By BETH HARRIS, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said Wednesday night that there's no ideal time for the United States to make another bid to host an Olympics.
With international and U.S. Olympic leaders so far unable to resolve a financial dispute that is blocking any U.S. bid for the games, it might not happen until 2024.
Rogge spoke on the University of Southern California campus a day before the IOC Conference on Women and Sport opens in Los Angeles.
Asked when the U.S. will know when the time is right to bid again, Rogge said: "When I open the envelope and read off the name. There is no ideal time, you have to go off your own strength."
"We have some spots where we still want to go, like Africa," he said.
Speaking as part of a panel organized by the USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media & Society, Rogge made his comments in front of U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun, who said any future domestic bids would be open to all comers rather than conducting a lengthy formal bid process.
"So much of it depends on the cities that are interested, it depends on the leaders in those cities, it depends on our friends in Washington and how supportive they're going to be," Blackmun said. "It depends on what is the mood of the International Olympic Committee. Until we get these revenue sharing discussions behind us, I think that's going to be the big question in the room."
He added that the USOC won't consider another bid "unless or until we have resolved our negotiations with the IOC."
Blackmun said Denver, Reno-Lake Tahoe, Nev., 2002 host Salt Lake City and Bozeman, Mont., have expressed early interest in bidding for the 2022 Winter Games.
He declined to say when the next round of talks on the revenue-sharing dispute between the IOC and USOC would be held. The two sides met last month in Austria.
The negotiations, which began more than a year ago, are aimed at resolving the dispute over the U.S. share of Olympic television and marketing revenues. The IOC believes the American cut is excessive and should be redistributed. Under the current deal, the USOC receives a 20 percent share of global sponsorship revenue and a 12.75 percent share of U.S. broadcast rights deals. Any new formula would go into effect after 2020.
"It's fair to say we are making incremental progress," Blackmun said. "I'm hopeful that we can resolve things with the IOC in the near-team, but it's very, very complicated. All I can really say is that people on both sides would really like to get this done."
Rogge wasn't put off that Rome withdrew its bid to host the 2020 Olympics at the last minute earlier Wednesday, leaving Madrid, Tokyo, Istanbul, Doha, and Baku, Azerbaijan, in the running.
"I'm comforted by the fact that we still have five strong candidates," he said.
Asked if it's possible the IOC executive board will decide in May to accept all five cities or pare the field, Rogge replied, "The first thing in journalism school is not to reply to hypothetical questions."
Rogge's term with the IOC ends in September 2013. What advice would he give to his successor? "Learn to listen and shut up," he said.
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