Atlanta Olympic logoIn canvassing for its next potential Olympic city, the United States Olympic Committee sent letters to the mayors of 35 American cities on Tuesday to gauge their interest in making a bid for the 2024 Games.

The list includes 25 of the largest cities in the country and others that have previously expressed interest in hosting the Olympics. They range in size from New York, with 8.2 million people, to Rochester, with 210,000, and many are probably virtually disqualified by the requirements listed in the letter, which include having 45,000 hotel rooms available for the Games.

The USOC says it has not decided whether to pursue a bid in 2024, but it has begun the decision-making process in unusual fashion. The selection pool of potential United States bid cities is usually limited to the very largest, for logistical reasons as well as the need to compete with major international cities to win the Games. The last two American bid cities, New York (2012) and Chicago (2016), each spent more than $10 million, only to be eliminated early in the voting by the International Olympic Committee.

The USOC is clearly interested in trying again, and it is being far more inclusive than usual. It said in the letter that it has just over two years to select the city for the United States’ bid. The IOC is to choose the 2024 host city in 2017.

“Our objective in this process is to identify a partner city that can work with us to present a compelling bid to the IOC and that has the right alignment of political, business and community leadership,” the letter to the mayors reads. “We are seeking a partner that understands the value of the Olympic Games and the legacy that can be created not only for their community, but for our country.”

The list of requirements is steep, and the USOC predicted the operating budget for a Games would exceed $3 billion. Cities not only need adequate hotel space, but they must also construct an Olympic Village to house 16,500 athletes and operations space for 15,000 news media members. An extensive public transportation network is required, and the letter states that a work force of 200,000 people is necessary.

Read more: NYTimes


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