Now that Los Angeles is hosting the 2028 Summer Olympics, the focus is on having the United States host the Winter Olympics. The United States Olympic Committee has made their choice for 2026 and it is a familiar host.
The USOC has chosen 2002 host Salt Lake City, UT to bid for the 2030 edition, beating out Denver, CO and Reno, NV/Lake Tahoe, who dropped out. If selected by the IOC, Salt Lake City would be the fourth city to host multiple Winter Olympics (St. Moritz, Switzerland; Lake Placid, NY; Innsbruck, Austria) and would cap off a four year run of worldwide events hosted by the United States, with the FIFA World Cup in 2026 (hosted with Canada and Mexico) and Summer Olympics in 2028.
Salt Lake City seems like a logical place to host again. Despite how they got the Games in the first place, the 2002 Games were a success, especially considering the rapid security updates needed after 9/11. Plus, many of those facilities could be used in 2030, keeping expenses down. The expected bid budget is at $1.4 billion (which is bound to go up as that happens all the time), and the only tax dollars will come from the federal government to have security.
Another important factor is that the 2030 bid seems to have support from local government and from the public. A poll done by their Exploratory Committee showed that 89 percent of Utah residents supported hosting another Olympic Games. That’s huge because due to inflated costs that typically fall on taxpayers and the public as well as hellacious traffic problems during, local residents are normally opposed to hosting the Olympics and that apparently isn’t the case here. The situation is even worse on the Winter side of the spectrum as the only two cities to bid for 2022 were winners Beijing, China and Almaty, Kazakhstan. Two countries who would be motivated to host for propaganda type reasons.
Because the USOC was focused on obtaining the 2028 Games, there will be no U.S. bid for 2026. Right now, only Milan, Italy and Stockholm, Sweden are reportedly set to bid in 2026. While there is still a long way to go before the IOC awards the 2030 Games in 2023, Salt Lake City is expected to compete with 1972 host Sapporo, Japan and Almaty for the 2030 bid.
[KSL/Photo: Getty Images]