8/1/2014

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USOC: 10 cities interested in hosting 2024 Games

USOC: 10 cities interested in hosting 2024 Games
Downtown Los Angeles is seen in this summer 2010 file photo. (Basil D. Soufi/CC License)
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The U.S. Olympic Committee is talking to 10 cities about a possible bid for the 2024 Summer Games, including a joint proposal from San Diego and Mexican neighbor Tijuana.

Following failed bids for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, the USOC sent out letters to 35 American cities in February to gauge interest in a potential run for 2024.

"We're in discussion with about 10 cities actively now," USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said in an interview after speaking to the Associated Press Sports Editors in New York. "The process is really working the way it was supposed to."

Los Angeles and Philadelphia have publicly announced their interest, and Blackmun said San Diego and Tijuana have approached the USOC about a joint bid.

Blackmun declined to identify the other cities being considered as potential candidates, saying they preferred to keep it confidential for now. He said three cities have formally said they are not interested in bidding.

Blackmun said he would be surprised if any other cities came forward at this point.

"We don't want to submit a bid we don't think we can win," Blackmun told the APSE gathering.

The United States hasn't hosted a Summer Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta Games. New York mounted a failed bid for the 2012 Games, which went to London, and Chicago suffered a stinging first-round defeat in the IOC vote for the 2016 Olympics, which were awarded to Rio de Janeiro.

The USOC has since reached a revenue-sharing agreement with the IOC, ending a long-running dispute that contributed to the failed bids. With relations back on track and the USOC working to increase its international presence, the chances for a successful U.S. bid in 2024 are considered vastly improved.

"We've got plenty of time," Blackmun told the AP. "There are no specific deadlines on this process."

The USOC has said it plans to decide by the end of 2014 whether to bid. The International Olympic Committee will select the 2024 host city in 2017.

Blackmun said a joint bid can work in some geographical areas, citing the Bay Area and the cities of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose as a "natural" possibility.

As for San Diego and Tijuana, he said, "That would have its challenges. We haven't looked at it carefully. We just learned about it."
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