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2012 Heavy Medal London
Posted at 11:28 AM ET, 05/23/2012

USOC and IOC reach critical deal that will pave the way for future Olympics in the United States

The U.S Olympic Committee has agreed to the terms of a new revenue-sharing deal with the International Olympic Committee that is intended to soothe international resentment while allowing the USOC to lift its self-imposed moratorium on bidding for future Games, according to an international official with knowledge of the talks.

“Safe to say, the details are done,” the official said.

The IOC executive board is to discuss the deal, which would commence in 2020 and run through 2040, during meetings Thursday morning in Quebec City, according to an IOC spokesman. The Associated Press first reported on the tentative agreement Tuesday night.

The USOC’s board also must review and approve the agreement and could vote on it as early as Wednesday.

Approval would pave the way for the USOC to submit a candidate city for the 2022 Winter Games or the 2024 Summer Games. USOC leadership, which did not put forth a bid for the 2020 Games, had vowed not to bid again until the revenue matter was resolved.

Renoe-Tahoe, Nev., Salt Lake City and Denver have formally expressed interest in the 2022 Games. Dallas and Tulsa, Ok, are interested in bidding for the 2024 Summer Games. Other cities have unofficially made known their interest.

A U.S. official said no determination has been made on which Games the U.S. would seek.

The new deal, whose terms have not been disclosed, will replace the 16-year-old revenue-sharing contract that increasingly infuriated the IOC. The old contract guaranteed the USOC 20 percent of the IOC’s top sponsor revenues and 12.5 percent of its U.S. television revenue – significantly more than any other national governing body.

U.S. and international officials blamed resentment over revenue sharing for the embarrassing defeats of New York and Chicago in the races for the 2012 and 2016 Games, respectively. Chicago’s fourth-place finish in 2009 was particularly humiliating as President Barack Obama attended the selection to campaign for Chicago.

U.S. officials have long argued that they deserve more of the international revenue pie because U.S. sponsors and television rights holders provide the bulk of IOC revenues. The USOC is also the only national Olympic committee in the world that receives no government funding, making IOC moneys critical to supporting U.S. athletes.

The most recent negotiations began more than two years ago. Talks about renegotiating the old deal, however, got underway more than five years ago under previous USOC president Peter Ueberroth. Those talks stalled.

By  |  11:28 AM ET, 05/23/2012

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