Winning the U.S. bid for the 1998 Winter Olympics is only half the battle andrepresents only a fraction of the cost of bidding internationally to actually host the Games. The U.S. bid city must next win the IOC bid in 1991 for the Games.
Salt Lake Winter Games Organizing Committee Chairman Tom Welch says Salt Lake City has a good shot at winning the IOC bid for the Games when it meets in Birmingham, England, in 1991 for several reasons.Most importantly, Welch said, the 1992 Winter Games will be held in Albertville, France, to be followed by the 1994 Games (the IOC begins staggering winter and summer Olympic events in 1994), which will be staged in Lillehammer, Norway. Two European Olympics "means the Olympics are ready for a change," Welch said.
Translation: It's likely that it will be the United State's turn to host a Games again in 1998, which explains the urgency of being the U.S. representative in the 1998 bidding.
Favorable TV broadcasting time zones, the presence of Soviet INF inspectors in Utah and a relatively inexpensive cost of living will weigh in favor of bringing the Games to the United States, he said.
Japan appears to be the most formidable international candidate. The yen is influential on the world market, and the Japanese economy can support huge government subsidy for the Games.
While former U.S. bid representative Anchorage, Alaska, has established a relationship with the IOC following two unsuccessful bids, Salt Lake City believes it can win over IOC votes on its first try by wrapping Utah in th American flag, Welch said.
"We're not going to sell ourselves as Salt Lake City, nor as Utah; we're going to sell ourselves as America," he said.
The USOC bid is expected to cost Salt Lake organizers more than $200,000 in mostly privately raised funds. But organizers expect the IOC bid to cost upward of $1 million per year.
"That is going to require the use of public money as an investment," Salt Lake Mayor Palmer DePaulis said.
They who would be host
The U.S. bid city will face six other cities from around the world that have unofficially announced plans to also place a bid in June 1991 before the International Olympic Committee in Birmingham, England, to play host to the Winter Games. They are:
- Nagano, Japan
- Jaca, Spain
- Aosta Valley, Italy
- Queenstown, New Zealand
- Oestersund, Sweden
- Soviet Union (site city yet to be announced)