The race for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games may spark into life on Tuesday (December 16), with strong signals that the American applicant city is set to be unveiled following a meeting of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC)'s Board of Directors.
A press briefing has been called for after the meeting in the West Coast community of Redwood City, home of Larry Ellison's Oracle Corporation, at around 4pm California time.
Redwood City is located 25 miles south of San Francisco, one of four US cities vying to be the country's latest Olympic and Paralympic bidder, the others being Boston, Los Angeles - already a two-time Olympic host and widely viewed as favourite in the current contest - and Washington D.C.
It would be unwise to read too much into the meeting's location; Redwood City is also the base of Electronic Arts Incorporated, the video games business chaired by Larry Probst, and is hence presumably a convenient spot for the man who is also USOC chairman.
There was, however, an unsubstantiated rumour at the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s Session in Monaco this week that a US official may have sounded out the IOC leadership on the notion of some sort of joint bid involving Los Angeles and San Francisco, and how this was likely to be received in the context of IOC President Thomas Bach's Agenda 2020 proposals which are intended to inject more flexibility into the bidding process.
While a full-blooded joint bid appears a dead letter - and it is still technically possible that the USOC will decide not to bid at all - a bid based overwhelmingly in one city, while utilising a small number of venues in another, appears much more feasible.
Such a blueprint would be entirely in keeping with the cost-conscious Agenda 2020 philosophy which holds that it is better to use an existing venue away from the heart of the Games than to build a costly new facility of uncertain legacy value.
Any US candidate would probably start the race - which will culminate at the 2017 IOC Session in Lima - as favourite.
After the humiliation of Chicago's first round elimination in the 2016 contest won by Rio de Janeiro, the IOC appears to be coming around to the idea that it will soon be time to take its flagship event back to the world's biggest economy, which provides a high proportion of the Movement's revenues, but which has not hosted a Summer Games since Atlanta in 1996.
"We're currently considering four world-class US cities for a potential US bid," said USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun.
"Each has demonstrated they're capable of hosting a great Olympic and Paralympic Games and we're grateful to the civic and political leadership of each city for participating in this important process.
"An entire generation of athletes in this country has not had the incredible opportunity to witness the Games in America, and I'm very hopeful that we'll be able to submit a bid next year and attempt to bring the Games back to the US."
Opposition is likely to be stronger than it appeared just a few months ago, however.
With the likes of Paris, Hamburg, Baku, Durban or Gauteng and others all seen as potential rivals, any US bid would have to be watertight, well-resourced, inspirational and gaffe-free in order to prevail.
Probst and Scott Blackmun, the USOC's chief executive, are billed as speakers at Tuesday's event, although this is said to be "subject to change".
December 2014: Bid process timetable for 2024 Olympics published by IOC
September 2014: Athletics World Championships in Eugene will boost 2024 US Olympic bid, says USOC chief Blackmun
July 2014: USOC edging "closer to decision" as four cities in 2024 Olympic race meet for briefing
June 2014: Mixed reaction to Boston's selection as one of four surviving US 2024 Olympic contenders
June 2014: USOC reveals four cities in contention for 2024 Olympic Games bid