It won’t come across as any sort of shock, but yes, Utahns appear in strong support of hosting another Olympic Winter Games.
The Utah Sports Commission said in a release Tuesday that a poll of Utah’s residents shows that 89 precent are in favor of welcoming the Olympics back to the Beehive State. Salt Lake City last hosted the Games in 2002.
The poll was conducted by Dan Jones & Associates and surveyed 600 residents across the state from Nov. 14 to 21, according to the release. The poll has a margin of error of 4 points.
This comes a day after the recently formed Olympic Exploratory Committee held its first official board meeting Monday evening at the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office. Utah officials leading the charge for the next potential bid have remained transparent, saying the state remains, “ready, willing and able.”
The highlight of the first OEC board meeting was to ensure that a potential future Games in Salt Lake City — either 2026 or 2030 — would be feasible fiscally for the state. Officials touched on possibilities of reducing overall costs for Games, including numbers of tents, trailers at competition venues (which could save potentially as much as $50 million) to rallying the world’s ski jumping community to use the existing ski jump at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, which remains eight meters shorter than the current standard.
“We’ve got to watch every penny,” said Fraser Bullock, the committee’s co-chairman and chief operating officer for Salt Lake’s 2002 organizing committee, on Monday. “… We don’t want to just host the Games. We want to have a surplus to help the sports movement here, the Olympic movement.”
The United States Olympic Committee has voiced its hope of submitting a bid for an upcoming Winter Olympics, which very likely would include 2026 or 2030. The OEC continues to prepare and study the feasibility of a future potential Olympics despite the uncertainty of the USOC bid, which is required to be submitted by next March.
“In many ways, we are even better prepared to host the Games today than we were 15 years ago,” Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, who also co-chairs the OEC, said in the release. “With such strong support from people across the state, we can continue our work as a committee to verify that we are as able as we are willing and ready to host again.”
The Tribune was on hand for the first OEC meeting Monday. You can read the full report here.