SALT LAKE CITY — The odds of Salt Lake City being awarded the 2030 Winter Olympics have suddenly improved dramatically.
Officials in Vancouver, one of two other cities besides Salt Lake City to bid on hosting the Games, announced Thursday that they will not support a move to bring them to the area.
“There are billions of dollars in direct costs, and potential guarantee and indemnity liability risks on this project that could jeopardize our government’s ability to address pressures facing British Columbians right now. Based on careful consideration, the Province is declining to support a bid,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.
With Vancouver dropping out, Sapporo, Japan is the only other location besides Salt Lake City to be announced as a 2030 bid city.
“For us, what it means, is that our odds are higher of hosting a Games; whether it’s 2030 or 2034,” said Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the committee looking to bring the Olympics to Salt Lake City. “We believe one of those will be held in Utah and we’re excited about that.”
“My assumption is that it’s no longer if, but when, we will be hosting the Olympic Games,” said Salt Lake County mayor Jenny Wilson. “It’s now up to us to guarantee that the Games, whether they be in 2030 or 2034, be a benefit to the broader community.”
All three cities, Salt Lake City, Sapporo and Vancouver have previously hosted the Winter Olympics. The Games last visited the Wasatch Front in 2002.
“We remain hopeful as we work hard to put together a successful bid. Salt Lake City really checks all the boxes to host another Winter Games. We’re well positioned and, as organizers, we’re united in our commitment,” said Gov. Spencer Cox in a statement issued through his office.
In April, a delegation with the International Olympic Committee visited several venues expected to be used should the Olympics return to Utah. Many were previously used in 2020.
“If we do have another one here it will be top tier and it will be one of those Olympics that we all remember because it was so epic,” said Colby Stevenson, a silver medalist in the 2022 Big Air event in Beijing, back in April.
The IOC is scheduled to make a decision on a 2030 host city next year.
“Putting together a bid is not easy, it’s very complicated, but Utah is a wonderful place to host the Games,” said Bullock. “We have great people, great infrastructure, great venues, and so we look forward to hosting in the not-too-distant future.”