Winter Olympics: Key question of 2030 or 2034 event remains unanswered

It remains unclear whether it is best for Salt Lake City and the surrounding region to seek the Winter Olympics in 2030 or the Games four years later. The question regarding the year of a potential Winter Olympics is expected to be answered within a year, a Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games official said on Tuesday. | Park Record file photo

The key question about the prospects of hosting a second Winter Olympics in the state remains unanswered: Could the Games return to Salt Lake City and the surrounding region in 2030, or might the event be staged four years later?

The leadership of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games met on Tuesday and during a media briefing afterward indicated discussions are continuing about the Games of 2030 or those of 2034.

The decision regarding the edition of the Games that will be sought has appeared to loom over the efforts for months. Los Angeles is slated to host the Summer Olympics in 2028. There is concern about a scenario of having two domestic Olympic organizing committees raising funds at the same time should the Games of 2030 be awarded to Salt Lake City. If the Olympics in 2034 were to be held in Salt Lake City, there would be less of a fundraising overlap between the organizing committees.

An answer regarding the year of a potential Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City is expected within a year, the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games said on Tuesday. The International Olympic Committee will, with near certainty, make the selection in 2023.

The president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, Fraser Bullock, said on Tuesday the organization would be “happy to host” the Olympics in 2030 or 2034, depending on which year makes the best sense for the Olympic movement. He said it is time to “buckle up” for the next phase of the efforts.

He said the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles “has to be successful” and, if that is the case, a Games in Salt Lake City could “piggyback” on that success.

“We support them, 100%,” Bullock said about the Games in Los Angeles.

Bullock also said the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games is scheduled to make a presentation to the International Olympic Committee’s Future Host Commission on Nov. 22. The Future Host Commission makes recommendations regarding the Olympic city selections. He said the presentation will include a plan for the venue map.

The Park City area is crucial to the overall Olympic efforts in the state, as was the case during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Park City Mountain, Deer Valley Resort and the Utah Olympic Park — each a competition venue 20 years ago — are again slated to host athletic events in a future Games. Soldier Hollow in nearby Wasatch County would also again be tapped as a competition venue. Park City, meanwhile, would be key to the transportation, security and celebration planning.

The Park City aspect of the efforts was not highlighted during the briefing, but it would be expected to be of significance during the presentation to the International Olympic Committee later in November given the importance of the local role in a Games map.

The progress by the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games is occurring at the same time leaders in Park City and Summit County are engaged in a broad outreach effort designed to gather input from the citizenry regarding hopes and concerns about a second Olympics. Some of the input has appeared supportive of holding a second Games even as there is worry about the impacts of another Olympics on Park City issues like affordability.

The meeting on Tuesday was held in the days after Vancouver, Canada, lost the backing of the provincial government of British Columbia for a bid for the Games of 2030. That effectively left Salt Lake City and Sapporo, Japan, the 1972 Winter Olympic host, as the two contenders for 2030.

Park City

Park City Council meets twice this week

The Park City Council will hold a special meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 9 a.m. The agenda includes public input and possible action on an Interlocal Agreement for 911 Services between Summit County, Park City Fire District, and Park City Municipal. 

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