NEW YORK —
The USOC has since reached a revenue-sharing agreement with the IOC, ending a long-running dispute that contributed to the failed bids. With relations back on track and the USOC working to increase its international presence, the chances for a successful U.S. bid in 2024 are considered vastly improved.
“We’ve got plenty of time,” Blackmun told the AP. “There are no specific deadlines on this process.”
The USOC official said a joint bid can work in some geographical areas, citing the Bay Area and the cities of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose as a “natural” possibility.
As for San Diego and Tijuana, he said, “That would have its challenges. We haven’t looked at it carefully. We just learned about it.”
Blackmun said he understood why Chicago is not interested in bidding again. The city spent about $90 billion on the 2016 bid and not even the presence of President Barack Obama at the IOC session in Copenhagen, Denmark, was enough to prevent the humbling defeat.
New York, meanwhile, could be a strong contender in 2024, Blackmun said.
“New York is a global iconic city with a very diverse population and could do a fantastic job of hosting the games,” Blackmun said, adding a bid will likely depend on the result of the Big Apple’s mayoral election in November.
The USOC has said it plans to decide by the end of 2014 whether to submit a bid. The International Olympic Committee will select the 2024 host city in 2017. Other potential 2024 contenders include Paris and a city in South Africa.
“The games should definitely go to Africa someday,” Blackmun said. “If we bid for 2024, I hope they don’t go to Africa in 2024.”
On other issues, Blackmun said he supports keeping wrestling in the Olympics after the sport was removed from the program of the 2020 Games by the IOC executive board in February. Wrestling is now competing against seven other sports for an opening on the 2020 program.