Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock are considering submitting a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics to be held in Denver, CBSDenver reports.
There have been no formal meetings, no committee has been set up, however Hancock was quoted by The Denver Post as saying:
We know what we are capable of doing in Denver; the question is now -- do we test it on the Olympics? We are ready to take our rightful place on the global stage. Certainly nothing would help us do that great than the Olympics in 2022.
Hickenlooper sees the opportunity to host the Winter Games as a chance to finally upgrade I-70 into the mountains, without the state footing the bill, according to Fox31. Just as Mitt Romney, who served as CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, had success in using federal dollars to enhance Utah’s infrastructure in the preparation for the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, Hickenlooper sees the same potential in Colorado.
But, the big concern is cost. Would Colorado tax payers tolerate a tax increase in order to help fund the Games in this current flagging economic climate? The Colorado Independent reports that the last U.S. Olympic Games was in Salt Lake City in 2002, Utah and that cost $2 billion.
Hickenlooper and Hancock may have their work cut out for them in selling this idea to Colorado voters -- Colorado is the only state to have ever rejected the Games, according to 9News. In 1976 Denver was supposed to host the Winter Olympics and voters rejected it due to not wanting to spend the tax dollars.
But there are already early supporters. For one, Philip Hersh, reporter for the Chicago Tribune, said last week that his vote is for Denver in 2022, “There is no doubt when and where the next Olympics in the United States should be: Denver. 2022.”
This news arrives in the wake of last week’s report that the United States Olympic Committee will not be submitting a bid for the 2020 Summer Games due to a revenue-sharing agreement dispute that has been going on for years, according to ESPN. Which could mean the U.S. may be out of luck for hosting any Olympic Games in the near future.