SALT LAKE CITY AND
THE 2002 WINTER GAMES
We have now seen how the Los Angeles Olympics created an entrepreneurial model by separating organizational control of the games from local politics and aggressively seeking corporate sponsors. In contrast to Los Angeles, extensive redevelopment became a focal point of Atlanta's Olympics, resulting in renewed conflicts over the costs and benefits to be derived from staging the games.
In this chapter, we use the 2002 winter games in Salt Lake City to investigate how the dream of Olympic-driven revitalization plays out in a smaller city hosting a smaller Olympic games. We start with a brief overview of politics in Salt Lake City, then turn to the bid process and organization of the games. Although the cities and sporting events may be quite different, the political themes are strikingly similar.
From its founding by Mormon pioneers in 1847, Salt Lake City has maintained its historical identification with the Mormon Church while serving as the capital city of Utah and becoming a regional trade and service center. The city is located in a valley bound on the west by the Great Salt Lake and the Oquirrh Mountains and on the east by the Wasatch Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. As a consequence of these physical features, intensive urban development has occurred along a narrow corridor of the Wasatch Front running from the cities of Ogden in the north to Provo in the south. The four