- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The United States Olympic Committee on Tuesday sent a letter to the mayors of 35 U.S. cities inviting them to throw their names into the ring as a potential host for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Letters went to the 25 largest cities in the country, plus 10 others that had previously expressed an interest in hosting. Washington at Baltimore are on the list, along with previous hosts Los Angeles, Atlanta and St. Louis.

There is no guarantee the USOC will submit an Applicant City for 2024 to the International Olympic Committee. The U.S. did not bid for the 2020 games, which will be awarded in September to Tokyo, Madrid or Istanbul. Previous U.S. bids for the Summer Games of 2012 (New York) and 2016 (Chicago) fell short.

The letter, signed by USOC chief executive officer Scott Blackmun, notes the “extraordinary undertaking” and “formidable commitment” required of any host city and adds that New York and Chicago spent more than $10 million just in the U.S. bid process. It says new applicant cities will be selected “through a thoughtful but more efficient process.”

Host cities must be prepared to offer 45,000 hotel rooms, and Olympic Village that sleeps 16,500 and includes a 5,000-person dining hall, workspace for 15,000 media members, public transportation to venues and a workforce of about 200,000 for the Games, among other requirements.

The USOC has about two and a half years to decide whether to submit a bid for 2024. The letters sent Tuesday represent a ramping-up of that process.

“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,” the letter read. “We are seeking a partner that understands the value of the Olympic Games and the legacy that can be created not only for their community, but for our country.”

Here’s the full list of cities that received a letter from the USOC:

1. Phoenix
2. Los Angeles
3. Sacramento, Calif.
4. San Diego
5. San Francisco
6. San Jose, Calif.
7. Denver
8. Washington
9. Jacksonville, Fla.
10. Miami
11. Orlando
12. Atlanta
13. Chicago
14. Indianapolis
15. Baltimore
16. Boston
17. Detroit
18. Minneapolis
19. St. Louis
20. Las Vegas
21. New York
22. Rochester, N.Y.
23. Charlotte
24. Columbus, Ohio
25. Tulsa, Okla.
26. Portland, Ore.
27. Philadelphia
28. Pittsburgh
29. Memphis
30. Nashville and Davidson County, Tenn.
31. Austin
32. Dallas
33. Houston
34. San Antonio
35. Seattle

• Marc Lancaster can be reached at mlancaster@washingtontimes.com.

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