December 20 - The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) have revealed that they will start meeting with cities across America next year that are interested in hosting either the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympics or 2026 Winter Games.
The USOC Board of Directors met today at the Electronic Arts headquarters in Redwood City, California, where discussions on a bid for the Games was top of the agenda.
The full Board heard a report from the five-person bid Working Group that was set up in August this year to investigate whether the United States should bid in 2024 or 2026.
And although the Board confirmed that no firm decision has been made on which Games they will bid for, they revealed that they will be inviting cities interested in hosting either a Summer or Winter Olympics and Paralympics to speak to them next year.
"At this stage, we haven't identified a specific bid so we are still looking at both 2024 and 2026," USOC chairman Larry Probst said in a conference call following the meeting.
"The Working Group outlined a timeline for the bid process and how that will work.
"We also looked at the domestic process and from next year, we will be inviting any cities interested in hosting 2024 or 2026 to come and speak with us.
"We will be putting out a statement in the first quarter of next year about how cities can get in touch with us so that is where we are right now.
"What we want to do is put forward a bid that we feel has a strong chance of winning and now that we have settled the revenue sharing dispute with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), we are in a good place for a bid."
USOC chief executive Scott Blackman made it clear that the Board does not want to see the domestic host city selection process become too expensive.
In recent years, American cities have spent millions in bidding internally to become the US Applicant City.
New York were selected in 2012 and Chicago in 2016 but both bid cities lost out to London and Rio de Janeiro respectively.
"Selecting a bid city is subjective process and we really want it to be a cost effective domestic process," Blackmun said.
"In the past, that hasn't always been the case but we don't want to see cities spending too much.
"Our message is that we want to talk to anybody that wants to talk to us about a bid and we will provide more details on that process early next year.
"Even with a 2024 bid, we still have until 2015 until we need to make a firm decide so we definitely have time on our side.
"I don't think we will have made any final decision on a bid, even by next year, but we want to be more informed and smarter by the end of 2013 than we are at the beginning."
Probst and Blackmun made it clear that the Working Group will continue to exist in helping them evaluate a bid.
Many experts are predicting that the USOC will eventually decide on a 2024 Summer Games bid as it would be far more lucrative, if successful, than a winning 2026 Winter Games bid.
New York City, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Philadelphia are just some of the cities now likely to put their name forward to the USOC to host the 2024 event.
Meanwhile Denver, Reno-Tahoe and Salt Lake City are likely to approach the USOC about a 2026 Winter Games.
All three cities prepared bids for 2022 before the USOC ruled out a move for the 2022 Winter Games.
"We are looking around internationally at other cities that we might end up bidding against but this is still early on in the process," added Probst.
"Right now our focus is very much on ourselves and on preparing the best possible United States bid."
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