Boston’s 2024 Olympic Bid In Danger of Being Withdrawn

Major news outlets are reporting that Boston’s bid for the 2024 Olympic Games may be in jeopardy. As a reminder, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) selected Boston among the final four entrants in January. Since then, opposition in Boston has grown to the point where, in May, we reported that the city’s bid was no longer a sure thing.

From the time the Boston2024 committee put for its proposal, several opposition groups have been gathering support. No Boston Olympics and No Boston 2024 have been the most vocal, and in March it was announced that the city would hold a referendum to let the voters decide whether or not there was enough public support for the bid.

Support for Boston’s Olympic bid has waned since the USOC selected it in January. At that time, a WBUR poll showed 51% of residents supported the idea of hosting the Olympic Games; by March support was down to 36% and it hasn’t risen above 40% since.

At the heart of the opposition is the enormous cost involved in putting on such a massive event. Beijing broke spending records hosting the Summer Games in 2008, and Sochi reportedly spent upwards of $50 billion on the 2014 Winter Games.

Today, Boston mayor Marty Walsh announced he would not sign a contract with the USOC if it meant that the city’s residents would risk bearing any future financial burden of the hosting the potential games. According to the news outlets, Walsh told reporters at a press conference:

“This is a commitment I cannot make without assurances that Boston and its residents will be protected. I refuse to mortgage the future of the city away. I refuse to put Boston on the hook for overruns. And I refuse to commit to signing a guarantee that uses taxpayer dollars to pay for the Olympics.”

The International Olympic Committee will not make its selection for the 2024 host city until 2017, but all bids from potential host countries are due to the IOC by September 15, 2015. The USOC is in a difficult position; if it pushes Boston to make a do-or-die decision and Boston pulls out, then the committee must decide whether or not to award the bid to another city, or not to put forth an entrant to the IOC, effectively forgoing the chance to host the 2024 Games.

The USOC is expected to make an announcement on the subject later today.

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bobo gigi

Haha! And I believed that France was the world champion to destroy its olympic bids! 😆 😆 😆 😆

Anyway, I say since the beginning that Paris will easily win this time. For once it looks like we are smarter.

Swimmer A

I’m with the 60% of Boston residents on this one, I think it’s a bad idea. I bet it feels great to have your hometown host the worlds largest sporting event, but the reality is no one in it really benefits from the deal. Bobo, by all means, take the Paris bid. Your country’s financial future is not our problem.

bobo gigi

I take it. I take it.
We already have around 80/90% of the facilities.
We only need to build a swimming pool.
Not much money to spend compared to most of the other contenders.
And some transportation infrastructures around Paris need serious improvement so olympic games would be a major boost for that. Not a Boston specialist but I believe that city would have seriously needed new and modern transportation infrastructures. “Aging” if I’ve well understood.

PVS Dad

It’s not about building infrastructure – and Boston’s public transportation is actually quite good – it’s about how much you will have to spend to eventually launder enough money through Lausanne to keep the IOC happy. If the people of Paris are happy paying the necessary bribes, then I am happy for you and will certainly enjoy watching the Games when you host them!

Ervin

Boston had the most opposition of the 4 US cities from the beginning so this is not that big of a surprise to me. I disagree with BOBO GIGI, I think these Olympic games much like the next World Cup are the US’s to lose. DC in my opinion was always the best choice of the 4, but I think political reasons kept it from being selected. Who knows.

bobo gigi

I disagree.
It’s Europe’s to lose.
2016 South America
2020 Asia
2024 Europe
2028 North America or Africa
2032 North America or Africa (the loser of 2028)

Ervin

Europe hosted the last Olympics…

bobo gigi

And what?
The next 2 olympics are not in Europe.

Ervin

Yes, but Europe also had Athens in 2004. If Paris were selected, Europe would have hosted 3 games in the time that North America would have hosted zero. By 2024 it would be 28 years since the Atlanta games. It will go to either and American city or Toronto.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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