The state could end up paying to use the 2002 Winter Games logo in its economic development efforts, a top U.S. Olympic Committee official said Thursday.

"There's always money involved in Olympic sponsorships," USOC Deputy Secretary General John Krimsky said, predicting Utah agencies will be able to use the snowflake-shaped logo. "I expect we'll reach an agreement."Negotiations with the state likely wouldn't get under way until after Salt Lake Organizing Committee officials return home next week from the 1998 Winter Games here, SLOC attorney Kelly Flint said.

Both the Utah Travel Council and the state Department of Community and Economic Development are expected to use the Olympics to bolster their efforts.

"We would have to be careful with that. They couldn't be promoting businesses," Flint said "We have to be careful that we don't dilute the value of the mark to our sponsors and broadcast rights holders."

It is after all corporate sponsors who are contributing about one-fourth of the organizing committee's $1 billion-plus budget. SLOC's share of the money paid by broadcasters, including NBC, accounts for nearly half the budget.

The millions paid to be designated an official sponsor or television network buys the right to use the bright yellow, orange and blue logo unveiled last year.