US pleased with 2024 Games interest
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) said it was pleased with the level of interest by cities in possibly hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics.
The USOC sent out letters to the mayors of America’s 35 biggest cities last month to gauge their interest in bidding for the 2024 Games and received a mixed bag of responses.
Los Angeles, which hosted the Summer Games in 1932 and 1984, was quick to throw its hat in the ring while most of the other cities appeared to be taking a more measured look at the opportunity.
Chicago, which launched a failed bid to land the 2016 Summer Games, and Detroit have already ruled themselves out and it is believed New York and Dallas are among those considering a bid although the USOC would not comment on which mayors responded.
“We’ve gotten a handful of really positive responses and a handful of, ‘gee thanks for asking but this isn’t the right fit for us,’” USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said during a conference call from New York.
“We are pleased with the level of interest people have shown but we also want to respect the rights of cities to engage in this process quietly if this is what they elect to do so we are not going to say anything about which cities we are talking to and which cities we are not for now.”
After two stunning rejections, the USOC will take its time vetting potential candidate cities before deciding if it will press ahead with a bid for the 2024 Games.
The USOC has emphasised that reaching out to potential host cities does not guarantee the United States will ultimately bid for the 2024 Games unless a strong candidate capable of winning emerges from the pack.
The United States was left embarrassed when Chicago was knocked out in the opening round of voting for the 2016 Games despite a big push from the White House and President Barack Obama. New York was also left disappointed when it was rejected as host for the 2012 Olympics that went to London.
But having mended fences with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) following a bitter revenue-sharing dispute the United States appears ready to once again test the Olympic waters.
Atlanta was the last US city to host a Summer Games in 1996 while Salt Lake City staged the 2002 Winter Games.
The decision on the 2024 host will not be made until 2017.