Tulsa Bidding For 2024 Summer Olympics Honors

Tulsa wants the 2024 Olympic games, according to local officials, who are willing to admit the idea is somewhat far-fetched. But despite the long-shot, Oklahoma’s second-largest city wants to try the Olympic rings on for size.

The Midwestern city is one of several smaller cities that received letters from the US Olympic Committee asking if they would be interested in hosting the 2024 summer games.

Neil Mavis, a member of the Tulsa 2024 Olympic Exploratory Committee, stated:

“Some people think of Tulsa as a flyover, Dust Bowl town. Many people think of cowboys and Indians … Bidding for the Olympics is the one way to change those stereotypes.”

With a population of roughly 400,000, Tulsa was among the smallest cities on the list of mayors the USOC recently wrote to. The list held nearly three dozen names, including Portland, Oregon, and Memphis, Tennessee. Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett added of the opportunity to host the 2024 Olympics:

“I see this as a great opportunity, I really do. If we come off looking a little lighthearted on it, so much the better, but we are serious about putting our name out there.”

But Tulsa would have to do a lot of work to meet the USOC’s hosting standards. The city would have to add hotel rooms, finance and build an Olympic stadium for major events, and come up with $3.5 billion — roughly the cost to host a Summer Olympics. Tulsa previously hosted the Bassmaster Classic two months ago. The event drew 106,000 people to the mid-size city.

But 106,000 is no comparison to the eight million tickets sold for the 1996 Atlanta Games, or even the nearly seven million sold at Beijing in 2008. Smaller cities commonly host Winter Games, like Lake Placid, New York, and Squaw Valley, California. However, it’s much more rare for a smaller city to host a Summer Olympics event.

Do you think the 2024 Summer Olympics should be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma?

[Image via Caleb Long]