The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games held a strategy meeting of the board of directors at Vivint Arena on Thursday, where officials said they would get a good idea of the status of the Games efforts. Winter Olympics over the next six months.
Just weeks after the International Olympic Committee session in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games met to provide an update on the 2030 bid and the planned schedule for the future. While officials are focused on staging the Olympics over the next eight years, they admit some challenges with a Games in 2030 could make the 2034 event possible.
“This is the most intense part of the application process. We were extremely well prepared, we did so much work ahead of time that we feel very comfortable today,” said Fraser Bullock, President and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, during the meeting. “Look at the current bid environment, starting with our goal, we are focused on 2030. When we look at our bid process, when we look at our proposal, we think we have a very, very strong bid proposal. We think we have the best technical offer in the world, of any potential Winter Games, and you all know why.
In addition to Salt Lake City, other cities like Vancouver, Canada, Sapporo, Japan, and Barcelona, Spain – which Bullock says is the furthest behind – have shown interest in hosting an Olympic Games in winter. The Summer Olympics are scheduled to take place in Los Angeles in 2028.
“There are other very good candidates…and as we look at the dynamics of other cities compared to us, we recognize that back-to-back Games are tough,” Bullock said. “Geopolitically, it is difficult for the IOC to award back-to-back Games to the United States for ’28 and for ’30. We know it is difficult, but we also recognize that there are opportunities through back-to-back Games, thanks to the collaboration with two series of games.
Bullock went on to say that the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games was working on those issues to present its case. Although focused on 2030, the Utah committee included provisions for the 2034 Games in all of its bid contracts. So far, deals for 17,000 hotel rooms have been signed, according to Bullock.
He said the main strengths of Utah’s bid are the unified support from politicians and businesses for the public for the Games, as well as the fact that all sports facilities in the state used during the Winter Olympics of 2002 are still used. The venues are even better than they were back then because of the community’s commitment to Olympic legacy, Bullock said.
“It’s the foundation of all Games,” he said.
Proximity to Salt Lake City and Park City, where some facilities are located, and having an Olympic Village are also positives. Bullock said the Winter Olympics are notorious for being spread out. During the 2025 Winter Olympics in Italy, athletes may have to travel up to five hours to reach their destination.
Other strengths mentioned at the meeting were an experienced team helping to organize and facilitate the Games as well as the state’s attractive economy, referring to the Utah committee’s balanced budget. The Games budget is $2.2 billion in 2030 dollars. It includes a contingency of $200 million and a sports legacy endowment of $300 million. There are no taxpayer dollars associated with the cost, according to Bullock.
“Fortunately, with us, [the cost] is mitigated because all our sites are in place. We’ve done this before, we know what parts are, so for us we have a high degree of confidence in our budget as well as a lot of headroom,” he said.
According to an economic impact study by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah, there would be an economic output of $3.9 billion associated with hosting the Games. It’s nice to have a positive economic impact, Bullock said, but it won’t accelerate long-term growth in Utah. However, he acknowledged the social benefits associated with hosting future Games.
“As you know, one of the main objectives of organizing the Games is: ‘Why are we doing this?’ And we have spoken many times about the desirability of welcoming the world here not only for the Games, but also so that our children can train, grow and develop the sport on a much broader basis than we do. today,” he said. “It’s a big goal we have.”
The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games predicts a busy period over the next 30 days. In mid-June there will be meetings with the IOC in Lausanne, including conversations with Thomas Bach, the organisation’s president, and other leaders. Later this month there will also be Olympic Day celebrations and a meeting of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and national governing bodies.
Regarding future bid activities, Bullock said a recommendation from the IOC for a focused dialogue with a potential host city would be made within the next six months. Meanwhile, the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for Games Host Site Communities, which includes Park City Mayor Nann Worel and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, will initiate a community engagement process.
Worel previously said outreach efforts in the Park City area will begin later this summer. There will be in-person and virtual meetings as well as opportunities for the Spanish-speaking population and workforce to voice their opinions.
The Salt Lake City-Utah Games Committee will also complete its Candidature File and vision for the Olympic Winter Games. There will also be ongoing dialogue with the IOC and related organizations before a final decision is made, likely next May.