Going for gold

Could Texas host the 2024 Olympic Games? 4 Lone Star cities are in contention for U.S. bid

Could Texas host the 2024 Olympic Games? 4 Lone Star cities are in contention for U.S. bid

Austin Photo Set: News_aleks_olympics in texas_feb 20132

All four of Texas’ major markets — Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio — are in contention for being the United States' official bid as the host for the 2024 Olympics.

The cities were nominated — along with a smattering of other metropolitan areas that include Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville and Boston — with a letter sent out to the respective cities’ mayors from the United States Olympic Committee:

Our objective in this process is to identify a partner city that can work with us to present a compelling bid to the [International Olympic Committee] and that has the right alignment of political, business and community leadership. We are seeking a partner that understands the value of the Olympic Games and the legacy that can be created not only for their community, but for our country.

35 cities are in the running to become the official U.S. bid city, but for a city to win the bid, it has to meet a host of criteria, namely that the city would be able to accommodate the massive influx of people. The brass tacks:

  • 45,000 hotel rooms
  • An Olympic Village that sleeps 16,500 and has a 5000-person dining hall
  • Operations space for more than 15,000 media and broadcasters
  • An international airport that can handle thousands of international travelers per day
  • Public transportation service to venues
  • Roadway closures to allow exclusive use for Games-related transportation
  • A workforce of up to 200,000

Austin is no stranger to drawing huge crowds for public events. Have you seen this place during Austin City Limits, SXSW and more recently, Formula One? And there’s the simpatico idea of the world’s finest athletes convening in a city as obsessed with fitness as Austin is.

But the Olympics in Austin would be like all three of those aforementioned fests happening at once, on a larger scale. Could the Capital City handle that with its two whole major highways? That remains to be seen.

The U.S. has hosted the Olympics eight times, the most recent being the winter games in 2002 in Salt Lake City. The International Olympics Committee will choose the official host city for the 2024 Games in 2017.

Which Texas city do you think is most suited to host the Olympics? Tell us in the comment section below.