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USOC set to discuss 2024 Olympic bid Tuesday

Jun 9, 2014, 2:23 PM EDT

Olympic flame Getty Images

A potential 2024 Olympic bid is on a U.S. Olympic Committee board meeting agenda Tuesday in Boston. The USOC will probably narrow its list of bid candidates to two or three cities, chairman Larry Probst said two weeks ago.

Cities won’t be made public, Probst said then, but news could come out if cities announce they’re out of the running, such as New York and Philadelphia recently.

It has been reported that six cities are top contenders — Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington.

A key in narrowing cities (and ultimately deciding whether to bid and choosing a city) is what is attractive to the International Olympic Committee, whose members will vote to pick the 2024 Olympic host in 2017.

Another factor is Agenda 2020. The IOC is reviewing bidding procedures under Agenda 2020, a blueprint introduced by IOC president Thomas Bach shortly after his election last year.

A finalized Agenda 2020 is expected to go up for IOC approval in December. The USOC has said it hopes to decide if it will bid, and, if it does, which city, by the end of this year.

Robert Livingstone, producer of GamesBids.com, covering Olympic host city bidding, believes Los Angeles is the clear favorite for a 2024 U.S. bid. San Francisco and Boston would be his other finalists.

Los Angeles also hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics. The IOC recently awarded the Olympics to London for a third time for 2012 and Tokyo for a second for 2020.

“[Los Angeles] has a great legacy from last time in all areas — venues, capabilities, the people and the culture,” Livingstone said. “It’s less likely they’d have white elephants [large, unused facilities post-Games] with a great plan using what’s already there. They’ve got support, a great climate with the ocean nearby.”

San Francisco has never hosted an Olympics, but it also has Olympic bidding history. The USOC chose New York over San Francisco for its failed bid for 2012.

“An iconic U.S. city that would look well on the international stage,” Livingstone said. “You have some of the natural venues to host the events and a university infrastructure there, a sporting culture, and a lot of the big corporations to support things.”

Boston is the top non-California candidate with a preferable time zone, plenty of sports facilities and a decent amount of public support, Livingstone said.

Dallas and Washington must overcome a lack of appeal from failed runs for 2012 and 2016 U.S. bids (Washington tried in 2012. Dallas didn’t apply, but Texas neighbor Houston was in the running in 2012 and 2016).

Dallas’ geography may be a problem and, as The New York Times wrote, “the romance of Dallas may be a tough sell to IOC members.” Washington, too, has an inherent hurdle.

“From an international perspective, it’s linked too closely with government,” Livingstone said. “There’s no way around that.”

San Diego, which was initially linked to apply with Tijuana, Mexico (but no longer), must overcome being in the shadow of front-runner Los Angeles, Livingstone said.

Globally, potential 2024 bids from Paris, Rome and a South African city have been the most talked about. None are definite, though.

“The only certainty, although they’re not certain at all, is the USOC,” Livingstone said. “They’re probably the most likely to put in a bid at this point.”

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  1. gbart22 - Jun 9, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    Why would the cities not be made public? Shouldn’t the residents and taxpayers in those respective cities be made aware of what their representatives are planning to do with their tax dollars? Keep the Olympics away unless of course the IOC decides to foot the bill for the venues in which case all is good but not one tax dime should go for this as the financial benefit is almost nill for the host cities beyond pride and I’m sorry billions of dollars for pride is not worth it.

  2. ndnut - Jun 9, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    So you say there is ZERO benefit of having MILLIONS OF WORLDWIDE VISITORS traveling to your city and spending money eating and staying in hotels?

    • shadowshand - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:29 PM

      Check out HBO Real Sports running this week. It addresses the economic and social costs/issues of hosting major, international sporting events, specifically the Olympics and World Cup. Very interesting and revealing. Rio gets the opportunity to be a disaster twice–good for them.. BLUF–they are oversold as economic engines and inevitably lose hundreds of millions of dollars and realizing none of the purported benefits.

  3. kvt7280 - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:50 AM

    The top 2 or 3 lists will not be made public but will be leaked.

  4. bellerophon30 - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    Leaving the money aside, there’s no way that the IOC is going to skip Europe three times in a row for the Summer Olympics. Unlike the Winter version, there will be enough European cities bidding to count. We’re better off saving our money and chits for 2028, when we ‘might’ have a chance.

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