Exclusive: We will bid for Olympics again when we resolve revenue-sharing says USOC chief

Monday, 17 October 2011
By Tom Degun in Guadalajara

Scott Blackmun_with_Larry_Probst_Pan_American_Games_October_13_2011October 17 - United States Olympic Committee (USOC) chief executive Scott Blackmun has revealed that he wants America to stage an Olympic Games in the near future but that his organisation will not bid again until they have concluded a deal on revenue-sharing with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The longstanding disagreement over revenue-sharing currently sees the USOC receive a 20 per cent share of global sponsorship revenues from the Olympics as well as a 12.75 per cent cut of the US broadcast rights deals but the IOC wants more of that money.

Negotiations on the issue were fast-tracked over the summer in an attempt to reach an agreement in time for the USOC to meet the September deadline to bid for 2020 Summer Olympics but a deal was not reached.

Blackmun though, is hopeful the issue can be settled before the 2022 Winter Olympic bid deadline closes late in 2013.

"We would very much like to host the Olympic Games and to host them soon but the time is not right for us to do that while we still have these discussions going on with the IOC," Blackmun told insidethegames here at the Pan American Games.

"But we are very hopeful that we can resolve those discussions soon; long before we have to make a decision about bidding for another Olympic Games.

"We have time on our side though as we won't have to make a decision to bid for the next Olympics, which are the 2022 Winter Olympics, until just under two years from now."

Denver in Colorado has been mentioned as a potential 2022 United States Winter Olympic candidate while a Games in an American city in 2022 would mark exactly 20 years since the United States last hosted the Olympics which were in 2002 in Salt Lake City.

Chicago 2016_learn_they_have_eliminated_in_first_round
The USOC has not forgotten their last two humiliating unsuccessful bids for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, when both New York City and Chicago were comprehensively beaten by London and Rio de Janeiro respectively.

The two failed Olympic bids followed an unsuccessful bid from the United States to host the 2007 Pan American Games when San Antonio lost out to Rio by 30 votes to 21 at the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) General Assembly in Mexico City in 2002.

"We would also love to look at hosting the Pan American Games at some point but again, the time has to be right to bid for these events as bidding is expensive," said Blackmun.

"For example, Chicago spent $80 million (£52 million/€58 million) on their 2016 bid only to go out in the first round of voting so it is crucial that when you bid, you put together the strongest possible bid that is supported both at home and internationally.

"I wouldn't say that it is a concern that we are not hosting major many sporting events right now but I think we would like to be more active and more recognised internationally.

"But that is not to say that we are not hosting any events at all.

"Earlier this month, we successfully hosted the IOC International Athletes Forum in Colorado Springs and we will host the IOC World Conference on Women and Sport in February so we are obviously still very much involved."

During the International Athletes Forum in Colorado Springs, IOC President Jacques Rogge cryptically suggested that he would like to see the Olympics return to the United States.

"The Olympic Movement, as a whole, would benefit from coming back to major countries on a regular basis," Rogge said.

He later added: "But at the same time, we need to have openings for new horizons and for regions where no Games were ever organised."

Contact the writer of this story at tom.degun@insidethegames.biz


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