Denver Voters to Weigh in on Olympic Bids in Runoff Election

Voters in Denver will be deciding on the mayoral race and some city council races in the June 4th runoff election. They’ll also be faced with a question that didn’t appear on the May municipal ballot as it wasn’t approved in time to appear in that election.

302 asks Denver voters to whether voter approval is needed before public funds are used in future Olympic Games or Olympic Games bids.



Owen Perkins, spokesperson for the Yes on 302, or Let Denver Vote campaign, says it’s about giving Denver voters a voice.

“It says the taxpayer dollars can’t be spent bidding for or hosting the Olympics without prior approval from the voters, and this is for Denver voters. So Denver has often been considered as a host city, will continue to be considered as a host city. Obviously this is going to affect more than Denver, it’s Colorado, it’s gonna be impacted throughout the states. But if Denver wants to pursue exploring, bidding for the Olympics or hosting the Olympics and using taxpayer resources, taxpayer dollars to do that they would have to first go to the vote of the people if this passes on the June ballot.”

Denver has been awarded the Olympics in the past, but is the first and only city to then turn down the Games. The opposition to Denver hosting the 1976 Winter Olympics included the economic and environmental impact. Similar concerns were raised in 2018 when a committee was formed to propose Denver as a host for the 2030 Games. The city’s proposal for privately funded Games ultimately lost out to Salt Lake City.

Perkins says the Yes on 302 campaign has support from the group that opposed the 2018 proposal as well as from groups that support bringing the Games back to the region. “We’re glad to have support from both people who would like to have the Olympics and people not so thrilled about having the Olympics in Colorado. They all share the belief that Coloradans should vote on that.”