Salt Lake City is one step closer to securing another Winter Games.
On Friday, the U.S. Olympic Committee chose Utah’s capital city as the country’s nominee for a future Games, which could bring the Winter Olympics back to the United States for the first time since 2002.
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, flanked by Gov. Gary Herbert and other officials, announced the selection Friday afternoon upon hearing the news from the USOC.
“We are truly humbled to be the choice to represent the United States in a bid for a future Olympic Games,” she said in a news release. “This decision affirms Salt Lake City as the capital of winter sports in America, and the tremendous amount of work we have done to continue our Olympic legacy for future generations.”
Salt Lake City, which hosted the 2002 Olympics, beat out Denver for the selection after USOC members toured both areas last month. Reno-Tahoe had also sought the nomination, but dropped its bid earlier this year.
It’s yet to be determined whether the USOC will put Salt Lake City up for the Games in 2026, 2030, or an even later date. Complicating things is the 2028 Summer Games, which will be in Los Angeles – another North American City.
Utah has explored the possibility of bringing the Winter Games back to the state since last year.
A report from a local Olympics exploratory committee released in February estimates it would cost $1.4 billion to host the Winter Games. The report states it would be cheaper for Salt Lake to host than most other places due to Utah’s existing Olympic venues.
Officials say money from sponsorships, broadcast rights and ticket sales would likely mean no taxpayer funds would be used in to host a future Games.
The report also found broad public support for another chance to host the Olympics. A survey found 89 percent of Utahns were in favor of hosting a future Winter Games.