ROME -- New IOC president Thomas Bach is pleased with the Italian governments support for a 2024 Summer Olympics bid and said its "time for the United States to present a strong bid." Bach is in Rome for the European Olympic Committees general assembly and meetings with Pope Francis. He also visited with Italian Premier Enrico Letta. "The prime minister appeared to be interested in a bid from Italy for 24, because he has realized that the games can serve as a catalyst for development for a city and a country," Bach told The Associated Press on Saturday. While Rome has not yet been officially selected, the capital -- which hosted the 1960 Games -- likely would be Italys candidate. Other potential 2024 bids could come from Paris; Doha, Qatar; and cities in Africa and the United States. "I think its time for the United States to present a strong bid," Bach said. "And Im happy to hear that the USOC is undertaking everything to prepare such a bid." Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington are among the cities that could present a U.S. bid. USOC chairman Larry Probst attended the EOC meeting in Rome as the Americans attempt to boost their presence and influence in Olympic circles. Probst was chosen an IOC member in September. The USOC, which brings more money than anyone to the Olympic movement in the form of sponsorship and TV revenue, hasnt hosted an Olympics since the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. The countrys last Summer Olympics were in Atlanta in 1996. Italys last Olympics were the 2006 Winter Games in Turin. Rome was the first city to declare its candidacy for the 2020 Games, but then-Premier Mario Monti refused to provide government financial backing and the bid was dropped. However, Letta voiced strong support for a 2024 bid in a speech at an Italian Olympic Committee meeting 10 days ago and again after meeting seeing Bach. "The Italian bid could become something definitive," Letta said after meeting with Bach on Friday. "Its not just a simple possibility." Bach also visited the pope both individually on Friday and again Saturday with a large delegation from the Olympic assembly. With numerous other high-profile IOC members also in Rome -- such as Sheik Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, the influential Kuwaiti who heads the Association of National Olympic Committees -- Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago called the two-day assembly "satisfying from every point of view." "I really think we showed strong signs of credibility," Malago said. "For them to be here and touch things that we take for granted with their own hands was very special." While Italys financial situation has not improved since Montis rejection, with the countrys economy still in recession, senior Italian IOC member Mario Pescante said the Olympics would spur a turnaround. "Our country needs this," Pescante told the AP. "The principal problem for our country is to convince a defeatist public opinion -- and rightly so defeatist -- considering the way we react to any big event, whether its an earthquake or what not." Fears of rampant corruption play a big role. "People need to stop saying We cant do it, added Pescante, who stepped in as a special commissioner for the Turin Games. "If we continue not to build anything because were afraid of the Mafia, the country will commit suicide. ... We need to offer a strong signal that this story is finished, that were not a population of thieves. This is the biggest challenge and an Olympics could overcome that." Meanwhile, 10 weeks after his election, Bach is also pressing forward with his campaign to reform the bidding process -- starting with the detailed dossiers that bidders complete at the outset. "From most of them (its) always the same answer because they all answer the way they think we want to hear," Bach said. "I would like to invite the potential bidding cities to tell us how they think that the Olympic Games would fit best in their social and natural environment. It depends on diversity and creativity for them to say how they see it." Earlier this month, voters in Bachs home country of Germany rejected a proposed Munich bid for the 2022 Winter Games, citing financial and environmental concerns. For British Olympic Association chairman and 2012 London Games organizer Sebastian Coe, the two keys for the bidding process are making sure as many cities as possible want to join and engaging with the local communities. "The most demanding stakeholder that you have are the people that youre delivering these games for," Coe said. "Once youve focused on the needs of the athletes, the next most important group are the people in those communities that you are delivering the games for." Detroit Tigers Gear . For the first time all night, as the Raptors were on the clock to make the 20th overall selection, no one had the slightest idea what was about to happen. No leaks, no whispers, nothing. Detroit Tigers Shirts . Basketball fans around the globe will be watching as Kobe Bryant makes his season debut - 240 days after tearing his left Achilles - against Toronto, a team he has used as his own personal punching bag. https://www.cheaptigers.com/. -- Augusta James of Bath, Ont. Cheap Tigers Jerseys . -- The Washington Redskins coaching staff distanced itself from other coaches Thursday by siding with ownership -- and not the players -- in the NFLs labour dispute. Tigers Jerseys China . -- Canadian mens rugby coach Kieran Crowley has made four changes to his starting roster for Saturdays Pacific Nations Cup clash against the United States.LONDON - Alan Pardew was appointed manager of Crystal Palace on Saturday after swapping mid-table Newcastle for a team fighting against Premier League relegation.Palace says Pardew signed a 3 1/2 year contract to manage the club he played for from 1987 to 1991, filling the void left by Neil Warnocks firing last Saturday.I am absolutely delighted to be the new manager of Crystal Palace, Pardew said in a statement on the clubs website. Everyone knows my history here, whats important now is to move the club to the next level.Pardew had been at Newcastle since 2010 and Palace had to buy him out of a contract that ran until 2020.Pardew often endured abuse from fans at the north-east club as he coped with limited financial resources under Mike Ashleys ownership. He should receive a fonder reception at Palace, where he is remembered for scoring the goal that took the team to the 1991 FA Cup final, which Manchester United won.ddddddddddddPardew will take charge of Sundays FA Cup game against Dover. But his main task will be to improve the London clubs form in the Premier League, where it sits in 18th place in the relegation zone midway through the season.We wanted a manager with a great track record and proven experience in the Barclays Premier League, Palace chairman Steve Parish said. In Alan we have both these things as well as a man who has great affection for this club and shares my determination to take us to the next level.Pardew was the second-longest serving manager in the Premier League behind Arsenals Arsene Wenger, and led Newcastle to a fifth-place finish in 2012.He goes with our best wishes and thanks, Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley said. ' ' '