The Olympic marketing expert who gave Salt Lake City a 50-50 shot at winning the 1998 Winter Games said the city's chances look even better for 2002.
"The odds are probably 60-40 for Salt Lake," said Barry Frank, senior group vice president of International Management Group, a New York City-based group that has negotiated television contracts for six of the past seven Olympics.Frank said Salt Lake City's odds have improved since losing the 1998 Winter Games to Nagano, Japan. "There was a concern coming in that 1998 was just way too close to Atlanta (host of the 1996 Summer Games). With six years in between, that makes a big difference," he said.
Salt Lake City's toughest competitor? Frank agrees with Salt Lake City's bid backers that it's Quebec, Canada. "I think it'll be a question of which city has the best bid," he said, declining to name his choice.
But he did say Quebec has only a 40-60 chance of being awarded the 2002 Winter Games by the International Olympic Committee in June 1995. What about Ostersund, Sweden? "I don't think anybody else has got a chance," Frank said. "My guess is, they will go to a large city, which is either Quebec or Salt Lake City. I think they're finding they need the infrastructure," such as roads and hotels, he said.