Why Dallas and Houston Can’t Co-host the
Olympic Games in 2024

Dallas-2024The Morning News had an editorial over the weekend in support of an effort to bring the Olympics to Dallas in 2024. The effort already has a nonprofit committee and a website and everything. There’s no timeline yet for the United States Olympic Committee to choose which of the 35 American cities it invited to participate will be the official U.S. applicant city (each country is allowed only one) to the International Olympic Committee. The IOC will have the final say, deciding among candidate cities worldwide, as to which gets the games.

DMN‘s editorial board suggested that Dallas might co-host with other Texas cities like Houston and Galveston. While it’s true that Olympics often involve venues some distance outside the actual city, it’s not accurate to say that any of these other sites could “co-host” with Dallas. The Olympics must be officially hosted by a city, not a region. From the Olympic Charter:

The honour and responsibility of hosting the Olympic Games are entrusted by the IOC
to a city, which is elected as the host city of the Olympic Games.

Events can take place outside the city proper, of course, but the major ceremonies and the Olympic Village have to stay put:

All sports competition must take place in the host city of the Olympic Games, unless
the IOC Executive Board authorises the organisation of certain events in other cities,
sites or venues situated in the same country. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies
must take place in the host city itself. The location, sites and venues for any sports or
other events of any kind must all be approved by the IOC Executive Board.

According to several of the players involved with Dallas’ failed 2012 Olympics effort, the fact that one city had to be the headliner on the application was a challenge in gathering the sort of regional cooperation that they needed to make the case that Dallas had enough hotel rooms, transportation, and venues to host the games. (These same players were later involved in Dallas’ successful North Texas Super Bowl XLV bid, which is when I spoke with them.)

So even if Dallas and Houston could somehow agree to help each other out, only one could get its name up on the marquee. And if you’re missing out on having your city’s name spoken and published internationally countless times over the course of several months and weeks, then what’s the point of spending the money to host at all?

Dallas already has international cachet, thanks to the Ewings, after all.


  • Jason Heid


  • CSP

    Please, Dallas, don’t spend a dime on this. Dallas will never be awarded the Olympics, and in a bizarro alternative universe in which Dallas was in fact awarded the Olympics, the costs and headaches involved would hardly be worth whatever additional prestige Dallas would receive, if any at all (see: Atlanta).

  • Brent Dudenhoeffer

    Actually DFW would be a great place. Most of the venues are in place. It’s the mismanagement of the 2012 effort that leaves a bitter taste. The construction of the center piece is the major cost and it’s already there (JerryWorld). Most of the rest is logistics.

  • Freddy

    Let’s trick Arlington into paying for this also.

  • Hannah Nana

    I like your optimism that “most of the venues are in place,” but modern Olympics are designed to prime the pump of local construction and real estate and other supporting businesses. Since when would Dallas decide that “we have enough infrastructure” to the detriment of letting dirt fly?

    You’re either not from here, or you’re in real estate or law.

  • Neal K

    Don’t bother. I was in London for the games last summer and there is just no way Dallas could pull it off unless we’re willing to invest about $50 billion in an extensive subway or commuter rail network to reach every nook and cranny of the DFW area (greater London is about the same size geographically as Dallas-Fort Worth). Think DART rail times 20 with stops and stations every quarter mile. Also, the average high temperature was about 65º.

  • Brent Dudenhoeffer

    You’re correct I’m not from Dallas. I moved there in 83 and left in 08. I was on a few of the many Dallas 2012 committees so I have a superficial understanding of what it takes for a solid Olympic bid. Letting “dirt fly” is no longer the paradigm. You’re a decade behind.

  • Hannah Nana

    Dear Dude(nhoeffer) [Sweet]: I am literally standing at the foot of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge as I type this. Tell me again that the “dirt fly” paradigm is dead. You’re obfuscating facts.