One of Utah’s competitors for another Olympics may be getting out of the race for the 2030 Winter Games.
Barcelona, Spain, host of the 1992 Summer Games, has apparently been unsuccessful in putting together a Winter Games bid with the Pyrenees mountain region for 2030. But local news media is reporting Barcelona may keep trying for 2034, according to SportBusiness.com.
That leaves Salt Lake City and its chief rival, Sapporo, Japan, still in the running for 2030, along with Vancouver, Canada. All have previously hosted Winter Games — Salt Lake City in 2002; Sapporo in 1972; and Vancouver in 2010.
Salt Lake City bidders, however, said last week after meetings with the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland, there is still “no definitive answer” on whether they’re going after 2030 or 2034, and may not be for some time due to concerns about back-to-back Games in the United States.
Because the 2028 Summer Games will be in Los Angeles, it may be “geopolitically” hard for the IOC to choose another American city for the next Olympics, Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, recently said.
Another concern with two Olympics in a row is the impact on a key source of revenues, the sale of domestic sponsorships. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, which shares in the money made, has been working behind the scenes with L.A. organizers to address the financial implications of Salt Lake City hosting in 2030.
The IOC Executive Committee is set to narrow the field in early December to enter into negotiations to host the Winter Games. The new, less formal bid process allows multiple Games to be awarded at the same time, so cities could be chosen for both 2030 and 2034, with a final vote by the full IOC membership expected in May 2023.
It is not clear Barcelona could be ready for what the IOC calls “targeted dialogue” for 2034 by early December.
The Spanish city’s bid “has been the victim of political infighting among potential joint partners and opponents of the project,” GamesBids.com reported, adding regional leaders “have accused each other of playing politics and sabotaging efforts to come to an agreement over the allocation of venues.”