SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - Right now it seems no one wants to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. A potential host city in Poland is the latest city to drop its bid. However, it's no secret Salt Lake would love to have the games back. But could Utah be a potential candidate? ABC 4 Utah sent Reporter Brian Carlson to find out.
The 2002 Winter Olympics brought a lot of excitement to Utah. Organizers would like to have it back.
"The citizens would be excited, certainly people like us in the sports world would be excited," said Jeff Robbins, Utah Sports Commission President & CEO.
Jeff Robbins with the Utah Sports Commission said while Salt Lake would be thrilled, it seems less countries are interested in hosting the Winter games in 2022. Half of the 8 potential host cities have dropped their bids, some believe two more cities could follow, leaving only Almaty, Kazakstan and Beijing, China as willing options. Some are attributing the fallout to the games' rising cost. For example, Sochi spent more than $50 billion, whereas in 2002 Salt Lake reportedly spent only $3 billion. Earlier this year, Salt Lake Chamber President & CEO Lane Beattie told ABC 4 Utah, the Salt Lake games successfully kept costs low.
"The IOC report says that we had $100 million surplus," said Lane Beattie, Salt Lake Chamber President & CEO.
So what are the chances Salt Lake could be asked to enter the bid for 2022? Robbins believes not likely.
"The USOC for the United States has to submit a candidate for the 2022 games, that deadline passed a year and a half ago, almost two years ago," said Robbins.
He said Salt Lake's best opportunity to host another games is in 2030. But that will largely depend on what happens in the United States' pitch for the Summer games of 2024.
"We're ready, willing and able to pursue another games, once another games becomes available," said Robbins.
Here's how this works, ABC 4 Utah is told it's very difficult for a country to win a bid to host two Olympics back to back. So if the United States wins the bid for the Summer Olympics in 2024, Salt Lake will wait six years and make a run at the 2030 Winter games. However, if the U.S. loses the 2024 bid, Salt Lake will move up to try and get the 2026 Winter Olympics.
Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv