SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — On Wednesday, Utah leaders said the state was ready to “skate over the finish line” to bring the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games to Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake City Utah Committee is feeling confident, saying everything was nearly in place.
In a Board Meeting on Wednesday, the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games President and CEO Fraser Bullock revealed the state is all-in for the Games. Bullock said federal, state, and local governments have all given 100% guarantees for Salt Lake City to host again in 2030 or 2034 – or both.
Bullock also reported that 93% of the required 13 competition and non-competition venues have been contracted to host the Games, including the University of Utah for the athlete village and Rice-Eccles Stadium for the Games’ ceremonies. The Salt Lake City-Utah Olympic Committee has also put 19,000 hotel rooms under contract, which is 79% of the required 24,000 rooms.
The strategy of staying ahead of requirements for the Olympic Games has leaders feeling confident about their bid. Even the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) took notice, praising Utah as a “model of both professionalism and passion.”
“What transpired has been a remarkable combination of engagement with the public, with elected officials and civic leaders, and – of course – with the tremendous athlete and sports community that calls the region home,” wrote USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland and Chair Gene Sykes in an open letter to the Utah Olympic Committee. “This is a project that exudes unity, and the concepts put forth demonstrate a commitment to hosting a truly generational Games.”
Salt Lake City is hoping to secure the 2034 Winter Games but would be ready for the 2030 Games if necessary. As of Thursday, Oct. 19, Salt Lake City stands alone in bidding for the 2034 Games. Meanwhile, Sweden, France, and Switzerland are the remaining bidders for 2030 after Sapporo, Japan canceled its bid citing the lack of public support.
Bullock said on Wednesday, however, that nothing is guaranteed and there is still a lot of work to do before Salt Lake City can celebrate bringing the Winter Olympics back home.
The Salt Lake City-Utah Olympic Committee will continue working to secure the remaining venues and hotel rooms while refining the details of their bid. On Tuesday, Nov. 21, the committee will present its updated bid to the International Olympic Committee’s Future Host Commission.
The IOC Executive Board will then meet starting Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 to hear recommendations from the Future Host Commission and possibly invite bidders to “targeted dialogue.” Bullock explained that meant contract negotiations and a deeper review of the bid.
The IOC is expected to make an announcement of who will be hosting the 2030 and 2034 Winter Olympic Games ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris in July.