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USOC impressed enough by cities to make bid for 2024 Olympic Games

After hearing presentations from four cities, U.S. Olympic Committee decides it will make a bid for Games

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Regrouping from a recent history of failed attempts and frustration, the U.S. has decided to make another run at hosting the Olympics.

But which American city, exactly, will try for the 2024 Summer Games remains to be seen.

Four candidates — Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco and Washington — made their pitches to the U.S. Olympic Committee board of directors here on Tuesday morning. The board was impressed enough to confirm that one of the cities will be submitted, but it will likely not name a winner until sometime in mid-January.


Olympic meeting: In the Dec. 17 Sports section, an article about U.S. cities competing for a chance to host the 2024 Summer Games said that Boston officials did not speak with reporters after a U.S. Olympic Committee meeting. They did not meet with media on-site, but later contacted Boston TV stations by telephone and issued a statement to at least one website. They did not respond to requests from The Times.

"We saw four spectacular presentations," USOC Chairman Larry Probst said. "We need to have some further discussion about the pros and cons of each city."

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti came away from the session expressing optimism.

"L.A. is an Olympic town," he said. "We're wired for the Olympics."

The last two times the U.S. bid for the Games, Chicago and New York lost during early rounds of voting by International Olympic Committee members. USOC officials have spent the years since then working to improve relations with the IOC.

Bids must be submitted to the IOC by September 2015. The international membership will select a host in 2017.

"There are 105 different IOC members and there are multiple opinions about which city we should put forward," Probst said. "It completely depends on who you are talking to."

Los Angeles was the first to present on Tuesday, starting at 8 a.m. Garcetti was joined by sports executive Casey Wasserman, social activist Kafi Blumenfield and Bill Hanway, an architect with experience planning multiple Olympics.

"I think it went quite well," the mayor said. "We had really good response and good questions."

Washington brought Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky and former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Representatives emphasized the international flavor of their city — home to 180 embassies — and a history of handling such major public events as presidential inaugurations.

"We can hold a safe Games immediately," Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser said.

The bid team from San Francisco, which has seen previous efforts fall apart, insisted the atmosphere is different this time around. San Francisco Giants President Larry Baer said: "It's exciting to make the case given what's happening in this region, with all the growth and new facilities and vibrancy that's palpable."

The Boston bid came with mild opposition as a group called No Boston Olympics hired two people to hold a protest banner outside. The bid team did not speak with reporters afterward.



Dec. 17, 11:12 a.m.: This article incorrectly states that Boston officials bidding to host the 2024 Summer Games did not speak with reporters after a U.S. Olympic Committee meeting. They did not meet with media on-site but later contacted Boston TV stations by telephone and issued a statement to at least one web site. They did not respond to requests from the Times.


The USOC board convened at the headquarters of video-game giant Electronic Arts because Probst is also EA's chairman. After spending the morning listening to presentations, officials deliberated for a couple of hours before making their announcement.

"I can tell you there is strong encouragement for the United States to bid," Probst said of his discussions with the IOC.

Garcetti said he suspects the USOC wants to take a longer look at recent IOC reforms — including cost-cutting measures for host cities — before making a selection.

"I think we have the most affordable bid," he said, adding later: "Who knows? We have four great American cities."

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