PYEONGCHANG, South Korea -- A day before the Opening Ceremony for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, officials in Salt Lake City announced plans to bid for the Winter Games in 2030.
In the byzantine world of the Olympic movement, Los Angeles figures into that decision. In a big way.
Salt Lake City had previously expressed interest in 2026, but then L.A. was selected to host the Summer Games in 2028.
The LA 2028 organizing committee, in partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee, now holds domestic rights to the Games through then and doesn't necessarily want to compete with another American city for sponsorship money.
USOC officials, who ultimately decide which U.S. cities get to submit a bid, have said no one can try for 2026 unless L.A. gives its OK.
So Salt Lake City will submit a 140-page, $1.35 billion plan for 2030 to the USOC and the International Olympic Committee, according to news reports.
But it's not so simple.
Because the IOC recently set a precedent by simultaneously naming Paris for 2024 and L.A. for four years later, there is speculation that the 2026 and 2030 Winter Games hosts likewise will be chosen as a pair.
That means Salt Lake City, which hosted the Games in 2002, might have to bid during the 2026 cycle.
But the USOC would need to give its blessing by March 31, and, so far, it has not established any process to do that.
In the meantime, a Salt Lake City exploratory committee has reportedly said it can stage the massive sporting event on a balanced budget that aligns with the IOC's "Agenda 2020," a set of reforms designed to attract bidders by making the Games more affordable.
Other cities that have expressed interest in hosting include Denver; Calgary, Canada; and Sion, Switzerland.
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