Group pushes for Olympic bid for Bozeman
Updated On: Feb 10 2014 02:32:17 PM MST
The process of bringing the Olympic Games to any city takes years of planning, and has a price tag that can run in to the billions. That price includes everything from building stadiums and lining up event locations, to ensuring there are enough accommodations to house millions of visitors.
Jon Greenspon is a Bozeman resident who got the idea to bring the Games to the Treasure State after watching the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
"Myself and a few other gentlemen talked about it during the Vancouver Olympics, and realizing it's a possibility, we could do something like this," said Greenspon.
Greenspon is the CEO of the Big Sky Committee for the Winter Games. His vision spans much of wouthwest and west-central Montana, from Big Sky, to Butte, to Missoula.
"Montana itself has a lot to offer, we've got world class ski resorts, just the same they have got in Vancouver and anywhere else. If you want to do a ceremony, say at Washington Stadium at UM," said Greenspon.
We compared Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula to Fisht Olympic Stadium, the one built specifically for the Sochi games. Washington-Grizzly is the largest stadium in the state, and holds just over 25,000 people. Fisht stadium is almost 33 percent larger, and able to accomodate 40,000 spectators.
Greenspon thinks existing facilities can be updated, and college stadiums can be turned in to ice hockey rinks with temporary seating added.
"We've got a speed skating track up in Butte, and we've got Big Sky Resort, which has some of the best snow you can find anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. You can do something like that at Bozeman's Bobcat Stadium or using Washington Stadium at UM, and when it is done you roll it up, put it away and you are back to having a regular football stadium," said Greenspon.
Greenspon tells us he has traveled around western Montana, talking to people about this potential bid.
"We have verbal best wishes from all of our federal legislators, Steve (Bullock), Jon (Tester) and Max (Baucus). All of their offices all say it is wonderfiul thing they would love to see progress," said Greenspon.
At the beginning of the week, Greenspon delivered an official proposal. However, if Governor Bullock does not approve, the dream of Bozeman 2026 will be just that -- a dream.
"It is a gamble, yeah, but any kind of business venture you are looking at these days is a gamble," said Greenspon.
But it's a gamble Greenspon will continue to fighting for, so southwest Montana can be center stage in 2026.