MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Wednesday, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton received an interest letter from the U.S. Olympic Committee to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. The letter to Wharton was one of 35 sent to some of the largest cities in the nation. The Olympic committee will take the next two years to determine which U.S. city is the best option to bid on the 2024 Olympics.
Kevin Kane with the Memphis Convention and Visitor's Bureau says, "Stranger things have happened, do I think that today, Memphis is seriously on their radar screen? No. But they did send a letter to Mayor Wharton, the Mayor will respond to it."
Kane says to even be on the Olympics radar is a huge deal. "Keep Memphis on the forefront of people's minds and look for opportunities that could spin off of that. I think it's smart for us to respond to it."
The letter states the Games operating budget runs more than $3 billion and among the requirements are:
- An Olympic Village that sleeps more than 16,000 people.
- An international airport that can handle thousands of travelers per day.
- A workforce of up to 200,000 people.
- 45,000 hotel rooms - there are currently only 23,000 in all of Shelby County.
Kane says, "We haven't done a logistical plot yet on what we could or couldn't do, I think it's safe to say at the end of the day, would Memphis actually be in the running for an Olympic site if a city in the U.S. were considered? I think in today's terms it's a stretch, but who knows where we could be a few years from now."
The Mayor will respond to the letter, and keep all doors open. Kane says, "I think that if someone sends a letter inquiring about us, we should put our best foot forward and not just dismiss it like it's impossible."
Kane says if Memphis doesn’t get the bid, he would like to see it go to another Southern city. He says Nashville, which also received a letter, would still be economically beneficial to Memphis.