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Brad Rock: Should Utah make another run at hosting the Olympics?

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  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    I believe the level of bribery is not bribes paid out to get the bid from the IOC to host the games but the corrupt bribes paid to contractors and those awarding contracts during the construction of the venues. Any time you spend $50 billion to construct venues like Russia did especially in the Russian construction environment you are going to have corrupt officials who get very wealthy. The U.S. and Utah have more oversight and audits to prevent or slow down such corruption but as we all know it still happens to a certain degree. Since most of Utah's venues are already in place that is a big advantage to host the games here in Utah once again. By the time the Olympic games return to Utah a new airport, expanded RES stadium and new bigger convention hotel will already be in place. What will probably have to be built is a new figure skating venue because Energy Solutions Arena (Delta Center) did not work well in 2002. I surmise a figure skating venue could be built adjacent to the Salt Palace with termporary seating that becomes exhibit space once the games are gone.

  • Don Bugg Prince Frederick, MD
    Feb. 24, 2014 2:41 p.m.

    If a country wants to spend a lot to build up the infrastructure in a particular city, there's nothing wrong with doing that. It's not like Sochi's facilities will all be packed up and carried off like carnival rides with the end of the Olympics. Russia decided to spend a lot of money on Sochi in order to transform it into a winter resort area. Only time will tell whether it's a good gamble, but the mere fact that they've spent more than SLC doesn't show that Russians are being foolish.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    Yes, we should go for the 2026 Olympics.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 24, 2014 1:01 p.m.

    I worry about the level of corruption required to win an Olympic bid...I'm not sure Utah has what it takes.

    The 2002 Olympics cost $2.3 billion. The 2006 Olympics cost $4.7 billion (104% increase). The 2010 Olympics cost $6.4 billion (36% increase). The 2014 Olympics cost $51 billion (697% increase).

    Notice the huge increase - even compared to past increases - for Sochi. Here's the kicker: An independent auditor, as reported to NBC, said that $40 billion of the budget was for bribes. $40 billion! That left $10 billion to actually put on the games. In other words, the bribery that went into the Sochi Olympics was more than the total operating budget of every other winter Olympics combined!

    The bribery bar has been set pretty high by the folks in Sochi. I know that SLOC is not above bribery, throwing down a few hundred million here or there. But are we ready to go into the tens of billions? Are we committed enough to be able to bribe with the big boys? I have my doubts.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 11:59 a.m.

    Casey See,

    No doubt Southern Utah is beautiful and has many wonderful winter event venues. The problem with staging Olympic events in that region is lodging for the Olympic athletes and creating an atmosphere around an Olympic Village. Olympic athletes come from all over the world and they want to meet and converse with one another. Even Salt Lake 2002 was not entirely ideal because some athletes were housed in the Olympic Village at the U of U and others were in Park City and Heber City. Spreading the athletes even further apart to Southern Utah would not be attractive to the IOC in my opinion.

  • Lehi'i Lehi, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    Jeremy Ranch? Not an Olympic venue, bud.

    Nordic events were held at Soldier Hollow in Midway, and it (along with all of our other venues) is still heavily used year round and continues to host World Cup and World Championship events.

    No new construction is needed.

  • Casey See FLOWER MOUND, TX
    Feb. 24, 2014 7:15 a.m.

    If SLC was to host the olympics again, don't forget Southern Utah this time. I'm not talking about Dixie either. Instead of using Jeremy Ranch for Cross Country Skiing, Cedar City (more specifically Brian Head and Cedar Mountain) would have been a much better choice for Cross Country Skiing or even Bryce Canyon if the NPS would allow it. Just imagine the photo opportunities of Cedar Breaks and / or Bryce Canyon as the back drops to the Cross Country Ski races. Plus Cedar Mountain gets as much snow or more so than some of Northern Utah ski resorts. No making snow on a golf course needed.

  • Robert Johnson Sunland, CA
    Feb. 24, 2014 5:27 a.m.

