DENVER (AP) -- The U.S. Olympic Committee intends to bid for the 2016 Summer Games, clearing the way for Chicago or Los Angeles to become the country's official candidate this year.
The decision Tuesday was the result of a monthslong process spearheaded by the USOC to coordinate the bid process and avoid a repeat of New York's failed attempt to land the 2012 Olympics.
"Based on our analysis, we believe the time is right for a U.S. city to bid, and we fully intend to proceed with a unified, national effort to bring the Games back to America in 2016," said USOC chairman Peter Ueberroth, who brought the games to Los Angeles in 1984.
The USOC decision was the latest of several important milestones.
The next one comes Jan. 22, when the cities will submit detailed analysis of their plans -- the so-called bid books. About five weeks after that, a USOC evaluation team will conduct two-day technical evaluations in each city.
On April 14, the evaluation team will present its findings to the USOC board of directors, cities will make their final presentations and the candidate city will be chosen. The candidate city must be submitted to the International Olympic Committee on Sept. 15. The host will be chosen in 2009.
Madrid, Spain; New Delhi; Prague, Czech Republic; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Rome; and Tokyo are among the international cities that also have expressed interest.
The USOC has patterned its selection process after the one used by the IOC. The entire process has been part of a bigger task to improve the USOC's standing in the international community, an effort Ueberroth and other leaders believe will play largely in America's chances of landing the games.
"I believe that when our domestic process is complete, America will have a bid for the 2016 Games that is both technically excellent and visionary in what it offers the Olympic Movement," chief executive officer Jim Scherr said. "I am optimistic about our chances in this marathon."
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.