Four bidders are expected to be in the race.
The race between countries for the 2030 Winter Olympics is underway with a Spanish bid from the Pyrenees-Barcelona region pitted against offers from Sapporo, Japan, Salt Lake City, Utah and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Ukraine really wanted to host the 2030 Winter Olympics. Ukrainian officials were planning to meet with the International Olympic Committee to explain why the country should host the event. But that plan is dead after Russia invaded Ukraine in February during an Olympics truce period. Salt Lake City, Utah business and political leaders want the 2030 Winter Games although they may have to wait until 2034 as it is unlikely the IOC wants back-to-back US Olympics with Los Angeles hosting the 2028 Summer Games. Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and Sapporo hosted the 1972 winter event. Japan’s bid for the 2030 Olympics comes on the heels of the financially disastrous COVID-19 delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics which took place in 2021. Sapporo bowed out of the 2026 Winter Olympics competition.
An Olympic bidder needs an incredible amount of government and TV support in the form of billions of dollars of public money and lots of TV money. In Salt Lake City’s case, the United States TV and platform network, Comcast, would pour billions of dollars into the Olympics in exchange for programming. No government wanted to subsidize a 2026 Winter Olympics bid although Italy relaxed its stance and did help out Cortina bidders get that event. The IOC identified Queensland in Australia as the perfect spot for the 2032 Summer Olympics and seemingly awarded the area the event without a bidding process. The IOC has begun a policy of “non-committal continuous dialogue” with potential candidates to find out if a region will welcome the event. The race is on.
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