UTAH

Cost of 2034 Olympic games addressed by Utah’s GOP gubernatorial candidates in debate

Jun 13, 2024, 3:00 PM

Incumbent Gov. Spencer Cox, left, shakes hands with Utah Rep. Phil Lyman after Utah’s gubernatori...

Incumbent Gov. Spencer Cox, left, shakes hands with Utah Rep. Phil Lyman after Utah’s gubernatorial GOP primary debate held at the Eccles Broadcast Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. The taxpayer cost of the 2034 Olympic games was discussed at the debate. (Isaac Hale, Deseret News)

(Isaac Hale, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — In a recent poll, 79% of Utahns said they are excited about a possible return of the Winter Olympic Games in 2034.

But at what cost? 

During a debate Tuesday night, Gov. Spencer Cox and Rep. Phil Lyman addressed the possible return to Utah, and cost, of the Winter Games.

“Seventy-nine percent of Utahns were excited for the Olympics to come back. Seventy-nine percent.  In this day and age, it is impossible to get 79% of anybody to agree on anything,” said Gov. Cox.

 Rep. Lyman on the other hand expressed concern about the cost of the games.

I love the Olympics, but it is a tremendous cost to our city, to our state, and to the people that live in Utah,” he said.

The Winter Olympics could cost around $4 billion, but there is hope it won’t cost Utah taxpayers anything.

Utah’s financial responsibility should be zero and it will be zero,” said Cox.  “All of this is going to be paid for by sponsors. It’s not going to cost the tax dollars a single penny.” 

The cost can be measured in more than just finances, Lyman said. He said infrastructure, traffic delays and congestion all contribute to the “tremendous cost” of hosting the Olympic Games.

The final decision on the location of the 2034 Winter Olympic Games will be announced in Paris on July 24th.

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Cost of 2034 Olympic games addressed by Utah’s GOP gubernatorial candidates in debate