While walking to a meeting along St. Anthony Main yesterday, a flyer caught my attention. “Bring the 2024 Olympic Games to Minneapolis.”
Although I smiled, it seemed a little far-fetched to me. Don’t get me wrong, as a born-and-bred Minnesotan, I’m a huge cheerleader of our lovely state. It’s just that I feel Minneapolis is still a small dot on the map, as far as people in larger cities are concerned. I’m always flabbergasted by how often I answer, “Oh, I’m from Minneapolis,” while traveling, and the blank stares I receive in response.
After I did some digging, I see that the flyer really wasn’t all that irrational. Even though Minneapolis has never hosted the Olympics, we did receive the U.S. bid on three separate occasions – 1948, 1952 (when we were runners-up to only to Olympic host Helsinki) and 1956. We also were close the last time the U.S. hosted the Summer Games, in 1996. We were in the running for the U.S. Olympic bid, but it was eventual host Atlanta that got the domestic bid, not Minneapolis.
More recently, Minneapolis was one of the U.S. cities mentioned as potential bidders for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, among New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Tulsa, Okla. During this speculation, Yahoo! Sports ranked the top five cities around the world that were most likely to host the 2020 games, and Minneapolis came in at number two, behind only Rome. In the end, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) did not submit a U.S. bid due to ongoing contractual negotiations with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Oh, what could have been.
With all the recent action, it’s easy to see why supporters are already rallying around the next opportunity for Minneapolis to secure the U.S. Olympic bid.
With two new stadiums (and one on the way), a growing public transit system and the support of the city, dare I say…. it’s so crazy that it just might happen? Minneapolis might just be the next U.S. Olympic bid?
Obviously, there’s a lot that needs to happen in order to position Minneapolis an attractive U.S. bid, including lining up financing. A lot of financing. And not just for the games (estimated costs for London are coming in at $14.4 billion), but for the bidding itself. The city of Chicago, the U.S. bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics, spent $100 million on a failed bid.
What do you think? Would you like to see the Olympics come to the Twin Cities?
[Note: the Minneapolis 2024 logo is from a site promoting a Minneapolis bid in 2024.