(Corrects attribution of USOC comment to Scott Blackmun)
March 8 (Reuters) - The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) said on Friday it was pleased with the level of interest by cities in possibly hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Last month the USOC sent out letters to the mayors of America’s 35 biggest cities to gauge their interest in bidding for the 2024 Games and received a mixed bag of responses to their overture.
Los Angeles, which has twice hosted the Summer Games in 1932 and 1984, was quick to throw its hat in the ring but the majority of other cities appeared to be taking a more measured look at the challenge.
Chicago, which launched a failed bid to land the 2016 Summer Games, and Detroit have already ruled themselves out but it is believed New York was among those considering a bid although the USOC would not comment on which mayors had responded.
“We’ve gotten a handful of really positive responses and a handful of, ‘gee thanks for asking’ but this isn’t the right fit for us,” said USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun during a conference call following a USOC board meeting in New York on Friday.
“We are pleased with the level of interest people have shown but we also want to respect the rights of cities to engage in this process quietly if this is what they elect to do so we are not going to say anything about which cities we are talking to and which cities we are not for now.”
The next Summer Olympics will be held in Rio in 2016. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will announce the host city of the 2020 Games later this year with Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo the final three candidates.
A U.S. bid would be considered a strong contender but is sure to face stiff competition from several cities that have expressed interest in staging the 2024 Games, including Rome, Paris, Doha, Dubai and Durban.
The decision on the 2024 host would not be made until 2017. (Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; editing by Julian Linden)