Panel Explores 2022 Olympics Bid for Denver

Yahoo Contributor Network

An exploratory committee appointed by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper will decide within 90 days whether or not to pursue the opportunity to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, the Associated Press reported. Here are the details.

* Denver was selected for the 1976 Olympics but declined the opportunity because voters were concerned about pollution and sprawl, the Associated Press reported. This time, the problem could be as much about money as anything else, as Colorado-based Alem International Management has estimated the cost for the Olympics, based on figures from the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, at $1.5 billion. Most of that money would need to be privately raised.

* The panel appointed by the governor and Denver mayor would be looking at how the Olympics would impact the economy and the environment. According to the Denver Post, the 22-member group is made up of a broad spectrum of representatives from the Denver-metro business community.

* According to an article from NPR, Denver's backing out of hosting the '76 games was considered perhaps the biggest snub in Olympics history, as the Olympics were forced to return to Innsbruck, Austria, the host only eight years before. In fact, David Wallechinsky, the author of the Complete Book of the Olympics, stated the city will probably have to prove through polling that voters wouldn't change their minds on the matter once again.

* According to a December article in the Huffington Post, Hickenlooper is looking to the possibility of the Winter Games as a chance to upgrade Interstate 70 into the mountains with some federal dollars being made available for Olympics improvements as they were for the Salt Lake City Games in 2002.

* The International Olympic Committee prefers to give host cities seven years to prepare, NPR reported, so the selection of the 2022 locale would be made in 2015. The U.S. Olympic Committee chooses its candidate two years earlier, meaning selection would be done in 2013. According to the Associated Press, if Denver decides to pursue the opportunity, it would likely face competition from Reno-Lake Tahoe, Salt Lake City and Lake Placid, N.Y.

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