Detroit is among the 35 cities to receive a letter Tuesday from the U.S. Olympic Committee gauging interest in hosting the 2024 Summer Games and Paralympic Games.
The Colorado Springs-based nonprofit that heads the organizing, oversight and fundraising efforts for the U.S. Olympic teams sent the letter to the mayors of the 25 largest U.S. cities and another 10 that had expressed interest in hosting the games.
A decision on the 2024 Summer Games will be made by the International Olympic Committee in 2017. The USOC will make its submission with a partner city in 2015.
A request for comment was left for Mayor Dave Bing’s office.
While Detroit’s financial situation and lack of mass transit makes any Olympic bid likely a long shot, the city has played host to many high-profile sporting events in the past decade, including a Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup finals, NBA finals and NCAA basketball and hockey finals, along with a variety of other pro, amateur and college events.
Dave Beachnau, executive director of the Detroit Sports Commission, said he’d not yet seen the letter nor heard from Bing’s office.
“There has been informal discussion over time about an Olympic bid. It’s something we’ll evaluate closely,” he said this morning.
The nonprofit Detroit Sports Commission markets Detroit for amateur and college sporting events, and acts as a go-between for media and corporate relations and provides organizational services. It was launched in 2001 and was known until 2008 as the Detroit Metro Sports Commission. It’s a 501(c)(3) nonprofit subsidiary of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“We would like to begin having discussions with interested cities about possible bid themes as well as the infrastructure, financial resources and other assets that are required to host the Games,” the committee said in the letter. “Our objective in this process is to identify a partner city that can work with us to present a compelling bid to the IOC and that has the right alignment of political, business and community leadership.”
Minimum requirements to host the games include 45,000 hotel rooms, an international airport, an Olympic village for 16,500 athletes and staffers, a 5,000-person dining hall, space for 15,000 media, public transportation to venues and a workforce of up to 200,000, according to the letter.
Detroit bid for the Olympics in 1944 (London), 1952 (Helsinki), 1956 (Melbourne), 1960 (Rome), 1964 (Tokyo), 1968 (Mexico City) and 1972 (Munich).
The seven bids are the most of any U.S. city. Internationally, Rome also has made seven bids; it hosted the 1960 Summer Games.
Bill Shea, Crain’s Detroit Business.