Catalonia And Sapporo Slip In The Race To Land The 2030 Olympics

Salt Lake City and Vancouver are still in the running.

Salt Lake City and Utah business and political leaders want the 2030 Winter Games and those people may have gotten two small breaks because two of the other areas vying for the 2030 Olympics have run into problems. The Catalonia region of Spain has postponed a vote asking residents if they want the Games. Sapporo, Japan’s projected Olympic budget has been cut by 20 percent.  Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. Salt Lake City organizers had the money to hold the event thanks to a bailout from President Bill Clinton’s administration of about a billion dollars after the local  committee head Mitt Romney pleaded with Congressional leaders to get money into Salt Lake City to save the Olympics.

An Olympic bidder needs an incredible amount of government and TV support in the form of billions of dollars of public money and lots of TV money. The Olympic bidder also needs marketing money. In Salt Lake City’s case, the United States TV and platform network, Comcast, would pour billions of dollars into the Olympics in exchange for programming. No government wanted to subsidize a 2026 Winter Olympics bid although Italy did relax its stance and did help out Cortina bidders get that event. The IOC failed to find enough interested cities for the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics and was forced to give the 2024 Games to Paris and the 2028 Games to Los Angeles. The IOC identified Queensland in Australia as the perfect spot for the 2032 Summer Olympics and seemingly awarded the area the event without a bidding process. The IOC has begun a policy of “non-committal continuous dialogue” with potential candidates. The IOC has sent a fact-finding delegation to Salt Lake City, Sapporo, Japan, and Vancouver, Canada to gauge those areas’ interest in hosting the 2030 event. The race is on.

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Canada players celebrate with their gold medals after the women’s gold medal hockey game at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)