Is Utah a better place for the Olympic games today?

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah –As the Sochi Olympics begin to wrap up in Russia a lot of fans around the us are wondering: When will the games come back to the states?

Some former Olympic host cities are eyeing future games including the host of the 2002 Olympics… Salt Lake City.

“If you look at everything the IOC is looking for, Utah has most of those components already in place,” said Steve Price, Chairman of the Utah Olympic Exploratory Committee.

Price loves the idea of the winter Olympics returning to the Beehive state.

“Utah is a really good place to host a future games.”

Price believes Utah is actually a better place for Olympics today – than it was when it hosted the games in 2002.

“We have more infrastructure. More light rail. Front Runner in place. I-15 and I-80 have been expanded, We have more hotels and lodging.”

He and others quickly point out that the Utah games were successful – with a reported $100 million surplus.

Those involved in the Olympics know that securing the games so soon after 2002 will not be easy.

“In the international community, the questions are, has it been too soon since Salt Lake hosted the games? That is the question,” said Frasier Bullock, COO of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Price recognizes that landing future games will mean beating some tough competition like Denver and Lake Tahoe.
But he believes if you look at possible venues – with an unbiased eye – Salt Lake City should win.

“The downtown venues or the night time venues are very close together, so Utah’s games are very compact. In Denver, you have Highway 70 so you have two to two and half hours one way to an Olympic event.”

Plus, he says Utah has held 200 Olympic related events and 550 sporting events here since 2002 and still uses 14 Olympic facilities built for the games.

“All those events that happened in Utah, prove to the IOC and the USOC that Utah is viable. That is really important. Utah is viable.”

If Salt Lake City or any city wants the Olympics – it has to pay a $1 million to the U.S. Olympic Committee and then $25 million to the International Olympic Committee.

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