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Salt Lake 2030: city continues to pursue Olympics

Utah Olympic Park, one of the sites of the 2002 Winter Olympics, as seen in March 2017. (Photo by Marc Piscotty / © 2017)

COLORADO SPRINGS — Salt Lake City is continuing to explore the possibility of hosting the Winter Olympics again in 2030.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski is in Colorado this week as part of a bureaucratic Olympic team to show how prepared Salt Lake City is for an event that is about eleven years away.

Previously, the city’s Olympic exploratory committee produced a 140-page feasibility report highlighting the benefits of hosting the Olympics again. Salt Lake City has venues already in place which makes hosting the games less expensive than for other potential cities.

Keeping the games at a more modest budget is in line with a new goal of the International Olympic Committee of selecting cities that can show itself capable of presenting “a project that fits their sporting, economic, social and environmental long-term planning needs,” according to an IOC policy called Olympic Agenda 2020.

Salt Lake City has a current budget estimate of $1.35 billion for the 2030 games. In contrast, the PyeongChang Winter Olympics this year in South Korea had an estimated cost of $12.9 billion and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia was estimated to cost upwards of $50 billion.

Hosting a second Olympics is not unheard of in the history of the modern games.

Nine other cities will have hosted the winter or summer Olympics by 2030. If Salt Lake City were to host again in 2030 there would be a 28-year gap in between hosting the Olympics. The city with the smallest gap between hosting the Olympics is Innsbruck, Austria, which hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976, a mere 12-year gap.

Other possible candidates include Lillehammer, Norway and Barcelona, Spain. The IOC is expected to choose the location for the 2030 games in September 2019.