LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada has agreed with officials in California to make a run at hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics at Lake Tahoe, in hopes of bringing the Games back to an area where they were held in 1960, Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki said Wednesday.
If successful, the Games would return to the United States for the first time since Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002. Squaw Valley, a resort on the California side of Lake Tahoe, hosted the Winter Games in 1960.
Krolicki told Nevada tourism leaders in Las Vegas on Wednesday that the Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition has a memorandum of understanding with California leaders to try to convince the U.S. Olympic Committee to back their bid and take it to the International Olympic Committee.
“It’s transformed from really this hope and dream and inspiration to something that’s become very tangible,” Krolicki said. “It’s now a scaled up business and scaling up, and (there are) things that we need to do.”
Krolicki said the bid depends on the USOC backing its efforts.
USOC leaders, including Chairman Larry Probst and CEO Scott Blackmun, have been noncommittal as recently as September about whether the United States will seek to host the 2022 Olympics at all. Denver has also approached the national committee about hosting.
But Blackmun said at the time that he thinks the U.S. may be due to host by then.
“I think 20 years is long enough,” Blackmun said of the 20-year gap since the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. “I think it’s important that we host the Games in the United States as a way to keep Americans connected to the team.”
Earlier this year, the committee scrapped a plan to try to bring the 2020 Summer Olympics back to the United States, and has said it won’t bid again until it agrees on a new revenue-sharing deal with the IOC. The U.S. lost bids for the 2012 Olympics in New York and 2016 in Chicago.
The IOC wants a bigger cut of global sponsorship and U.S. broadcast revenues. The USOC has long had a 20 percent share of global sponsorship revenues and 12.75 percent cut of U.S. broadcast rights.
Krolicki said a decision about 2022 won’t come until July 2015, giving the states a lot of time to prepare and put forth a compelling bid.
“Mark your calendars for February 2022,” he said.