Bill would give lawmakers more oversight of Utah’s Olympic bid
Feb 15, 2023, 10:00 PM | Updated: Feb 16, 2023, 8:45 am
(FABRICE COFFRINI /AFP/AFP via Getty Images)
Utah Olympic Bid CEO Fraser Bullock joins Utah’s Morning News live, listen below!
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers are seeking to have more oversight into Utah’s Olympic bid. It all centers around liability.
“It is something though, that the state has liability for,” said House Speaker Brad Wilson (R-Kaysville) to KSL NewsRadio.
CEO of the Utah Olympic Committee Fraser Bullock joined Utah’s Morning News Wednesday to help sort out the meaning of H.B.430. If approved, the bill would create the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Coordination Winter Committee.
Bullock was asked if this is an unneeded layer that may make for complicated negotiations.
“Actually not,” Bullock said. “We think it’s a great step because really what this comes down to, we have a different business model than the rest of the world for hosting the Games, where we don’t utilize any Utah taxpayer money.”
Utah’s Olympic bid and liability
Bullock says the International Olympic Committee requires that there be a guarantor. He says the state is the guarantor, and as such technically has some liability.
“But we have so much contingency built in our budget that we don’t believe in any stretch of the imagination that would ever be used,” he said. “But there’s that technical liability.”
Bullock says before the bill would be signed by the governor; lawmakers would receive a final report from the Utah Olympic Committee to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
“It’s a very prudent thing to do,” Bullock said.
After that, the committee would be giving lawmakers a report every six months, Bullock said.
“So, it’s not as if they’re in there with oversight, managing the games,” he said. “It’s really this key element and key timing so that they know what they’re signing up for.”
Is it Salt Lake City’s or Utah’s Games?
Bullock was asked if he views the Games as Salt Lake City’s or Utah’s.
“It’s all of Utah. We want all of Utah to participate,” he said. “So, we see it as both and they’re both fantastic.”
Bullock was also asked if he expected to get pushback on this from lawmakers from the southern part of the state.
“I don’t think so because one of the things we try to do is involved every element of the state,” Bullock said. “Particularly in something like the torch relay.”
Related reading: Utahns agree: Bring the Olympics (and world) back to Utah