    Denver? Denver blew their shot and doesn't have half the facilities. The skiing is too far away from the host city as well.

  • sprywolf Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 11:37 p.m.

    yes

  • FREDISDEAD Layton, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 9:19 p.m.

    YES YES YES.

    This Sochi fiasco is/was a joke. Bring the games back to the Greatest Snow on Earth!

  • jaredw007 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 8:57 p.m.

    As much as the IOC looks fondly on the SLC's stint as host in 2002, they're much more inclined to look at other venues in the U.S. As of now, there are at least 5 other American cities vying to host the 2026 games: Reno-Lake Tahoe, Denver, Boston, Bozeman, Anchorage.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 8:09 p.m.

    92% of Utahns believe holding the Olympics again. I agree. You other 8% need to get a clue. It was a masterful performance by the city and the organizers. It was put together nearly at the last minute after the Walsh situation. If SLC does it again it would mean billions to our economy, minimal environmental impact, and add any superlatives you like thereafter. Let's go for the gold and show the world how it is done, and done right.

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 6:18 p.m.

    Dutchman
    Murray, UT

    "RES was built with revenue bonds financed from ticket sales, concessions and parking from U of U football games and a donation of $25 million from the Eccles foundation not Olympic money. SLOC rented RES from the U for five months for the set up, rehearsals, opening and closing ceremonies and then the take down. The rent they paid for that five months for RES was at market rates. RES will be expanded once again with revenue bonds long before and if ever another Olympics come to SLC."

    Interesting. You seem to have a lot of information on Olympics in SLC...thanks for the insight. Actually, I just want RES expanded...let's get it done.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 3:13 p.m.

    Denver to Portland,

    Denver was selected to host the Olympics in the '70's and then backed out forcing the IOC to return the games to Innsbruck, Austria. I don't think the IOC is in any hurry to reward Denver again after that snub.

    Myperspective,

    RES was built with revenue bonds financed from ticket sales, concessions and parking from U of U football games and a donation of $25 million from the Eccles foundation not Olympic money. SLOC rented RES from the U for five months for the set up, rehearsals, opening and closing ceremonies and then the take down. The rent they paid for that five months for RES was at market rates. RES will be expanded once again with revenue bonds long before and if ever another Olympics come to SLC.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    Furry,

    What the federal government paid for was the massive security needed for the games which is a federal responsibility and not the State of Utah. The games did pay for themselves and every cent the Utah taxpayer put into the games was returned along with an endowment fund to maintain the venues.

    Eastcoastcoug,

    In case you missed it, Federal Judge Sam dismissed all charges against Tom Welch and Dave Johnson because they broke no Federal or State laws. The money they used to wine and dine IOC members was private money from Spence Eccles and he testified that he had no problem with how his money was used. Incidently, the wining and dining broke no IOC rules at the time.

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    Furry1993

    You need to look up the word frugal.

    SLC for another Olympics makes a ton of sense. The next time around, the USOC can finish the job they started on RES.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    Keep it frugal so Media can rake in Billions?

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Feb. 23, 2014 5:48 a.m.

    So, Rock, I assume we are forgetting the millions in bribes and special favors paid to GET the SLC Olympics in the first place???

    Your article almost sounds like pretext or an excuse for a repeat of that behavior: "Since we can't POSSIBLY compete against more interesting places....".

    How about we compete on the merits of what a great infrastructure is already in place, the presence of thousands of volunteers who speak all kinds of languages, and awesome snow?

  • Denver to Portland Portland, OR
    Feb. 22, 2014 8:03 p.m.

    No I do not think SLC should run for the Olympics again . I think Denver is more deserving and would be a better host city.

  • Laura Ann Layton, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 5:21 p.m.

    Totally works for me. Also, I feel that Utah would be a safer place than places like Sochi. The price for having the Olympics are outrageous and the Sochi snow has been a great disappointment.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    The Salt Lake City Olympics weren't "frugal" -- that would mean they paid for themselves. They didn't. Mitt just got the federal government to fund a lot of the cost.