December 17, 2014 / 1:11 AM / 3 years ago

Olympics-Timing right for U.S. bid to host Games, say experts

LOS ANGELES, Dec 16 (Reuters) - So often in sport, timing is everything and there is a groundswell of belief by pundits that the moment is finally right for the United States to make another pitch to host the Summer Olympics -- in 2024.

The general feeling is Asia and Europe will have enjoyed their fair share of hosting the Games, either Winter or Summer, once another decade has passed and the U.S. deserves another shot to stage global sport's showpiece.

Not since 1996 has the U.S. hosted the Summer Olympics, partly because of a long-running feud over TV rights and sponsorship, and the Winter Games has not been held by the superpower since 2002.

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) said on Tuesday it will bid for the 2024 Games.

"The chances (for the U.S.) are good, it's a good time to be bidding," Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert at Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco, told Reuters.

"The economy seems to be doing pretty well. It's a chance for a city to really shine, a chance for the United States to show its might and its economic clout. It certainly feels like it's the U.S.'s turn."

Following the stunning rebuke to New York's bid to host the 2012 Olympics and Chicago's failed attempt for the 2016 Games, the USOC adopted a cautious approach.

The USOC said it would not seek a Games until it laid the groundwork for a bid that included mending fences with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the wake of a revenue-sharing dispute, and this has now been done.

"The USOC clearly thinks this is the best opportunity," Daniel Durbin, director of the Institute of Sports, Media and Society at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, told Reuters.

"The IOC has made significant changes to its rules and plans and these changes, to a great degree, are driven by the swift changing media market and financial challenges.

"This still raises challenges for the USOC as the IOC doesn't need to put the games in the U.S. to get a bloated amount of money from NBC (National Broadcasting Company) for media rights and it pays them back internationally to try to open new cities and countries to hosting.

"But, given the 'stunning rebuke' to NYC, the time is as ripe as it's likely to get for a bid from a U.S. city." (Editing by Frank Pingue)

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