San Diego approached to host 2024 Summer Olympic Games

Is the city prepared for the financial burden?

SAN DIEGO - 10News has learned San Diego has been encouraged to put in a bid to host the Summer Olympics a decade from now in 2024.

San Diego with its blue skies, almost year round sun and more than 70 miles of majestic pacific coastline with mountains and deserts – a perfect place to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. Or is it?

If you ask Vincent Mudd, his answer is absolutely.

Mudd and dozens of others on the San Diego 2024 exploratory committee are working to prove America's Finest City is not just a destination but it has what it takes to host the games.

"If we can leverage investments people are already going to make, we don't have to have the kind of bid that's going to price us out of the market or bankrupt our city," said Mudd.

Mudd tells 10News the city already has everything in place. He says a city has to show it has at least 26 venues to handle events, infrastructure, hotels and transportation to support the large numbers of people who attend the games.

"First of all, you leverage existing investments … so I mentioned transportation. Let's not buy new transportation, let's just use the transportation that's already being funded by the public," Mudd said. "The Convention Center for example, we need a venue of 800,000 square feet for our media center and for gymnastics … the Convention Center works perfectly. When it's expanded, it's even better. That's not money that goes toward the Olympic budget, that's money that San Diego will hopefully already approve."

San Diego State University Sports MBA Director Scott Minto says that historically, cities that win the games pay a huge financial price.

“We've got water, we can do that, we've got sand we can do that… but when you look at the economic reality of having to host the games, what the IOC requires of you, all of the infrastructure that needs to be built, all the security costs, everything that's going to expand in the next 10 years … the city and the country are always left holding the bill," said Minto.

10News did the research and found some examples. Greece spent lavishly on the 2004 Athens games, with final budgets landing billions of dollars in the red and going 60 percent over budget.

Montreal's 1976 games left the city $1.5 billion in debt. It took three decades to erase. The final payment was made just in 2006.

"I'm worried what would happen in the long term future for what would be an outstanding two weeks of excitement and celebration in San Diego." said Minto. "I know that the plans for Tokyo were along those lines, to use a lot of renovated existing venues, but I'm hopeful that it works out. I love their enthusiasm. I love when San Diego is in the mix for something like this, but as somebody who lives here and knows the reality of our city and our capacities, we certainly have the hotel rooms but it's going to cost a lot of money no matter how you look at it."

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