SALT LAKE CITY — A major hurdle to a Utah bid for the 2022 Winter Games has been removed now that international and U.S. Olympic leaders finally have a new revenue-sharing agreement.
"This was the roadblock," said Fraser Bullock, part of the group assessing whether the state should bid again for the Olympics and one of three negotiators representing the U.S. Olympic Committee in the revenue sharing talks.
The USOC had said that without a deal in place for splitting revenues from sponsorships and the sale of broadcast rights with the International Olympic Committee, there would be no new Olympic bids.
A decision on a U.S. bid for the next Winter Games to be awarded won't have to be made for a while, since the IOC deadline for bids to be submitted isn't until early 2014. But Bullock was optimistic the USOC would choose a city to represent the United States in the competition for 2022.
"They have to decide whether they want to focus initially on a summer bid or a winter bid. I'm sure there are differing opinions on that, but I think they will look very seriously at a bid for 2022," Bullock said.
Besides Salt Lake City, other U.S. cities eying a 2022 bid include Denver, the Reno-Lake Tahoe area and Bozeman, Mont.
Bullock said the new revenue-sharing agreement does not affect the amount of money future Olympic host cities can expect, so it will not impact the proposed budget currently being prepared by the state's Olympic Exploratory Committee.
The exploratory committee is expected to make a recommendation on a future Olympic bid to Gov. Gary Herbert in July. The governor put together the exploratory committee in February, the 10th anniversary of Salt Lake City hosting the 2002 Winter Games.
The new agreement takes effect in 2020 and that the USOC has agreed to accept a smaller share of any increase in sponsorship and broadcast revenues.
The current split gives the USOC a 20 percent of global sponsorships and 12.75 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the U.S. broadcast rights. The IOC has long said that was excessive.
Contributing: Associated Press