There are some people in Salt Lake City thinking about how nice it would be to have Utah host the 2026 Winter Olympics. There is no formal bid, and there is some talk about a combined Utah and Colorado bid but the people who are pushing to get the Games are coming up with the hackneyed reasons that the Olympics would be good.
The “it will bring massive economic benefits, provide needed infrastructure, put our area on the map” talk. How to pay for the Olympics adventure is never addressed but it is accepted that local taxpayers will have to come up with money. It is certainly worth the expense for some reason that is not entirely clear.
While politicians, business leaders and newspaper editorial boards push for the events such as the Olympics, there has been quite bit of backlash against holding mega events. The International Olympic Committee is encountering difficulty in finding areas that want the Games. There were just two bids for the 2022 Winter Olympics. City after city dropped out of the bidding for the 2024 Summer Games with just Paris and Los Angeles going after the event. A desperate IOC decided that Paris should get the 2024 Olympics with Los Angeles getting the 2028 Games sparing the IOC the embarrassment of not having any bidders for the 2028 Games.
The IOC is considering handing out both the 2026 and 2030 Winter Olympics at the same time. Who is bidding for the 2026 Games? Innsbruck, Austria business and political leaders want the event but voters will decide if the bid goes ahead with the results of an October 15 referendum. Sion, Switzerland voters could have a say as well, Swiss voters have said no to St. Moritz and Davos Olympic bids. In Calgary, a city staff warned against bidding for the 2026 Games because of costs. It’s an Olympics problem.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.