DENVER (KDVR) – Officials in Colorado’s capital did not receive the news they were hoping for last Friday when FIFA announced the finalized host cities for the 2026 World Cup, which was a heavy contrast to how officials in the city felt back in 1972.

According to the Olympic World Library, Denver was awarded host-city status for the 1976 Winter Olympics, but just two years after receiving the honor, citizens of the state voted against allowing any state funds to be put toward the event. The vote made reallocating funds to the effort a violation of the state’s constitution, and as a result, Denver’s Olympic planners withdrew their offer to host the Games.

“Within Colorado, anxiety over the infringement of open spaces near people’s homes, objections to undue spending of taxpayer dollars, and anger that citizens had been shut out of decision-making procedures inspired various citizens to challenge the wisdom and morality of hosting the Olympics,” Adam Berg said in a Penn State research program that detailed the event.

The International Olympic Committee went on to hand Innsbruck, Austria, its second hosting duty in a decade, and Colorado would move forward, its residents slowly altering their view of how economic growth could be achieved.

The exact number of visitors Denver missed out on can’t be quantified, but according to Ski Racing, roughly 60,000 fans lined the ski track in Innsbruck during the competition.

Since that initial stiff arm to event-hosting back in 1972, Colorado has changed its tune and now carries a long list of events that have held iterations of themselves in the Centennial State.

2021 and 1998 MLB All-Star Games

Even if you recently moved to the metro, you may have been fortunate enough to attend the 2021 MLB All-Star Week events that were held last July at and around Coors Field.

If you missed the 2021 iteration of the week-long celebration, the other chance you had to attend All-Star Week in Colorado landed back in 1998 when Coors Field played host to the event for the first time in its history.

CONCACAF Nations League Final 2021

It may not be the most prominent of sports events to host, but the final of the 2021 CONCACAF Nations League Final was held on June 6.

The final match went into overtime between the U.S. and Mexico men’s teams and was highlighted by several impactful penalty decisions from the referee. The U.S. would go on to finish one of the awarded penalty kicks and would take home the trophy. According to U.S. Soccer, 37,648 people witnessed the U.S. take a 3-2 victory at Empower Field.

2005 NBA All-Star Game

The 18,227 in attendance for the 2005 NBA All-Star Game were fortunate enough to see “The Answer” crowned the Most Valuable Player of the game.

According to Basketball Reference, in addition to Allen Iverson, those in the Pepsi Center that evening were graced with performances from Shaquille O’Neal, a young LeBron James, a mid-prime Kobe Bryant, footwear trendsetter Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming and many more who tempt the Hall of Fame bidders on a yearly basis.

2001 NHL All-Star Game

A new all-time record was reached during the 51st iteration of the NHL All-Star Game that took place in Denver back in 2001 when a grand total of 26 goals were netted by the end of the third period. According to the NHL, attendance at Pepsi Center for this event reached 18,646.

The last 21 Winter X Games

While not in Denver, the Winter X Games were held in Aspen in January of this year, making it 21 years since the event has been held in another city. According to Sports Travel, the contract that X Games currently has with the alpine city runs out in 2024.

Colorado’s hosting report card

The state has yet to make up for that 1972 Olympic bid refusal when it comes to being offered the chance to host the global competition. If Denver and the state as a whole continue to prove to be a spot that outsiders desire to visit, then perhaps another accepted bid is just around the corner.