Washington, D.C. has played host to many a large sporting events, but this could be the biggest: the summer Olympic Games. The Associated Press reports today that an exploratory group has been formed to submit a bid for the 2024 games.
No U.S. city has hosted the summer Olympics since Atlanta did in 1996, and a number of cities would be competing with D.C. for the honor: in February, the U.S. Olympic Committee invited 35 cities to submit bids, though only 10 are expected to be considered serious contenders. Los Angeles, Tulsa, Ok., and Philadelphia have also expressed interest; Paris and Rome are also potential contenders.
Washington briefly pushed for the 2012 games over a decade ago, but the effort was for naught. If the city landed the 2024 games, the tab would come to between $3.5 and $6 billion. Last year's games in London cost $13 billion.
While sporting events would take place at venues from Richmond to Baltimore, organizers would want to keep the focus on the nation's capital, which would require a new stadium for events. According to the AP, local organizers have started speaking to the Washington Redskins, whose lease at FedEx Field expires in 2026. D.C. officials have made no secret of their desire to see the Redskins return to D.C.
In a statement, Redskins team owner backed the bid. "We look forward to assisting the Washington Olympic Committee in presenting the nation’s capital and fabulous surrounding region to the Olympic sporting world,” he said. “We are fortunate to have most of the venues needed in an internationally recognized city that is accustomed to staging high-profile events.”
The 2024 games will be awarded by the International Olympic Committee in 2017.