Will the 2030 Winter Games come to Utah? The IOC will decide in the coming months

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The site of the 2030 Winter Games could all but be decided in the coming months, now that the leaders of the International Olympic Committee are ready to start negotiating the final details of their contract with the host city by the end of the year. ‘year.

Salt Lake City, host of the 2002 Winter Games, is in the running to bring the Olympics back to Utah. Three other cities that have also hosted Olympics are also candidates for 2030 – Sapporo, Japan; Vancouver, Canada; and Barcelona, ​​Spain, as well as the mountainous region of the Pyrenees.

Asked about the possibility of narrowing the field for 2030 to a single city by the end of the year, IOC President Thomas Bach made clear on Friday that it could happen, providing the first details of the timetable for a decision. during a virtual press conference from the organization’s Swiss headquarters.

Under the IOC’s new, less formal Candidature Process, there is no deadline to decide where the next Games should be held. It is now the IOC Executive Board that chooses the location, even if its decision must be formally ratified by all the members.

Once the executive board has named a venue, that bid goes into what’s called a targeted dialogue with the IOC, setting out guarantees that the Games will take place and other details. It is possible in the new application process, however, that more than one city may be brought forward to these discussions.

“We expect a decision next year. In the best of all worlds, this would happen at the IOC session in Mumbai, (India) in May next year,” Bach told reporters, adding that “for To achieve this, the executive board should take the decision on the targeted dialogue in December, during its meeting.

Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, said this confirms what the bidders “have been hypothesizing all along, because we believe that seven years after the Games, this is the last time you would want a Games to be able to execute all marketing agreements and operational plans.

The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee suggested a similar timeline for a 2030 decision earlier this year.

Bullock said that once a city is selected to start the targeted dialogue, “there are a lot of things that need to be analyzed and discussed with the IOC, which is a months-long process.” For Salt Lake City’s bid, that includes the state’s plans to assume financial responsibility for the $2.2 billion event by signing the Host City Agreement.

The Utah Legislature passed a resolution in 2020 pledging to sign the agreement required by the IOC to ensure the host will cover all losses, but Bullock said further action by lawmakers would be necessary, probably during the 2023 session.

Bach did not address another possibility that the new application process allows, awarding multiple games at the same time. There has been a lot of speculation that due to the presence of two strong favorites for 2030, Salt Lake City and Sapporo, the IOC might select one to host 2030 and the other 2034.

Bullock said he had “no idea if that would happen or not.”

Christophe Dubi, the IOC’s executive director for the Olympics, told reporters that a thorough technical analysis of each bid was underway. A trio of IOC technical experts spent three days in Utah last month, visiting venues from 2002 that have since continued to be used by amateur and elite athletes.

“Obviously it’s not at this formal stage, but there’s a lot of work that’s being done in partnership with the parties that are interested” in hosting, Dubi said at the press conference held at the from an executive session that began in February. during the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, then postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the summer, Dubi said the IOC’s future Olympic Winter Games host commission would do more work to provide “a full picture to the Executive Board later in the year” with the aim of start a targeted dialogue in December.

Then, Dubi said, “we can finalize all the value propositions, including the extremely important, the guarantees, in time for the session. That’s the work plan we have in front of us but if I may say , we have very strong proposals and it is very pleasing at this stage.

Bach spoke during the hour-long board meeting about the heightened level of interest in hosting the Olympics. The new process stems not only from reforms put in place after the scandal surrounding Salt Lake City’s attempts to buy IOC votes in the late 1990s, but also because interest in hosting the Olympic Games winter had diminished.

“We have revolutionized our process for selecting hosts for the Olympic Games,” Bach said, ending the costly bidding campaigns of the past and encouraging sustainability to control costs associated with venue construction and other preparations.

The new process is working, the IOC president said.

“Today we have interested parties from three continents, who have the geographical and climatic conditions to stage the Winter Olympics in 2030,” he said, adding that there is also a “significant number of cities now eyeing 2036 and even 2040 Summer Games.

Bullock, who recently provided budget details, said Utahns will learn more about the offer soon. On Tuesday, the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Institute released a new economic impact analysis that showed the state could expect $3.9 billion as a result of the accommodation, less than in 2002 because the sites are already in place.

There are plans to travel next month to Switzerland to meet with IOC officials, and later this year Bullock said bidders would visit the communities where the venues are located to discuss how other Games Olympics could be a catalyst for other projects.

“The bid is not just with the IOC,” he said. “It’s the whole community coming together.”

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