Olympics-US bid seen as 'clear favourite' to land 2024 Games

Olympics-US bid seen as 'clear favourite' to land 2024 Games

Prospects of the Summer Olympics returning to US soil look good, according to domestic sports business experts who rate the United States as the early favourite to host the 2024 Games.

The United States on Tuesday became the third country after Germany and Italy to launch a bidding process with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Washington vying to become the first US Summer Games host since Atlanta in 1996.

"I think 2024 stands as a logical point for the US to come back," Paul Swangard, managing director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon, told Reuters.

"The US remains the most lucrative market for the IOC as it relates to television and much of this is around the business of the Olympics, as it is an attempt to create some economic value for all the nations involved."

Media consultant Neal Pilson, a former president of CBS Sports, was even more bullish. "No matter what city eventually gets the nomination from the USOC, I would make the United States a clear favourite to get the Olympic Summer Games for 2024," said Pilson, who advised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on US TV rights for the 2010 and 2012 Olympics.

Pilson said bumpy relations between the USOC (United States Olympic Committee) and IOC had hampered recent US bids from Chicago and New York. "The USOC has reestablished good relationships with the IOC," Pilson noted. "The United States remains strong economically with none of the worries that might affect other possible bid cities."

Pilson said the USOC had worked hard to ease disputes over revenue sharing of US television and sponsorship deals. "The issues that we've had to deal with over the last 15 to 20 years, many of them have gone away," he said.

David Carter, executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute, said the 2016 Rio Games may have an impact on the 2024 choice, which will be made in Lima, Peru, in 2017. "The US is a very safe choice," Carter said.

"But if they feel like they dodged a bullet, they might feel they can be a little more ambitious," he said about the IOC looking at a non-traditional venue should Rio be a big success. "If it goes sideways on them and doesn't live up to expectations, financially or otherwise, maybe they'd be even more inclined to take a safer route."

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