Will IOC pick Salt Lake City as ‘preferred host’ for 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympics this week?

Nov 28, 2023, 7:04 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — The International Olympic Committee executive board is scheduled to receive a report from the organization’s Future Host Commission when it convenes in Paris on Wednesday, a possible signal the committee will vote on whether to advance Salt Lake City’s bid to host a second Winter Games in 2030 or 2034.

Few details about the meeting are listed on the IOC’s agenda, but representatives of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games say the commission will offer a report on “interested parties for the 2030 and 2034 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” which includes Salt Lake City.

The report is listed as the final item on Wednesday’s agenda before a press conference set to begin at 11 a.m. Mountain time.

It’s been widely expected the IOC could vote to select a “preferred host” for those Winter Games this week. The IOC even published an explainer on Monday about how it selects future hosts ahead of the meeting.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall also hinted an announcement could be made during a press conference about her re-election on Monday, saying she is hopeful that the city is “invited into targeted dialogue” this week. The city hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002.

Salt Lake City-Utah Committee officials say there will be a watch party at Salt Lake City and County Building with various elected leaders, athletes and other prominent community members as the IOC meeting takes place.

Once a preferred host is selected for a specific season of competition, no other cities are allowed to apply to host the same Games. The IOC gives preferred hosts a list of questions to answer about its bid, as it also reviews “every aspect of the project,” according to the organization.

If there’s enough to like in a “targeted dialogue” phase, the IOC may move forward with a final vote to award the event to the preferred host. If not, the process may move forward with another host.

The IOC voted last month to award both the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games at the same time, when the organization selects hosts for those events next year.

Salt Lake City-Utah Committee officials have made it clear they would prefer to host the 2034 Winter Games, but are also available to host the 2030 Games. Salt Lake City is the only candidate for the 2034 Winter Games, whereas, cities in Sweden, Switzerland and France are all vying for the 2030 Winter Games.

This week’s potential vote comes after Salt Lake’s committee met with the Future Host Commission last week. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox left the meeting feeling confident about how it went.

“There is no city on earth more prepared for an Olympics right now,” he said after it wrapped up.

Members of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee seem fairly confident. Officials said the committee’s governing and strategic boards will meet at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Friday. Cox and Mendenhall will lead a celebration to light the Olympic and Paralympic Cauldron outside the stadium on Friday evening.

Mendenhall said she believes hosting a second Winter Games would be “another catalytic infusion of commitment and promise” for Salt Lake City, which could fuel more infrastructure projects between now and 2030 or 2034.

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Will IOC pick Salt Lake City as ‘preferred host’ for 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympics this week?