Big Event City
All four of Texas’ major markets — Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio — are potentially in contention to be the United States' official bid city for host of the 2024 Olympics.
The cities were encouraged to consider submitting a bid by the United States Olympic Committee— along with a smattering of other metropolitan areas that include Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville and Boston — in a letter sent out to the respective cities’ mayors:
Thirty five cities are in the running to become the official United States bid city, but for a city to win the bid, it has to meet a host of criteria, namely demonstrating the ability to accommodate the massive influx of people. The brass tacks:
- 45,000 hotel rooms
- An Olympic Village that sleeps 16,500 and has a 5,000-person dining hall
- Operations space for more than 15,000 media and broadcasters
- An international airport that can handle thousands of international travelers per day
- Public transportation service to venues
- Roadway closures to allow exclusive use for Games-related transportation
- A workforce of up to 200,000
Houston has hosted a Super Bowl and the city is in contention to host the NFL's big game again in 2017. Houston hosted the Final Four in 2011 and will be the host city again in 2016. The city is also coming off a successful NBA All-Star Weekend and has expressed a desire to host another Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Officials say it is too early to determine if Houston will attempt to put together an Olympic bid. Houston was one of four semifinalist to be the U.S. bid city in 2012, losing out to New York. Of course, London ended up getting those games.
The U.S. has hosted the Olympics eight times, the most recent being the winter games in 2002 in Salt Lake City. The International Olympics Committee will choose the official host city for the 2024 Games in 2017.