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Salt Lake City To Bid For Winter Olympic Games - Report

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The Utah Olympic Exploratory Committee recommended Thursday in a report to Gov. Gary Herbert and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker that Salt Lake City should bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games because the state is "ready, willing and able".

The committee said in the 36-page report that "Utah's Olympic legacy is strong and vibrant and ready to provide the foundation for a future Olympic Winter Games".

The report added, "bringing the Games back to Salt Lake City would provide additional opportunities to give back to the Olympic movement, continue to promote Olympic ideals, strengthen and grow our sustainable legacies from the 2002 Games and further support sport and physical activity as key elements of city and state public health initiatives".

In the report the committee cited world-class venues that are still in use, improved and expanded transportation and hotel infrastructure, strong sports programs for elite as well as recreational athletes and community pride in being identified as an Olympic city.

The Deseret News reports that strong support from the public, the business community, venue owners, athletes, sports organizations and local government for a future bid is cited in the report.

The report also states that there would be "no burden for taxpayers, regardless of the bid outcome", because the business community believes the bid can be privately financed. "Salt Lake City and the state are well positioned to offer the USOC and the IOC a strong , compact Games concept with low financial and delivery risk, and minimal environmental impacts, while providing very high quality Games. Salt Lake City, as host city, would be able to deliver on its bid commitments with certainty".

The governor and mayor are now in possession of the report waiting to find out if the United States intends to bid for the 2026 Winter Games. According to the Deseret News, and U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) is currently trying to determine whether it might be better to bid for the 2024 Summer Games instead and a decision is expected within the next two years. Utah would likely need a formal bid process in place by the fall of 2016.

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