DENVER (AP) – The U.S. Olympic Committee eliminated Houston and Philadelphia as candidate cities for the 2016 Olympics on Wednesday, leaving San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago in the running for what many consider to be America’s best shot in years at landing a Summer Games.

The USOC won’t decide until later this year whether it even will bid for the 2016 Games. If it does, it will pick a city by the end of next March.

The International Olympic Committee will pick the winning site in 2009.

The USOC appointed a four-person committee to evaluate information provided by the cities last month, including ideas for an Olympic stadium, an Olympic village and the amount of local and regional government support they would expect to receive.

The committee also reviewed international polling on whether the time is right for an American city to host the Olympics and which city might have the best chance to win the bid.

Many people believe 2016 is the best chance for the United States to land a Summer Olympics in the near future. It is believed the IOC would like to put games in Africa and South America, two continents that have never hosted the games, in 2020 and 2024.

AP-ES-07-26-06 1658EDT

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.