Salt Lake City is closing in on its bid to host the Winter Games again. GETTY IMAGES

Utah’s bid to bring the Winter Olympics back to Salt Lake City takes another step forward, as the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games released its budget on Monday to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as part of their response to the Future Host Questionnaire. The organisers projected that hosting the 2034 Winter Games in Utah would cost nearly $4 billion (€3.7 billion), including $2.83 billion (€2.6 billion) for core operations and promised no state or local public funding will be used to fund the Games.

"A cornerstone of our financial plan is that we will raise our entire Games operating budget from commercial and private sources, with no use of state or local taxpayer dollars," Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, told reporters during a virtual presentation Monday morning.

Bullock, the former COO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee of the 2002 Winter Olympics, broke down the numbers saying that aside from the Games’ day-to-day operations, $905 million (843 million euros) included a joint marketing agreement and revenue sharing with the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), and $260 million (€242 million) for a legacy fund for future sport and youth programmes. 

The legacy fund is one of the longstanding principles of the organisation’s focus on legacy: to continue to support host communities. Following the 2002 Games, the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation and other community-based sports organisations have enhanced the positive impact of sport on youth and provided training venues for USA and international athletes. The Utah Sports Commission has boosted the growth of sport overall, supporting over 1,100 national and international events in Utah since 2002, according to Park Record. 

The $2.83 billion operating budget is higher than previous costs cited in the past (most recently, $2.45 billion, the Deseret News had reported, according to a November IOC feasibility assessment), but those estimates would have been for a 2030 Winter Games, not 2034. Bullock noted, however, that budgets “constantly evolve” over time and "we’re probably on iteration over 100." Monday’s numbers, he said, are supported by "an incredible amount of detail" and more changes can come over the next 10 years as plans and revenues shape up.

A major anticipated revenue source supporting the budget includes a target of $1.19 billion (€1.1 billion) from ticket sales and hospitality, said Brett Hopkins, COO and CFO for the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games.

"This number allows us to fund these games privately, if you will, without reliance on public funds," he said, adding that organisers plan to implement a ticket pricing strategy that will offer tiered prices depending on demand.

Other major revenue sources include contributions from the IOC, domestic sponsorships expected to be generated through the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee joint venture on the heels of the Los Angeles 2028 Games, licensing and merchandising, and other funding, including donations, liquidations, interest incomes and other revenues.

A major cost savings for a 2034 Winter Games, Bullock said, is that Utah doesn’t need to build new permanent Olympic venues. However, “that’s offset to some degree” by an expected 40% increase in the number of events.

Salt Lake City has already been selected as a  2034 preferred host and IOC officials toured Utah and its existing Olympic venues last April —praising Utah’s preparedness and reminiscing about Salt Lake City’s 2002 Winter Games. The IOC Executive Board is expected to review the report and make a final, formal decision by 24 July ahead of the start of the 2034 Summer Games.