The US Olympic Committee has reduced the number of cities in the running to be the country’s potential bidder to host the 2024 Olympic Games, but is not revealing which ones are on the new shortlist at this stage.
Following a quarterly meeting of the USOC board of directors in Boston yesterday, chairman Larry Probst said the organisation would contact the interested cities to inform them of their status before announcing which ones were still in contention.
Before the meeting it was thought that the USOC could narrow its shortlist from six – Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington – to as few as two or three cities. Other cities, including New York and Philadelphia, have ruled themselves out of the running in recent weeks.
Probst said on Tuesday: "We’re not prepared to get into any specifics or details today, other than to say we had a great discussion, and we’re going to be moving forward with some really fantastic candidates."
The USOC plans to pick a single city by the end of this year, if it decides to submit a bid to the International Olympic Committee, which is looking increasingly likely.
However, the USOC wants to wait to see what changes are made to the bidding process for Olympic Games under IOC president Thomas Bach’s Agenda 2020 initiative before proceeding.
USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said: "Until the process plays itself out, given that it could significantly impact how the selection is made, we’re not going to make our decision."
Probst recently caused a stir by suggesting that the voting process could be changed so that the IOC executive board, rather than the IOC’s entire membership, decides the hosts of future Olympics.
He toned down his comments yesterday, saying: "Upon further thinking about it, it might not be such a terrible idea to have the executive board get it down to a few cities, then put the vote to the full membership."
Bach said this week that Rome would be a "very strong contender" to host the 2024 Olympics if it decided to bid. The Italian capital withdrew from the race to host the 2020 games in the face of the economic crisis sweeping southern Europe at the time.
Competition for the 2024 Olympics is also likely to come from France, with a Paris bid in the process of being discussed, as well as: Berlin or Hamburg in Germany; Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; Doha in Qatar; Toronto in Canada; Melbourne in Australia; and Baku in Azerbaijan.
The International Olympic Committee is due to select the host city in a vote in 2017.