The 2010 Winter Olympics haven’t even started and there’s already buzz about the 2022 Games, with Denver as a possible host. According to the Associated Press, Denver and Reno-Tahoe have expressed interest in hosting the Winter Olympics, and the conversation is occurring in the context of the United States’ failed attempt to land the 2016 games.
The Winter Olympics aren’t as popular with bid cities as the Summer Games, and hosting the Winter Games is apparently a step toward eventually landing the Summer Games in the 2020s. Let’s not forget that Colorado was awarded the Winter Games of 1976 and rejected them, fearing the costs and consequences of hosting (from the Rocky Mountain News archive).
Colorado has the distinction of being the only state to reject the Games, a decision that supposedly cost us any opportunity to bid for the 2018 Winter Games, The Colorado Independent wrote last year. Denver was one of three cities that considered submitting a bid for those games.
Meanwhile, Denver is also in the running to host the 2018 or 2022 men’s World Cup, one of 12 cities that would ultimately host international soccer games if the U.S. bid is successful. Little additional infrastructure would be required, since most games would be played at Invesco Field, according to The Denver Post. Denver beat out cities like Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit, St. Louis, and Orlando, Florida, for the bid.
I suspect the World Cup games would be much easier and cheaper to host—overall a more likely scenario than hosting the Winter Olympics. Even though it’s been more than 30 years since we dissed the International Olympic Committee, it’s doubtful we’ll be in the running to get another shot anytime soon.