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Official: Salt Lake City to pursue 2026 bid

Dec 3, 2012, 2:28 PM EDT

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Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker announced Monday that the last American Olympic host the Games will pursue another Olympic bid in 2026.

“I’m excited and optimistic for the great state of Utah and Salt Lake City and the people of Utah to once again say we are ready, willing and able to host the Winter Games,” Governor Herbert said.

The organizing committee, comprised of business, government, sports, and community leaders prepared a 36-page report that examined whether it would be worthwhile for the city to host another Olympic Games and determined that “Utah’s Olympic legacy is strong and vibrant and ready to provide the foundation for a future Olympic Winter Games.”

The committee is confident that Salt Lake City has the infrastructure in place from the 2002 Olympics to host another Games, and the fact that they would only need to update their venues rather than building from scratch gives them a significant advantage on the other bids. The proposed budget for the 2026 Games is $1.67 billion, roughly $300 million higher than the city’s previous Olympics.

However, it’s believed that the USOC is more interested in hosting the 2024 Summer Games and may not field a bid for 2026, leaving Utah, Reno-Tahoe, and Denver in the cold (so to speak).