Seattle for 2024 Olympics? City given chance to mull bid

SEATTLE - Fresh off the thrill of Olympics in London, could the summer games come here to Seattle in 2024?

In a letter to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and several other mayors of major cities, the U.S. Olympic Committee is gauging the interest of cities that may have the ability to pull it off.

"This is what you grow up watching," said Seattle Sports Commissioner Ralph Morton. "The thought of that being in your home town is exciting. If you have a pulse, it's exciting."

During Tuesday's State of the City speech, McGinn's said Seattle's economic outlook is bright. But Morton says landing the Olympics would be an even bigger boom.

The USOC gave a checklist for cities to qualify: The host city would need enough hotel rooms to accommodate 45,000 people, have plenty of public transportation, an international airport and about 200,000 workers.

Seattle has all of that.

But we'd have to also be willing to shut down major roadways in order to get people to the games.

There's also a giant price tag, including an operating budget of $3 billion, which doesn't include new stadiums and there's no guarantee we'll make it all back.

Athens lost somewhere between $13- and $14 billion in 2004. Vancouver broke even with the Winter Games in 2010.

The London games broke even too.

And a lot of people remember the Goodwill Games in Seattle back in 1990 -- plenty of gridlock to go around. Then again, the whole world would be watching Seattle.

The city has two years to decide if they'd like the USOC to make a formal bid for the games on their behalf.