By Shaun Courtney, Karen Goff and Jason Spencer
Washington, D.C., wants to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games.
A nonprofit exploratory committee launched Tuesday morning, announcing DC's Olympic hopes and its plan to raise $3 million to $5 million in the next two years as it vies for the approval of the U.S. Olympic Committee, according to the Washington Business Journal.
The bid would be regional, with potential venues in Maryland, Virginia and the district.
Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Tejada, who has made promoting fitness and nutrition a cornerstone of his tenure, saw potential opportunity in that plan.
"In Arlington County, we are encouraging a culture of fitness, and it would be great to host the Summer Olympics in the National Capital Region," he said in a statement. "The NCR is a model of regional cooperation and we would be very pleased to support an Olympic bid. It would certainly be an exciting opportunity for Arlington residents to be able to view world-class athletic performances, up close and personal."
"With more state-of-the-art sports infrastructure in a 40-mile radius than any other U.S. city, thousands of hotels and lodging options, and a vast and expanding transportation system, the Greater Washington region is one of the best and most qualified in the world to host an event of this magnitude...," DC 2024's President Bob Sweeney said in a statement Tuesday morning.
Other cities considering joining the mix are Atlanta, Boston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle, the Washington Business Journal reports.
Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity, a Republican who represents the Springfield area, said he is working in conjunction with other local groups on the 2024 exploratory committee.
Fairfax County is poised to play a significant role in the Olympics, with facilities like George Mason University, a plethora of lodging options, and an expanding and diversifying transportation network, Herrity said.
Washington, D.C., has never held the games before, and the last Summer Olympics in the United States was in Atlanta in 1996.
The U.S. Olympic Committee will select which American city will go into the running in 2015. Then that city will compete with other nations' top choices before the International Olympic Committee, which would pick the 2024 host city in 2017.
DC competed to be the U.S. Olympic Committee selection for the 2012 Olympics, which were ultimately held in London.