All four of Texas’ major markets — Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio — are in contention to be 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.
Thirty-five cities are in the running to become the official U.S. bid city, but for a place to win the bid, it has to meet a host of criteria, namely that it has 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
Although Dallas and Houston have both hosted the Super Bowl, Austin routinely draws large, diverse crowds for Austin City Limits, SXSW and, more recently, Formula One. Even San Antonio has its own claim to fame as the nation's most romantic city.
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.