- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The United States Olympic Committee is moving forward with a short list of potential bidders for the 2024 Summer Olympics — without disclosing which cities it is considering.

USOC chairman Larry Probst said on a conference call after a board meeting in Boston that the organization would first get in touch with the cities to let them know their status before taking the news public.

Washington, Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, San Francisco and San Diego were the cities reportedly still in the mix entering Tuesday’s meeting, according to the Washington Post. The mayors of New York and Philadelphia announced in recent weeks that their cities would not pursue the 2024 Games.

The low-publicity approach to this bidding cycle is in contrast to past efforts, which often saw cities spend millions of dollars just to take a shot at winning the U.S. bid — let alone the far more costlier enterprise that is trying to win International Olympic Committee approval.

The change in approach this time is by design.

“When we’ve had domestic processes in the past, the cities really haven’t been able to engage in exploratory conversations with us without kind of becoming very committed in a public way that had political risk for the people we were talking to,” said Scott Blackmun, the USOC’s chief executive officer. “So what we’re trying to do is create an opportunity to have open and meaningful conversations with these cities in a context where they don’t have to be public. The truth is it’s not only [the USOC] who’s deciding, do we want to bid for 2024 — everyone of these cities is looking at the same question, and I don’t think any of the cities that we’re going to be talking to in the next six months have made an unequivocal decision that they want to stay in. It was really just to try to create a system that encouraged instead of discouraged cities to participate.”

There were no presentations made by potential bidders at Tuesday’s meeting and no representatives of the cities were present.

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