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S.L.'S FAILED BID FOR '98 OLYMPICS IS IN THE BLACK, COMMITTEE SAYS

Salt Lake City's bid for the 1998 Winter Games appears to be $7,000 in the black, bid committee officials reported Wednesday morning.

"Right now we have $7,000 in black ink when we pay everything," said Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce President Fred Ball, who has directed the bid committee's fund-raising efforts since December.In total, Salt Lake City's failed bid for the 1998 Games cost $5.1 million, all of it private contributions, Ball said.

However, the $7,000 surplus reported Wednesday to the Utah Sports Authority is "all predicated on the informal pledges," Ball said. As of June 25, the bid committee has received $148,700 in pledges - most of it from private donors in Salt Lake, Weber and Utah counties.

Craig Peterson, the bid committee's chief administrative officer, said upon returning from the International Olympic Committee meeting in Birmingham, England, at which the IOC awarded the 1998 Games to Nagano, Japan, that he received a number of telephone calls from people who wanted to contribute to Salt Lake's bid for the 2002 Winter Games. However, the city has not yet committed to seek the 2002 Games.

Yet, the Utah Sports Authority remains committed to build winter sports facilities costing $56 million in tax dollars, said sports authority Chairman Ian Cumming.

"There has been some talk . . . that we should not proceed without the Olympic Games to build these facilities. The Utah Sports Authority need not have any part in such consideration. We have been charged by the legislation to construct the facilities in a timely manner and with the money provided. Until instructed otherwise, that is what we should continue to do," Cumming said.

But if Salt Lake City never hosts an Olympics, the sports authority must determine how it will pay to operate and maintain the sports facilities, some of which are already under construction.

Representatives of sports authority and the bid committee are scheduled to meet with the U.S. Olympic Committee in mid-July in Los Angeles to discuss the agreement to construct the sports venues.

"The (USOC) president has indicated all aspects of the agreement are up for discussion," Peterson said.