IOC Future Host Commission formally recommends Salt Lake City for 2034 Olympics

Posted at 11:33 AM, Jun 12, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — The International Olympic Committee's Future Host Commission has officially recommended Salt Lake City be selected to stage the 2034 Winter Games.

At a news conference Wednesday in Lausanne, Switzerland, commission chair Karl Stoss made the announcement.

The move cements what Utah leaders suspected when the commission left our state after visiting venues as part of their site selection process — they were impressed with Salt Lake City, Park City and surrounding areas.

"I think Salt Lake City would be ready to start the Olympic Games tomorrow," Stoss told reporters.

Salt Lake City is expected to formally be awarded the Games in the days leading up to the opening of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris later this summer.

"This is a monumental step forward for us," said Fraser Bullock, the CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, the Olympic bid committee.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall was thrilled.

"With every step bringing us closer to welcoming another Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, an extraordinary level of excitement continues to build in Salt Lake City," she said in a statement to FOX 13 News. "Today’s briefing by the International Olympic Committee Executive Board emphasizes Salt Lake City’s commitment to partnership, sustainability, and community, making us an exceptional recommended host for 2034. I look forward to presenting and being there for the final vote during the 142nd IOC Session this July."

Senate President J. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, who has been a big Olympic booster, said he was thrilled with the news.

"We first showcased our capability and hospitality to the world during the 2002 Winter Olympics. The legacy of those Games continues to inspire us, and today, we embark on a new journey to create an even greater legacy for future generations," he said. "Our state’s natural beauty, combined with our strong economy and existing infrastructure, will provide the perfect location to host the world. Utahns are ready to rally together and welcome the Olympics to our great state."

On Monday, the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games released a $2.83 billion operating budget that would not take any taxpayer money, although the Utah State Legislature has already approved funding to upgrade venues and other infrastructure projects. That was something Stoss noted worked in Salt Lake City's favor.

"The means, 100% privately funded revenues in this project and it is guaranteed and it is very clear for us that this one will be a comprehensive and balanced budget," he said.

The 100% privately funded Olympics means they will rely on private donors and sponsorships to pay for the Games. But it does not mean that taxpayer dollars won't be used at all for infrastructure needs like public transit or security upgrades.

"The key here is there’s no Utah state taxpayer money, or local taxpayer money. The federal government will provide the overall security plan and security resources. Maybe some for transportation, we don’t know yet," Bullock said.

Catherine Raney-Norman, a former Olympic speedskater who chairs Salt Lake City's bid for the 2034 Games, said they will now start focusing on getting people involved and building even more community support. Public opinion polling has shown an overwhelming amount of support from Utahns about hosting a future Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"I think one of the most exciting things that we have before us is the fact that if you think about a fourth grader or a fifth grader right now, where will they be in 10 years?" she said. "Will they be our volunteer? Will they be a young professional doing an internship with our organizing committee or maybe they’ll be an athlete competing?"