An exploratory committee put together by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has determined that 61 percent of Colorado residents support a future Olympics being held in the state.
Back in February, we reported that an exploratory panel had been assembled and tasked with determining whether vying for a chance at hosting a Winter Olympic Games would be in Colorado’s best interest. Now that committee has come to a conclusion and presented their report to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.
Yes. Colorado should indeed bid on hosting a Winter Games for either 2030 or beyond, they say, as long as state residents support it via a statewide ballot.
A bid for 2030 would require a vote in 2020, since talks would begin as soon as 2021. The United States Olympic Committee must narrow down its pool of interested U.S. cities to one, since it is only permitted to submit one bid.
An official decision would likely be announced by the International Olympic Committee in 2023.
But in order to avoid repeating history (Colorado was awarded the 1976 Winter Olympics and ended up backing out when residents voted down the related tax increases), the committee is recommending that Denver and Colorado host the Olympics using private funding — not direct taxpayer funding. It’s estimated that hosting the Olympics could cost upwards of $2 billion.
Getting upfront voter approval (the year before discussions officially begin) is also crucial, since the 1976 Games were officially awarded to Colorado before the tax support for the Games was ultimately voted down in 1972.
The exploratory committee included representatives from a variety of organizations around the state. Some of the more high-profile members included Chauncey Billups, Peyton Manning, and Wellington Webb.
To read the full report from the committee, click here. (Warning: It’s lengthy!)
What do you think? Would you support a bid for the Olympics to come to Colorado? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!