SAN JOSE -- The U.S. Olympic Committee sees San Jose as a potential contender for hosting the 2024 Summer Games.

But Mayor Chuck Reed said Wednesday that the race is just too rich for a city still struggling to keep its libraries open and cops on the beat.

"It takes billions of dollars to put on the Olympics," Reed told reporters Wednesday. "San Jose doesn't have billions to put into Olympic games."

Reed was among 35 mayors in large and interested American cities that the U.S. Olympic Committee sent letters to on Tuesday -- including San Francisco and Sacramento -- to gauge interest in bidding for the 2024 Olympic Summer Games.

Scott A. Blackmun, chief executive officer of the U.S. Olympic Committee, based in Colorado Springs, didn't sugarcoat the financial and logistical commitment that hosting the Olympic Games would require.

"The staging of the Games is an extraordinary undertaking for any city, with operating budgets in excess of $3 billion, not including costs associated with venue construction and other infrastructure," Blackmun wrote the mayors.

Just to put that in perspective, San Jose's entire capital and operating budget totals $2.8 billion.

Requirements for hosting the games include the ability to provide 45,000 hotel rooms, an Olympic Village that sleeps 16,500 with a dining hall that seats 5,000, operations space for over 15,000 news media and broadcasters and a work force of up to 200,000.


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And just bidding to host the games costs a bundle. Blackmun noted that both New York and Chicago spent more than $10 million before they were designated by the U.S. Olympic Committee as applicant cities to host games in 2012 and 2016 that eventually went to London and Rio de Janeiro.

"San Jose," Reed said, "cannot afford to put in a bid."

And he's not the only Bay Area mayor with sticker shock. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee earlier this month told the San Francisco Chronicle he wanted to set up a nonprofit group to help his city land major sporting events from the Super Bowl to the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. But Lee's office on Wednesday said coolly that the Olympic Committee letter was merely "under review."

"We appreciate the invitation to bid," spokeswoman Christine Falvey said. "But this would be a considerable undertaking and right now, we are focused on hosting spectacular America's Cup Races this summer and our efforts are also focused on bringing a Super Bowl to the Bay Area."

Contact John Woolfolk at 408-975-9346. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/johnwoolfolk1.