Thursday, July 24
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Leaders from the four U.S. cities in the running to bid for the 2024 Summer Games will meet with U.S. Olympic Committee leadership Friday in the first gathering to include representatives from all the major interested parties.
The USOC has asked teams from Los Angeles, Boston, Washington and San Francisco to send up to four people each for what it is billing as a low-key informative session about the finances and other details about bidding for the Olympics.
USOC CEO Scott Blackmun told The Associated Press the list of representatives was still being completed as of Wednesday. Though the USOC wasn't gearing this toward city and state leaders, Blackmun said all the cities were welcome to bring whoever they wanted.
"We want to give them the opportunity to understand a little more about the USOC and the programs we have in place," Blackmun said.
This will be the city leaders' first major meeting with Blackmun and chairman Larry Probst. Chief bid and protocol officer Chris Sullivan, chief communications and public affairs officer Patrick Sandusky and Olympic insider Doug Arnot were in charge of vetting the cities and trimming the list to four. Chief marketing officer Lisa Baird and chief development officer Jon Denney will also attend.
The USOC is waiting until early next year before deciding whether to bid for the 2024 Games, which will be awarded in 2017. Other cities possibly in the running include Rome, Paris, Doha and Istanbul.
Key to the USOC's decision will be how the International Olympic Committee alters its bidding process as part of a number of changes, called Olympic Agenda 2020, it will make at meetings in December.
Blackmun said the uncertainty hasn't stopped the USOC from moving forward with its domestic process.
"The structure of the bid and the bones of the bid may need to change based on the IOC process," Blackmun said. "Our sense for each of these cities isn't going to be changed by that. The progress we're going to be making now will be valuable almost irrespective of the IOC process."
The leaders will tour the U.S. Olympic Training Center and see the USOC's new downtown offices, where some of the nuts and bolts of a bid will be explained.
One key presentation will cover the Joint Marketing Program Agreement — a deal the USOC must sign with a bid city that binds it to handing over a significant portion of its sponsorship money to the newly formed organizing committee if it wins the bid.