Washington D.C. (Photo credit SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Kelly Whiteside, USA TODAY Sports
Washington D.C. knows a little about elections and this time it thinks it has a winning bid. On Tuesday, the organizing committee formally announced its intention to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.
"We think we enter the race as a frontrunner," DC 2024 president Bob Sweeney told USA TODAY Sports. The bid would include the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. area.
The bid would pick up elements of its failed 2012 attempt, but is now in a better position to host with a convention center, a new baseball park and an improved Metro system, Sweeney said. Also the bid is exploring the idea of an Olympic Village in downtown D.C. The 2012 proposal focused on a village in College Park, Md. at the University of Maryland.
The USOC's relationship with the IOC has also vastly improved since the previous failed bids. The USOC has since reached a revenue-sharing agreement with the IOC, ending a long-running dispute that contributed to the failed bids.
The USA hasn't hosted a Summer Games since Atlanta in 1996. About 10 other U.S. cities, including Los Angeles and Philadelphia, are still considering a bid. By early next year, there will be a short list of two or three candidates and by the end of 2014, the USOC will be in a position to make its decision.
DC 2024 estimates that the cost of hosting the 2024 Olympic Games will be between $4 and 6 billion using existing stadiums in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder expressed his support of the 2024 bid. "We look forward to assisting the Washington Olympic Committee in presenting the nation's capital and fabulous surrounding region to the Olympic sporting world," he said in a statement. "We are fortunate to have most of the venues needed in an internationally recognized city that is accustomed to staging high-profile events."
Next week the IOC will select the host for the 2020 Summer Games between candidates Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo.
The USOC is approaching this bid process more strategically than its previous two bids. New York and Chicago each spent up to $10 million on the domestic bid process, but this time the USOC hopes the process isn't as lengthy and as expensive.
In February the USOC sent letters to mayors of 35 cities to gauge potential interest in hosting the 2024 Games. USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in March he was pleased with the response.
"We don't have any predisposition either way," Blackmun said of whether the USOC would prefer a city that's held the Games before or a first-time host.
In its letter to mayors, the USOC said a potential host city would require 45,000 hotel rooms, an Olympic village for 16,500 athletes and officials, an international airport and a workforce of up to 200,000.
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