San Diego asked to make a bid to be 2024 Summer Olympics host

Hosting Games would cost San Diego billions

SAN DIEGO - The United States Olympic Committee wants San Diego to consider hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The USOC sent a letter to the mayors of 35 U.S. cities, including San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, gauging their interest in hosting the Games.

"I think Filner probably should respond to that letter as positive as he can," said San Diego State University International Communications professor John Eger.

Eger said it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but San Diego Tax Fighters chairman Richard Rider disagreed.

"This is one of those wonderful opportunities for the city leadership to do what it should be doing -- nothing," suggested Rider.

Rider said the bidding process alone costs millions.

"Chicago bid on the Olympics and spent a $100 million … just to bid; they failed," he exclaimed.

If San Diego won the right to host the Games, it would have to build an Olympic Village for 16,000 athletes. It may also need a bigger airport, a workforce of 200,000 and more sports venues.

San Diego already has some venues that could be used -- Qualcomm Stadium, Petco Park, the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Mission Bay, Viejas Arena and the Valley View Casino Center. There's also a velodrome for bicycle racing.

Building new venues and hosting the games would cost billions of dollars. The London Olympics in 2012 cost $15 billion.

"Who's going to pay the difference? The tooth fairy? The state of California? I don't think so," said Rider.

Eger agreed the Olympics aren't a moneymaker, but he thinks San Diego can partner with a neighbor to split the costs -- Tijuana. It would be the first-ever international Olympic bid.

"You can do great things to position your region globally," said Professor Eger.

Filner wasn't available to tell 10News his views on the USOC's letter.

Rider, however, had some thoughts for him: "Do not answer that letter, do not submit a bid, and do not try to bring the most expensive venue in the world to San Diego."

The last time an American City hosted the Olympics was the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, when Mitt Romney was in charge.

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