The Denver Olympic Exploratory Committee gave unanimous support to a 2022 bid for hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games, reminding Denver leaders that hosting the games have "proven to be a viable and financially successful enterprise."
In a report addressed to Governor John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock Wednesday, the 22-member committee said that it saw significant benefits in bidding for and hosting the Olympic Games.
(Scroll down to read the full report)
Members of the committee included former Mayor of Breckenridge Ernie Blake, two-time Olympic skier and former NFL football player Jeremy Bloom, Visit Denver's President and CEO Richard Scharf, Paralympian Sara Will and others.
The committee estimates that the bid will cost between $27.8 million to $45 million, and say that it can be done with "no direct contributions of public monies." Public funds would only be spent if Denver is awarded the opportunity to host the games, the committee said.
Denver was awarded an opportunity to host the 1976 Winter Olympics, but it was voted down because of concerns about pollution, bulldozers, costs and overcrowding. Denver was the first and only city to reject the Games.
A committee-commissioned poll found that 74 percent of Coloradans favor Denver hosting the 2022 Olympics while 77 percent favor at least bidding to host them.
“The next step in this process is for the Mayor and the Governor to review our findings and make a decision on steps moving forward,” said Don Elliman, Chancellor of the University of Colorado at Denver Anschutz Medical Campus and Co-Chair of the committee.
On Wednesday evening, Hancock and Hickenlooper released a joint statement:
We want to thank the Denver Olympic Exploratory Committee for their thorough, objective work to evaluate a potential Olympic bid. It is great news to learn about the Committee’s unanimous support of a bid and we deeply appreciate the research and expertise offered in the report. We will take due consideration of the report, which will inform our decisions on next steps.
The International Olympic Committee will choose a host city in 2015
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Denver Olympic Exploratory Committee Endorsement of 2022 bid