SUMMER OLYMPICS: Minneapolis declines chance to host 2024 games - KMSP-TV

SUMMER OLYMPICS: Minneapolis declines chance to host 2024 games

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

Just two days after being invited to submit a proposal to host the summer games in a little over a decade, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak politely declined, saying a national-caliber event would be more fitting.

In a letter to the CEO of the United States Olympic Committee, Rybak wrote that he is "firmly convinced" that the metro area and state could host a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games, citing the impending construction of a $1 billion stadium and other investments in hospitality; however, he said now is not the time.

"Bidding on the Olympic Games entails an extraordinary commitment of time and resources," Rybak wrote. "Upon review of your letter, and after consultation with local partners, we have determined that it makes more sense for Minneapolis to pursue large-scale, national-caliber events like the Super Bowl, the Democratic National Conventions and others than to proceed with an Olympic bid at this time."

The city also formed the Meet Minneapolis Local Organizing Committee, which will be tasked with recruiting, hosting and fundraising for major events. Rybak explained that the group will reach out to officer Minneapolis as a site for training and exhibition events in the future.

The U.S. Olympic Committee sent letters out to 35 cities to see if they have any interest in hosting the 2024 summer games. Minneapolis is the first to formally decline.

The games come with a $3 billion price tag for operating costs alone. That's three times the current state budget deficit, and it doesn't cover infrastructure and capital improvements.

What's more, the city would need an Olympic Village for the 16,500 athletes -- but before even getting to that point, the city would need to bid. The last two American cities to apply -- New York and Chicago -- each spent more than $10 million on the proposal alone and were still eliminated early in the voting process.

The London Olympics cost $12 billion, and in the last 15 years, only the Beijing and Salt Lake City games actually turned a profit; although, the Salt Lake City games still put the city $155 million in debt.

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