AUSTIN (KXAN/AP) - The U.S. Olympic Committee included Austin on its list of 35 cities to potentially host the 2024 Summer Games.
The committee sent letters to the mayors of 35 cities on Tuesday to gauge interest in their towns making a bid to host the games. The Summer Olympics have not been held in the U.S. since the 1996 games in Atlanta.
"While we haven't received a letter, it's certainly an honor to be mentioned as a candidate city," Mayor Lee Leffingwell said on Wednesday.
The letters were sent to mayors of the country's 25 largest cities, and 10 others.
"Our objective in this process is to identify a partner city that can work with us to present a compelling bid to the IOC and that has the right alignment of political, business and community leadership," USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in the letter.
The International Olympic Committee's deadline for applying for these games is not until 2015, and the deciding vote will be held in 2017.
Other cities around the world that have expressed interest in bidding for the 2024 Games include Paris; Rome; Doha, Dubai; and Durban, South Africa.
"I think Austin has proven itself as a great city, and we'd stand up well to our competition," Leffingwell said. "We've proven that time and time again, we are very competitive. Austin has become a global city, and I think we have shown ourselves as a strong venue on the world stage – it's something we've proven with South by Southwest, ACL and the United States Grand Prix."
The USOC letter sought to remind the mayors of the huge undertaking involved in hosting the Olympics.
Blackmun noted that the operating costs would be in excess of $3 billion, a figure that does not include venue construction and infrastructure costs.
Chicago spent $100 million to be a contender for the games only to get knocked out early in the race. Atlanta Taxpayers spent over $500 million alone to host the 1996 games.
Whether it's the money or the sheer amounts of people some Austinites are already saying no.
"I'm concerned about the crowdedness and the more negative things it could bring," said Margurite Wiesenmaier.
The city would also require 45,000 hotel rooms, an Olympic village for 16,500 athletes and officials, an international airport and a workforce of up to 200,000, the letter said.
Below are the 35 U.S. cities that received a letter from the USOC:
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Los Angeles, California
- Sacramento, California
- San Diego, California
- San Francisco, California
- San Jose, California
- Denver, Colorado
- Washington, D.C.
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Miami, Florida
- Orlando, Florida
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Chicago, Illinois
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Detroit, Michigan
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- New York, New York
- Rochester, New York
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Columbus, Ohio
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Portland, Oregon
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Austin, Texas
- Dallas, Texas
- Houston, Texas
- San Antonio, Texas
- Seattle, Washington
Family and friends held a vigil Wednesday at the State Capitol in hopes that a Bastrop man can win a new trial.
An unusually cold blast of arctic air arriving early Thursday will be followed by an increasing chance of freezing drizzle/rain and sleet by Friday morning.
The HealthCare.gov website is working more smoothly for central Texans.
City leaders in West Lake Hills discussed the ongoing concern with the city's water system Wednesday night. The problems arise when water is needed most; fighting fires.
Federal, state and local authorities on Wednesday arrested 15 people and seized 70 firearms in raid on a methamphetamine operation based in Burnet County.
Former Georgetown Police Officer Stephanie Brown said her ex-boyfriend, former Round Rock Officer Eric Poteet, made up accusations against her after she broke up with him.