SALT LAKE CITY — A whopping 89 percent of Utahns support bidding for another Salt Lake Olympics, according to a new poll released Tuesday that was commissioned for the state’s Olympic Exploratory Committee.
“It sends a message we are ready, willing and able,” said Jeff Robbins, Utah Sports Commission president and CEO, a leader of the committee considering a bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics.
Robbins said he believes there would likely be even more backing for a new bid if a poll were to be conducted during the 2018 Winter Games that begin Feb. 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
But he said the committee wanted to “get a feel right now. Also we’re curious.”
A total of 600 Utahns were polled statewide by Dan Jones & Associates Nov. 14-21 about whether they wanted to try for another Olympics after hosting the 2002 Winter Games. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
The poll results were released after members of the committee heard an upbeat report on Utah’s chances of winning another Winter Games at their first meeting Monday.
“It’s still early, but we have momentum and we’re on a good track,” Fraser Bullock, the chief operating officer of the 2002 Winter Games, told the committee made up of government officials, business leaders and athletes.
Bullock said there are a number of cities interested in hosting a Winter Games, including both Denver and the Reno-Tahoe area in the United States, but all face issues Salt Lake City doesn’t have, such as having to build costly competition venues.
He said Salt Lake City needs to focus on a bid for the 2030 Winter Games, because Los Angeles was recently selected to host the 2028 Summer Games and would have to share domestic sponsorship dollars if there was an American 2026 host.