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Utah leaders see IOC dual award as ‘best evidence yet’ for another SLC Winter Games

Oct 18, 2023, 6:12 PM | Updated: Oct 19, 2023, 12:12 pm

Utah leaders have hope in securing the 2034 bid for the Winter Games after the IOC agreed to award ...

Utah leaders have hope in securing the 2034 bid for the Winter Games after the IOC agreed to award both 2030 and 2034 Games at the same time next year. (Lindsay Aerts)

(Lindsay Aerts)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s state, local, and Olympic bid leaders are touting a weekend move by the International Olympic Committee as the “best evidence yet” that Utah will get to host another Winter Games.

That move was that the IOC agreed to announce both the 2030 and 2034 Games at the same time next year.

For cities that are bidding for 2030 games, which include Sweden, Switzerland and France, this means that those who don’t get awarded those games wouldn’t be able to bid for 2034. This is due to the fact that they’re likely to be awarded at the same time.

“Next to saying, ‘we award the games to Salt Lake City’ this is the next best thing,” said Utah Governor Spencer Cox. “And [it’s] the clearest evidence we have so far that Utah is very likely to get the games.” 

At a press event celebrating the move held Wednesday, Cox said Utah asked for the IOC to make the move, and the fact that they agreed is, in his mind, a good sign.

“They were hesitant at first,” he said. “The only reason they would give a dual award is if they were very serious about giving us the games in 2034,” Cox said.

What happens next?

Cox and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall will be among the leaders meeting with the Future Host Commission on November 21 to make their formal pitch.

“I told our team yesterday that we are now on the short track and we are ready to skate across this finish line,” said Mendenhall.  

The President and CEO of the Salt Lake City Committee for the Games, Frasier Bullock, said Utah’s chances look “excellent” now, compared to what he believes were just “good” changes before the IOC’s move.

However, he said there is still more work to be done to secure Utah’s bid. After state leaders present the plan, Bullock said the Future Host Commission meets to present its recommendations to the IOC on November 30 and December 1. 

“And we hope to hear some positive news coming out of that,” he said, “And then hopefully we can have a celebration if we’re invited into targeted dialogue.”

Targeted dialogue is the term used for a deeper look into the bid and contract negotiations, Bullock said.

Bullock hopes a final decision on the games will come “in the first half of next year.”

The cost of hosting the 2034 Winter Games

The leaders say Utah’s Olympic Legacy venues have largely been maintained thanks to revenue from the last games. The state has also chipped in over time.

The Deseret News reported in July that the figure could amount to as much as $140 million. 

“There might be a little bit more this session to just finish up the work that has been initiated,” Bullock said. 

Privately owned community venues like the Delta Center and ski resorts are also maintained regularly because of their regular use. 

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Utah leaders see IOC dual award as ‘best evidence yet’ for another SLC Winter Games