The USOC’s board will develop a process to determine which U.S. city to support and whether to pursue the Winter or Summer Olympics — the next available are the 2022 Winter Games and the 2024 Summer Games — during its next meeting in San Jose at the end of June, USOC Chief Executive Scott Blackmun said.
“Our strategy is to develop a strategy at this point,” Blackmun said during the news conference, then added later during an interview by phone: “Everybody on the board feels having the Games in the U.S. is a priority, but I don’t think anybody wants to put a bid together that we don’t think will win.”
Salt Lake City; Reno-Lake Tahoe, Nev.; Denver; and Bozeman, Mont., have all expressed interest in bidding for the 2022 Winter Games. Dallas and Tulsa wanted to submit bids for the 2020 Summer Games.
The two sides signed the new deal around 1 p.m. Thursday, shortly after the IOC’s executive board approved it during a regularly scheduled meeting. The USOC board signed off on it Wednesday night via conference call.
The deal brings relief to the USOC on two fronts: It ensures the organization won’t get less revenue from television and sponsors than it currently does — barring an unforeseen collapse in either category — and it enables the USOC to send out a U.S. bid city for a future Olympic Games without fear it will get sabotaged by animosity over the previous agreement.
International resentment over the old deal has been widely blamed for the embarrassing showings of Chicago and New York in the international races for the 2016 and 2012 Games, respectively.
“It’s true, as long as the USOC did not recognize the problem with its relations with the rest of the Olympic movement, any bid would have gone with that handicap,” IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper said during a telephone call after the news conference. “Definitely I think it’s a good day for both parties. . . . Both parties need strong U.S. Olympic bids and Olympic Games . . . held in the U.S.”
The new deal actually preserves the percentages of sponsor and television revenue that the USOC gets in the current agreement, though both figures shrink once revenues reach current levels (for the period from 2009 to 2012 and adjusted for inflation) .
The USOC will continue to get 20 percent of all top sponsorship revenue and 12.75 percent of U.S. television revenue until the cutoff; those levels then decrease to 10 and 7 percent, according to two people with knowledge of the deal. The USOC also will contribute to Games costs, starting at $20 million in 2020, the two people said. The figure will be adjusted for inflation.
IOC Executive Board member Richard Carrion said the entire board as well as leaders of international federations and national Olympic committees expressed satisfaction with the deal.
“It’s a good result; I think it’s good for all,” Carrion said. “I think it was unanimous that everyone is on board here.”
Probst and Blackmun, under pressure to revise the deal so the USOC could bid on another Games, pushed hard in recent months. Salt Lake City bid leader Fraser Bullock assisted in the talks.
“We went into these negotiations with the objective of addressing the key issues that were important to the IOC . . . and at the same time ensuring the financial well-being of the USOC on a long-term basis,” Probst said. “I think we were able to accomplish both parts of that equation.”