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  • Salt Lake City Olympic Bid Weighs Corona Costs


    10/22/20

    (ATR) Plans for a second Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City are facing budget pressures that include the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Originally pegged at $1.35 billion two years ago, the budget for an encore to the 2002 Winter Games is under constant revision, three dozen iterations so far Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games tells Around the Rings. He spoke following the Oct. 21 meeting of the bid board of governors.
    Fraser Bullock (ATR)

    “With the Olympics going through this unprecedented postponement due to corona, we need to make sure we have adequate contingency in the budget,” he says. The current number is $60 million but he expects that will increase. How much he would not say.
    Bullock notes that inflation is the biggest driver for budget increases is inflation. The original $1.3 billion budget, created two years ago was based on 2018 dollars.

    While the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee has designated Salt Lake City as its intended candidate for the next Winter Olympics in the U.S. , no date has been set for a bid.

    The next Winter Games host city to be chosen by the IOC will be for 2030. That would follow by just two years the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The proximity may be too close for a new US bid, thus making 2034 and beyond more likely targets.

    “We’re weighing the plus and minuses of both 2030 and 2034,” says Bullock, the former COO of the 2002 Olympics.

    It’s up to the USOPC to make the call as to when to launch a new bid for the Winter Olympics. Susanne Lyons, USOPC chair, has said it is still too early to formally declare the candidacy. Lyons is a member of the Salt Lake City group and took part in this week’s meeting held virtually.

    Possible bids for winter Olympics may come from Sapporo, Japan; Barcelona and the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain and maybe from Vancouver, Canada.

    Bullock and colleagues from the bid are already participating in the dialogue phase of the new process put in place by the IOC to select future Olympic hosts

    The board of governors meeting approved unanimously a series of documents that put in place a framework of rules and policies meant to protect the integrity of the bid. Investigations into the campaign for the 2002 winter Games in Salt Lake City revealed an array of corrupt practices involving cash, gifts, job offers and other perks for IOC members. The scandal led the IOC to enact widespread reforms and expel or discipline two dozen members.

    Bullock was hired as COO in 1999 along with Mitt Romney as president to keep the 2002 Olympics from crashing in the aftermath of the scandal.

    The code of conduct and ethics policies approved by the Salt Lake City board this week make it clear such practices are not allowed.

    “We’re getting started to make sure we meet all the tests of diversity, inclusion, ethics, dealing with conflicts of interest. The best business practices. We want to set a great example,” says Bullock.

    Another policy statement approved by the board establishes that athletes will be involved in all key decisions about the bid.

    Transparency is another requirement endorsed by the board of governors. While the board meeting is not open to the public, gatherings of the full bid committee are to be open. The next such meeting could come in November.

    Bullock says another Olympic Games in Salt Lake City will generate $4 billion in economic impact. And he says investing in a new Olympics will help maintain venue legacies created for the 2002 Olympics, such as the Utah Olympic Park in Park City and the speedskating oval in Salt Lake City.

    Bullock, who was chief operating officer of the 2002 Winter Games, is the most prominent member of those Olympics to be a part of the new bid. Most members of this latest effort had nothing to do with Salt Lake City in 2002.

    The board of governors meeting approved unanimously a series of documents that put in place a framework of rules and policies meant to protect the integrity of the bid.

    Investigations into the campaign for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City revealed an array of corrupt practices involving cash, gifts, job offers and other perks for IOC members. The scandal led the IOC to enact widespread reforms and expel or discipline two dozen members.

    The code of conduct and ethics policies approved by the Salt Lake City board this week make it clear such practices are not allowed.

    Another policy statement approved by the board establishes that athletes will be involved in all key decisions about the bid.

    Other documents require the bid to follow scrupulous practices of nondiscrimination and conflict of interest, statements that mirror current best practices for businesses and nonprofit organizations in the US.

    Transparency is another requirement endorsed by the board of governors. While the board meeting is not open to the public, gatherings of the full bid committee are to be open. The next such meeting could come in November.

    Homepage photo: Pixabay

    Written by Ed Hula. For general comments or questions, click here.
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