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SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake is one of three U.S. cities discussing a potential Winter Olympic bid with the International Olympic Committee as the deadline to submit bids nears, according to a report.
NBC Sports reports Denver and Reno-Tahoe have also floated the idea of hosting the 2026 or 2030 Winter Olympics but are now discussing the bids with the IOC.
“We have encouraged the three cities from the U.S. that are interested in potentially hosting — Reno-Tahoe, Salt Lake City and Denver — to be in a dialogue with the IOC, and that is happening,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun told NBC Sports Friday.
The International Olympic Committee will choose the site of the 2026 Winter Games in 2019. The last time the U.S. hosted the Winter Olympics was in 2002 in Salt Lake City.
The U.S. Olympic Committee has said before it hopes to bid for either the 2026 or 2030 Winter Olympics, and those three cities have expressed interest.
Here are the steps a city takes before it becomes an Olympic host:
The IOC, in October, announced changes to the candidature process for cities eying bids to host the Olympics. The two-stage approach enacted for the 2026 Games allows cities a 1-year non-committal dialogue stage, which allows cities and countries to conduct conversations with the IOC to discuss various aspects of hosting the Olympics.
During the dialogue stage, cities don't have to submit any formal proposals or make any presentations, according to the IOC.
That same month, Utah leaders Gov. Gary Herbert and Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski formed an exploratory committee to decide whether to bid for the 2026 or 2030 Winter Games.
A poll released in November showed 89 percent of Utahns surveyed support a bid for another Salt Lake Olympics.
The exploratory committee is expected to make a recommendation by Feb. 1, 2018. From there, state leaders will decide whether to push forward for a bid. If the decision is to move for a bid, Salt Lake would go through the bidding process with the U.S. Olympic Committee to be U.S.'s bid for the games.
The USOC would then would decide whether to bid for the Olympics and go through the same process until the IOC makes a decision on which country hosts the Games. The USOC has until March 31, 2018, to put forward an American candidate.
The final decision for a host would come the following year.
The reason the U.S. may bid for 2030 instead of 2026 is due to advertisements packages sold for the 2028 Olympics, which Los Angeles is hosting. If the U.S. bids for the 2026 Olympics, there may not be enough domestic dollars to go around, said Frasier Bullock, one of three co-chairmen on Salt Lake City’s exploratory committee, in October.
Bullock said then he believed Salt Lake had an advantage over Denver and Reno-Tahoe.
“(The IOC) is very focused on utilizing host cities where existing venues are in place. This allows more financial responsibility in hosting the Games. It reduces the risk,” he said.