San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Boston have been named as the US Olympic Committee's short list of cities under consideration as the host to be named in a US bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

According to one or more anonymous sources, who spoke with the Associated Press and the Boston Globe, at a meeting Tuesday the USOC pruned the list of possible US host cities down to these four, cutting San Diego and Dallas (New York and Philadelphia had initially expressed interest, but decided against competing in the 2024 race).

The US Olympic committee has since confirmed those reports in a noon press release, quoting USOC CEO Scott Blackmun as saying that “Boston, LA, 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.”

Out of that list, only Los Angeles has Olympic experience, having hosted the 1932 and 1984 games.

Of course, this is just one step on the road to the Olympics: First, the USOC has to decide if they even want to try to get the 2024 games for the US. The competition is stiff: Paris, Rome, Doha and Istanbul are are reportedly in the running, and the International Olympic Committee (which makes the final decision) has long been mulling a first-time Games in Africa.

Take that, along with America's recent tough track record with the IOC, who passed over NY for the 2012 Games and dissed Chicago for Rio for the 2016 event, and it's clear that the USOC has a lot of thinking to do. A final decision from the IOC on who will host the 2024 games will be announced in 2017.

In the interim, the USOC is expected to mull their bid for the next six months, and will visit each of the possible hosts, and meet with local officials to determine which city might be in the best shape to host the Games. That's where San Francisco might be able to demonstrate an edge: as Bay Area preparations mount for the 2016 Super Bowl, this might be SF's chance to prove that the area can handle an event of that magnitude.

And Mayor Ed Lee appears to feel he's up to the challenge—in a written statement, Lee says that "For the last year, a small group of civic leaders with deep Olympic ties and experience have held quiet, preliminary discussions with the USOC about the City and region’s potential to once again bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and return them to the United States in 2024...I enthusiastically support taking the next step toward exploring a potential San Francisco Bay Area bid for the 2024 Games."

[Associated Press]
[Boston Globe]