Commentary | The United States Olympic Committee launched the early phases of their 2024 Olympic Games bidding process with inquiry letters to the mayors of 35 U.S. cities from CEO Scott Blackmun on February 19.
Blackmun, along with USOC chairman Larry Probst, devised the letter to gauge the interest of U.S. cities in hosting the games, and also give a blunt, preliminary list of requirements for building a successful Olympic bid.
Among the requirements detailed in the letter:
- 45,000 hotel rooms.
- An Olympic Village that sleeps 16,500 and has a 5,000-person dining hall.
- Operations space for over 15,000 media and broadcasters.
- An international airport that can handle thousands of international travelers per day.
- Public transportation service to venues.
- Roadway closures to allow exclusive use for Games-related transportation.
- A workforce of up to 200,000.
A brief timeline of the Olympic bid process:
2013: Cities explore the possibility of Olympic bids.
2015: USOC narrows list of candidate cities
2016: USOC selects candidate city to present to IOC
2017: IOC votes on 2024 Olympic host city
Here is a list of the top 10 cities most likely to host the 2024 Olympic Games:
10) Philadelphia. The city of Brotherly Love has expressed interest in the Olympic Games before. Following the USOC’s letter, Philly mayor Michael Nutter was quoted in a CBS Local article as saying he believes the region could host the Olympic Games and already has a lot of the infrastructure needed to host.
Opening Ceremony: Lincoln Financial Field
9) Miami. Miami made headway into international athletics when it hosted delegates from the Pan American Sports Organization in December 2012. Miami is positioning itself to bid for future Pan American Games and, hopefully, an Olympic Games. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil hosted the Pan Am Games in 2007; they will host the Olympic Games in 2016. Miami could be next.
Opening Ceremony: Sun Life Stadium
8) Boston. Bostonians want the Games, having already created a website and Facebook page in support of hosting the 2024 Olympics. A Boston bid could follow the Atlanta blueprint, utilizing the abundance of local colleges for facilities, housing, etc.
Opening Ceremony: A renovated Harvard Stadium, but more likely Gillette Stadium.
7) Baltimore/D.C. The two cities, roughly 40 miles apart, tried unsuccessfully to bid for the 2012 Games. The U.S. capital city could be an attractive location for an Olympic Games, and Baltimore adds a scenic waterfront and extra viable venues that are already in place. Public transportation between the two cities would need to be streamlined, but a Games in the region is feasible.
Opening Ceremony: A new D.C. stadium or a renovated RFK Stadium.
6) Dallas. Everything is bigger in Texas, so it is safe to assume a Dallas Olympic Games would not be short on grandeur. The Dallas Morning News reports ground work for a bid has been taking place for three years, and that there are already ideas of venues and a potential Olympic Village location.
Opening Ceremony: A renovated Cotton Bowl.
5) Seattle. In a KOMO News article, it states Seattle has all the requirements listed in Blackmun’s letter. Add that with one of the country’s most scenic back drops and culture-rich cities and you have a potential perfect location for the Olympic Games. A multitude of local universities, including the University of Washington, and several professional franchises provide most of the necessary infrastructure.
Opening Ceremony: CenturyLink Field.
4) Chicago. The most recent U.S. city to bid for an Olympic Games said they weren’t interested when the USOC’s letter came out. The city is still stinging from its embarrassing defeat in the bid to host the 2016 Games. Now that the USOC has cleared up a revenue sharing deal with the IOC, the door is open for Chicago to bring the Olympics to the Windy City — and they just have to update the 2016 bid book. Don’t be surprised if Chicago decides to make a bid.
Opening Ceremony: An Olympic Stadium in Washington Park as per 2016 bid plans .
3) Los Angeles. LA is the veteran of the group having hosted the Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984. While venues would need to be updated or built, many of the concepts from 1984 could be revamped for a 2024 bid. The city is no stranger to the spotlight, making it a viable option to host its third Olympic Games, which would tie London for the most all-time.
Opening Ceremony: Los Angeles Memorial Stadium for the third time.
2) New York City. It is the epicenter of business in the United States. Our most famous city—with The World’s Most Famous Arena for basketball…or gymnastics—already has a bid plan to follow. NYC pushed hard to host the 2012 Olympic Games, finishing fourth in the IOC voting. A revamp of the 2012 plans could land the Olympic Games in New York City.
Opening Ceremony: The potential West Side Stadium.
1) San Francisco. No U.S. city is courting the rings quite like San Francisco. After being short-listed by the USOC for previous Games, Huffington Post reports that in 2013, San Francisco is considering a permanent group tasked with bringing the Olympics to the bay area. With several universities and professional sports teams in the area, an Olympics in this unique culture and climate are realistic. Can you imagine the five rings hanging from the Golden Gate Bridge?
Opening Ceremony: New Santa Clara Stadium or a waterfront Olympic Stadium.
My vote: Seattle 2024 Olympic Games…see you there!