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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Can Boston host the 2024 Olympic Games? A sports debate

If+the+Olympics+were+to+come+to+Beantown%2C+rowing+would+be+one+of+the+marquee+events
If the Olympics were to come to Beantown, rowing would be one of the marquee events

Bring on the games!
Chris Dello Russo
A committee is seeking to bring the 2024 Summer Olympic Games to the city of Boston and the surrounding New England area. The bid looks to use sporting venues such as Fenway Park, the TD Garden, and the Agganis Arena in the city, as well as venues in cities such as Manchester, Providence, and Portland, Maine for the games. The bid has received support from local figures such as former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, as well as New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Steve Pagliuca, a co-owner of the Boston Celtics .
According to their official website, Boston 2024 Organizing Committee, Inc.’s mission is “to evaluate the suitability of hosting the Summer Olympic & Paralympic Games in our city and New England region.” The committee outlines that Boston’s transportation infrastructure, including the investments in the Big Dig and Logan Airport, as well as MBTA expansion, is a necessary and solid base for the handling of the Olympic Games that Boston already possesses. The committee also cites that the success of local sports teams in the region is a reason to have the city host the greatest spectacle of skill and athleticism.
Mitt Romney said, “Boston would be a fantastic place for the summer Games.” He added, “it would be a marvelous community-building experience for Boston, and I think the people who would enjoy the Games with or without tickets would say it was one of the best experiences of their life.” Former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said, “the potential for economic development and infrastructure improvements is huge, but I really think it’s nice to have an exciting plan, an exciting proposal out there.”
Why not Boston? The 2024 Summer Games can be great for Boston and the New England area. Economically, the Games can provide a boost for the host city. According to the Daily Telegraph, Britain’s August 2012 earnings saw a nine percent increase on the year due in large part to the 2012 London Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Though the Games would require construction in the area, including the building of an Olympic Village to house the 15,000 athletes and coaches, the boost in jobs could be similar to that of Beijing prior to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games which, according to the 2008 Games’ official website, saw 430,000 construction jobs and 130,000 retail jobs created between 2004 and 2008.
Let’s focus on domestic issues before we try to get on the international stage 
Jacob Kress
As the city of Boston is rich in its own history and vital importance in crafting America, we can all proudly say that our sports teams have helped globalize the city even further. However, as father time has taught us, all good things will come to an end, and in Boston it may come to an abrupt halt. We have already lost Paul Pierce, and in time we’ll lose our beloved David Ortiz, Tom Brady, and Zdeno Chara. So what is happening next for us? How can we keep our athletic flame glowing? Perhaps with an Olympic flame.
Some of Boston’s corporate juggernauts, including John Fish of Suffolk construction, Bob Kraft of the Patriots, and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney would literally pay to have the 2024 Olympic games in our city. But, I can’t help but think that it’s the local Bostonian who wears the red ‘B’ on his hat or the black and gold sweater that would be paying the most.
There is no doubt that our city would flourish in the global spotlight, and frankly I would love the world to see how great this city is and to have the revenue pour in. However, I do see myself as a patriot and wouldn’t be able to stomach the neglect some of our sectors would have to suffer through if the Olympics came here. In a recent Boston Globe column by Shirley Leung, she quickly reminded us of the two most hated words in our city’s history: Big Dig. Leung is right to point out the economic hassle that the project created for this town, and the construction of the Olympics would only magnify that tenfold.
While the cost of building this dream will be aggravating, I want to shed light on issues that are closer to home. Our city has massive issues with its public education sector. I couldn’t watch the Olympics in good conscience knowing that the money could have been used elsewhere, such as in our school systems. Two issues come right to mind. Athletic programs across the city are being cut back because of the lack of funding. The Boston high schools have cut back on some programs so much that some teams have to share uniforms, they have to use parking lots as practice facilities, and their home games are miles away. Why not promote athletics in our own backyards by funding the local athletic administrations?
Since this is not happening I see a giant gateway to more deviant activity amongst the inner city youth and less of social bind by committing to sports where coaches can help steer young adults properly in life and in academia. An issue close to home, to our UMass Boston home, I have firsthand experience with one of our off campus centers. The Copley building where many students take night classes is a high school by day. Recently my class has had to be cancelled because of the lack of heat. Students and teachers are participating in class wearing their winter jackets and scarfs. Also, that building doesn’t have a functioning water fountain.
With a few notes made about our public school systems, if the Olympics do happen, how will our transportation system handle the masses? The MBTA is my main source of transportation as it is for hundreds of thousands of our citizens inside and outside the city limits. The Boston Globe issued a column written earlier this year by David D’Alessandro about the current state of the MBTA and the debt that it’s in. D’Alessandro’s column states that the MBTA has currently $13.2 million in unfunded projects that have been authorized for reconstruction. Along with that, he lists numerous inadequacies with our train system such as serious safety issues, improvements for regional riders, and general upkeep of the roads and bridges. Next time you walk up the iron stairs going up the JFK/UMass platform, take a good look at those steps and think about how much work would have to go in to make this city ready to host the entire world for the Olympics.