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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Boston Divided on 2024 Olympic Bid

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A CGI rendering of the proposed Olympic stadium in South Boston. 

On Jan. 8, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Chairman Larry Probst called Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to give him the news that his city had been chosen as the country’s bid for hosting the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics.  The mayor responded to the news saying:
“It is an exceptional honor for Boston to be chosen as the U.S. representative in the running for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games […] Boston hopes to welcome the world’s greatest athletes to one of the world’s great cities.”
Boston, a first time bidder in the summer games, beats out three other cities for the nomination including San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and former two-time host, Los Angeles.
During the next two and a half years, Boston will be competing against some of the most iconic cities in the world, including Paris, Rome, Hamburg, Berlin, Budapest, and Istanbul.
University of Massachusetts Boston Chancellor Keith Motley Jr. was part of the team who made the presentation to the USOC committee in support of Boston’s bid. In a statement published on the UMass Boston News, Chancellor Motley expressed his commitment to help advance with the bid. “We maintain a willingness to support this bid within the context of advancing the goals of the university and enhancing our commitment to our students,” He said.
Scott Blackmun, USOC Chief Executive, highlighted that “One of the great things about the Boston bid was that the bid leadership and the political leadership were on the same page.”
Governor Charlie Baker, who took office just hours before Boston was named the bid city, said the USOC decision was “great news,” and he looked forward to working with Walsh and Olympic organizers “to address the multitude of issues that need to be discussed, including keeping costs down and continuing to press forward on pledges of a privately funded Olympics.”
A group who opposes bringing the 2024 Olympics to Boston is looking to launch an effort that could jeopardize the city’s Olympic bid.  According to Christopher Dempsey, the Co-Chairman of No Boston Olympics, the group is considering pursuing a ballot question for either the 2016 statewide election or this year’s citywide election to try and halt the 2024 bid. 
The Boston 2024 Olympic Committee, however, states that the games will be an economic boon, and that costs will be borne mostly by the private sector.
No Boston Olympic group claims that Boston 2024 is using “rhetoric” that was pitched in Athens, Vancouver, and London.  They further suggest that economists have found that none of these host cities enjoyed lasting economic benefits and that in all games, the public was left on the hook for billions of dollars in overruns, one-time security costs, and ongoing maintenance of unwanted venues.  They are also concerned that if Boston should host the 2024 Olympics, it would divert resources from education, healthcare, and transportation, and that money could be spent on other more important things.
In a recent press release, Richard A. Davey, former transportation secretary for Deval Patrick, was made the CEO of Boston 2024. Davey pledged that the “thoughts and inputs” of all communities of Massachusetts would be heard and considered as Boston’s potential 2024 Olympic bid process continues to move forward.