Photo: Maykal, Flickr / CC 2.0
Officials in Tulsa said today they are not actively seeking an Olympic bid.
A Sunday article in the New York Times about a campaign to bring the 2024 Games to Tulsa led to blog posts and tweets poking fun at the longshot bid and even sparked a bit of interest in Arkansas when news circulated about the campaign’s suggestion to outsource soccer to area venues like Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
While the second-largest city in Oklahoma is home of the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock and plays host to events like the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, officials admit the city simply doesn’t have the infrastructure to host the Olympics, and called the unofficial campaign a “purely private effort.”
“We have to protect our credibility,” said Ray Hoyt, senior vice president of the Tulsa Sports Commission. “We don’t want to approach people for events that they know we can’t accommodate.”
International Olympic officials require a minimum of 45,000 hotel rooms in cities that host the Games. Tulsa has around 15,000. Plus, the Times estimated the price tag to host the Olympics at about $5 billion — over half the state’s entire budget.
Commissioners said they would instead continue working to bring in more feasible national sporting events like the NCAA championships and the PGA.