USOC trying to narrow potential 2024 candidates

Tue Apr 8, 2014 8:07pm EDT
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(Reuters) - The United States Olympic Committee has not decided whether it will bid for the 2024 Summer Games but said on Tuesday it hopes to narrow down a list of cities capable of winning a bid within the next couple months.

Interest in bringing the Olympics back to the United States is gaining momentum both at home and among International Olympic Committee (IOC) members.

"It is a very informal process and our goal is to make a decision (on whether to proceed) by the end of the year and there haven't been any formal deadlines or submissions," USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said on a conference call.

"The dialogue is really around which cities do we think can put together a bid that is going to be a fantastic bid and which cities do we think have the opportunity to win.

"Before we make a final decision we need to get into fairly detailed discussions with hopefully a smaller number of cities so our objective is to be in that position within the next couple of months."

The USOC sent letters to the mayors of America's 35 biggest cities last year to gauge interest in bidding for the 2024 Games and has been tight-lipped ever since about the response calling the process "informal."

Several cities are believed to have thrown their hats into the ring, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and San Diego but as yet no preferred candidate has been identified.

Blackmun's comments come amid reports that the USOC is preparing to have a short list of two or three cities as early as next month and hopes to have settled on a candidate city by the end of 2014 or early next year.

But if the USOC feels there is no bid capable of landing the 2024 Games the organization will turn its focus to a 2026 Winter Olympics.   Continued...

Scott Blackmun, chief executive of the U.S. Olympic Committee, attends the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York November 30, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid