, told ABC4 in an exclusive interview the the chances that Utah would be chosen are “extremely high.”
“We have a fantastic bid,” Bullock said. “The IOC knows Utah loves the games, and we have everything in place, the venues, fantastic people, political support, public support. So we can provide a great solution for them in a time of uncertainty.”
Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Games in 2002 and has the environmental and social factors that are required for a successful Olympics event, according to a University of Utah study released earlier this year. The study showed that 82% of Utahns are in favor of hosting another Winter Games which gives it an advantage, according to the IOC.
The study also emphasized the sustainability benefits of hosting another event as Salt Lake City still has much of the infrastructure developed from the 2002 Games and has had recent improvements to the nearby airport and hotels.
The sustainability point makes Utah a highly favorable option as the IOC has recently switched its focus to using existing facilities rather than building new ones.
The U.S. committee mirrored that point when it said Salt Lake City would be the most ready and flexible candidate to host in either of the upcoming years, according to the AP report.
Canada and Japan pulled out of the running for the 2030 Winter Games, however, Sweden, Switzerland, and France recently began showing interest in a possible bid, according to AP.
Bullock said some countries pull out after showing interest because the process of putting together a bid is thousands of pages of work that require guarantees from government and contracts. He said for that reason some countries are interested in hosting initially, but are unable to complete all the work necessary to put in a bid.
“We are hoping that one of the three European cities that are looking at 2030 is successful, because if they’re successful for 2030, then we get 2034 which is our preferred choice,” Bullock said.
Bullock was the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Games. He expressed his love for the Olympics and his enthusiasm for the potential of the Winter Games returning to Utah.
“I’m ready, our kids are ready, our grandkids are ready, so let’s bring them back,” he said with a smile.
While the 2030 host was going to be chosen next month, it will now most likely be chosen on the eve of next year’s Olympics in Paris, AP reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.