Rybak: Minneapolis won't compete for 2024 Olympics


Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak says the city won't be in the running for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The city is better off seeking a Super Bowl or Democratic National Convention, Rybak said Thursday.

Rybak told MPR that the Twin Cities could compete with any U.S. city in putting together an Olympic bid. "But the time and effort it takes to do that is better spent on doing some of these other events where we have an excellent chance of succeeding," Rybak told MPR.

Minneapolis was one of 35 cities invited Tuesday to make a bid, but Rybak Thursday sent a letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee, noting that he had consulted with a number of local entities and decided to pass.

The city has formed an organization called the Meet Minneapolis Local Organizing Committee, charged with recruiting, hosting and fundraising for major events, Rybak noted in the letter. Rybak suggests in the letter that the city might be a good host for Olympic training and exhibition events.

It's a lot of time, trouble and expense for a city just to bid on an Olympic Games, much less host one. Chicago spent $10 million just to put in a bid for the 2016 Olympics, which were awarded to Rio de Janeiro, Marketplace reports.

New York City also spent more than $10 million in a failed bid for the 2012 Games, the New York Times reported.

The U.S.O.C. has said the operating budget for a Games would exceed $3 billion, and the event severely taxes city infrastructure, the Times reported. Cities need a minimum 45,000 hotel rooms, an extensive transportation network and a work force for the Games of 200,000. Cities also have to construct an Olympic Village for 16,500 athletes, as well as operations space for 15,000 members of the media.

Salt Lake City, home to the 2002 Winter Games, was the last U.S. city to host the Games. There have been four Summer Games in the United States: Atlanta, St. Louis and Los Angeles twice.

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