BOSTON (CBS) — Over the past year or so, the conversation of Boston potentially hosting the Summer Olympics has continually gained steam. The news on Friday is sure to spark the discussion even further.

Boston has made the United States Olympic Committee’s “short list” of cities to potentially host the 2024 Summer Olympics. The USOC made the announcement Friday afternoon, hours after a Boston Globe report.

“Making the short list is only an incremental step in an arduous process, but it keeps alive the possibility of a Boston Olympics,” wrote the Globe’s Mark Aresenault.

Mayor Marty Walsh released a statement after the announcement:

“It’s exciting to learn that Boston is being considered as a host city for the Olympics. While promising, this is the first step in a very long process and provides us with the opportunity to begin exploring what this means for Boston long-term. This could have great implications for Boston’s future and economic development and we will proceed thoughtfully. We know there are a number of questions to answer and there are many possibilities to examine, and we intend to engage Boston residents, businesses, and community and neighborhood groups as we begin to discuss what it could mean for our neighborhoods and region.”

The other cities still contending to host the 2024 games are Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

“We’re extremely pleased with the level of interest U.S. cities have shown in hosting the Games,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “Boston, L.A., San Francisco and Washington have each given us reason to believe they can deliver a compelling and successful bid, and we look forward to continuing to explore the possibilities as we consider 2024.”

The next step for the USOC would be to decide if it will make a bid for the 2024 Games. Bids will be made in 2015.

For Boston, hosting the Olympics would require a major build-up of infrastructure, as a host city must have an Olympic village to house the 16,000 or so athletes, upgrades to the public transportation system, among other additions.

But for now, the idea of Boston hosting the Olympic Games remains very much alive. The official decision for the host city will be made by the International Olympic Committee in 2017.

The United States has hosted four Summer Olympics (1904 in St. Louis, 1932 and 1984 in Los Angeles, and 1996 in Atlanta) and four Winter Olympics (1932 and 1980 in Lake Placid, 1960 in Squaw Valley, and 2002 in Salt Lake City) in the 100-plus year history of the modern Games.

The USOC listed the following facts for each remaining city:

Population: 636,000
Tourist Attractions: Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, Boston Common, Old North Church, Harvard University
Major Sporting Venues: Fenway Park, TD Garden, Gillette Stadium
Notable Sports Events Held in City: Boston Marathon, Head of the Charles
Homegrown Olympians: Tenley Albright, Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig, Aly Raisman
Main industries: Biotech; education

Los Angeles
Population: 3.8 million
Tourist Attractions: Hollywood Sign, Walk of Fame, The Grove, Universal Studio, Disneyland, Rodeo Drive
Major Sporting Venues: Staples Center, StubHub Center, Rose Bowl, Honda Center, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Dodger Stadium
Notable Sports Events Held In City: Olympic Games (1932, 1984), FIFA World Cup Final
Homegrown Olympians: Michelle Kwan, Venus and Serena Williams, Janet Evans
Main Industry: Entertainment

San Francisco
Population: 825,000
Tourist Attractions: Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, Cable Cars, Lombard Street
Major Sporting Venues: Levi’s Stadium, Oracle Arena, Coliseum, AT&T Park
Notable Sports Events Held in City: Bay to Breakers, America’s Cup
Homegrown Olympians: Peggy Fleming, Kristi Yamaguchi, Natalie Coughlin, Kerri Walsh Jennings
Main industry: Technology

Washington, D.C.
Population:  632,000
Tourist Attractions: The White House, The Capitol, Washington Monument, Smithsonian, The Mall, National Zoo, Cherry Blossoms
Major Sporting Venues: FedEx Field, Verizon Center, Nationals Park
Notable Sports Events Held in City: Marine Corps Marathon, Citi Open
Homegrown Olympians: Dominique Dawes, LaShawn Merritt, Kevin Durant, Katie Ledecky
Main industry: Politics


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