WBUR

Mayor Menino: Bringing 2024 Olympics To Boston ‘Far-Fetched’

BOSTON — Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is calling a proposal to hold the 2024 Summer Olympics in the city “far-fetched.”

The Boston Olympic Exploratory Committee, a private group, met with City Hall officials Monday in what committee chairman Eric Reddy told The Boston Globe was a promising meeting.

But in an interview with WBUR’s Bob Oakes on Tuesday, Menino expressed concerns.

“I think it’s far-fetched,” Menino said. “I’d also be concerned about the cost of it and what it costs to taxpayers of the city of Boston. Just to apply, to be considered costs $6-8 million — not refundable either. So that’s $6-8 million that was used of public funds to apply for consideration for the Olympics. At this time, I think it’s a far-fetched idea, and just wish that I knew about it before it was in the paper.”

He added that the city’s application fee could be better used elsewhere.

“Especially in these economic times, with what’s happening in Washington today and what could possibly happen in the state, I need every penny I have to make sure we continue the services to the people of Boston,” Menino said.

Menino also cited the issue of space in the city, calling the building of an Olympic stadium and an athletes village a “huge undertaking.”

“I just don’t know where we could create that massive land in our city or in the surrounding cities,” he said.

In November, the Boston exploratory committee drafted a bill with state Sen. Eileen Donoghue, of Lowell, which was filed in January. The bill would create a commission to study the possibility of hosting the 2024 Games in Boston.

The United States Olympic Committee is asking 35 cities about their interest in a potential bid to bring the games back to the country for the first time since 1996.

Would you like to see Boston host the 2024 Summer Olympics? Let us know in the comments

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  • http://twitter.com/5tar5truck Debi King

    Wow… That might be the dumbest idea ever. Our highways, toll-roads, and surface streets do a poor job of handling daily commuters, and the T is already overflowing and unpredictable. How in the world do they propose to handle the additional many thousands of people who would be visiting Boston to attend the Olympics? Not only that, but exactly where were they planning to build the primary venue? If they were thinking to utilize existing university venues, they will frustrate many people who wish to attend events at venues that are miles away from each other. Really, really bad idea.

    • lroy77

      But the games doesn’t have to be IN Boston…depending on the sport it can be in the suburbs, far enough out of the city…or through out the state.

  • jefe68

    In a word, no. Our infrastructure can’t handle it. All cites that take this on wind up with a huge debt. Something like this could potentially bankrupt the city.
    If any politician even thinks about this they should be thrown out of office on their behind.

    The Green, Red and orange lines can’t handle rush hour, how would it handle the influx of tens of thousands of people visiting. Look at what this cost the city of London and Boston is a much smaller city. This is a bad idea based on the egos of people who should be spending their creative capital finding ways to make the city more affordable and figuring out how to bring our public transportation system into the 21st century.

    • matt

      The rush hour rush would be less than the number of people visiting for an event such as an olympics. More than likely, the actual events dont run 9-5, they are more like 12-9 or 10pm on average. Yes, it will affect the commutes but not so much and only for about 3 weeks. If held when the colleges are off in summer, its impact on commutes would be even less.

      • jefe68

        That’s not the experience that happened in London.
        But traffic aside, the idea is a waste of money, as Mayor Menino stated.

  • MayorOfTheDogPark

    No. Where would you possibly put it? What would happen to the space afterward?

  • mfarineau

    My first reaction was that this would be just a terrible idea, but think about it: this would mean much needed upgrades to our roads and public transit systems as well as a lot of other infrastructure upgrades before Boston could really be a contender. Would that be so bad?

    • jefe68

      So in order for cities to get infrastructure work done they need to host a huge event such as the Summer Olympics? That’s your idea of civic planing?

      • mfarineau

        Nope, that’s my idea of looking on the bright side. I’d love our city to upgrade our transit system, infrastructure etc without having to do it for a specific, massive event, but sometimes a deadline helps get things done (sequester notwithstanding).

        • jefe68

          The reality however is that every city that has done this has lost millions. Barcelona is a good example. There is no bright side that I can see. Our taxes are what will pay for this project. It will be in the billions and it lasts 3 weeks. Then what? Were in the hole for decades for three weeks.

          If we can’t get it together to fix our public transportation system over the next 10 years we are truly in a sad state of affairs.

          • mfarineau

            Well there’s both good and bad things that can come of it. Not every city that has hosted the Olympics is worse off because of it.

            There’s an interesting infographic showing the effects on cities that have hosted here: http://visual.ly/hosting-olympics-good-city

          • jefe68

            London lost money and tourest. About 500,000 came to Olympics but about a million stayed away because of it. Apparently they would have gone to London for a holiday. The losses were in theaters, shops, and restaurants. Why? Because most of the people who went were there for the sporting events and a lot were locals.

  • http://twitter.com/curiositykt curiositykt

    We actually have a lot of the facilities already built, given the density of university properties!

  • J__o__h__n

    Why is the senator from Lowell trying to bring it to Boston?

    • jefe68

      Good question.

  • J__o__h__n

    Is Romney behind this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert240 Robert Volk

    Having the Olympics here would be a total nightmare! Can you picture the Green Line? Storrow Drive? We would have to spend a fortune getting the place in shape. On second thought, maybe that is one way to get the $$$ to fix up our crumbling transport system.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jmorrisson Jane Morrisson

    I live in Central Mass, but I have absolutely no interest in having the Olympics in Boston. I don’t think the return is usually worth it, and as Menino says, where do we have the space? What do you do with everything once it’s over? I say no.

    • lroy77

      Worcester, Springfield, the Berkshires, for Pete’s sake! Plenty of place in the state to have it.

  • RJFRASER

    yes i woulD love to see the Olimpics in boston

    • lroy77

      Finally, someone who agrees with me. It does not-repeat-NOT have to be in the city of Boston. Any-repeat-ANY major city could host it. It should be a state-wide proposal (if not 2024, some other year) instead of a city-wide proposal. And to be selfish, it would give me the ONE chance to see it live, for once in my life.

  • Matt

    What a scam the Olympics are. It costs $6 – 8 MILLION just to BID? It can’t all be application fees, I hope. Is it the estimated cost of hiring all the overpaid “consultants” to do the research and create the presentations and what not?

  • RobOnMV

    It seems that some cities, such as LA, actually made a profit from the Olympics since they used/retrofitted lots of already existing venues, thus with our schools, and other venues we are in a similar situation. Traffic is traffic, and to be on the worldstage, swing a profit, or come out even, I think a few weeks of chaotic traffic may well be a great thing for the city.

  • J P Fitzsimmons

    Just more traffic, more taxes and more construction in an already over built part of the country.

  • lroy77

    I have long hoped to have the games here. I would gladly put some of my money toward the cause. Please re-consider. After all, the Berkshires would be PERFECT for the skiing.

  • Paul Lang

    Old news: “Trolling for a Summer 2024 Host, the U.S.O.C. Casts a 35-City Net”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/sports/olympics/olympic-board-asks-35-us-cities-about-bidding-for-2024-games.html

    The list: “The cities that received the letter were Phoenix; San Jose, Calif.; Los Angeles; Sacramento; San Diego; San Francisco; Denver; Washington; Jacksonville, Fla.; Orlando, Fla.; Miami; Atlanta; Chicago; Indianapolis; Baltimore; Detroit; Minneapolis; St. Louis; Las Vegas; New York; Boston; Rochester; Charlotte, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Tulsa, Okla.; Portland, Ore.; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Memphis; Nashville and Davidson County; Austin, Tex.; Dallas; Houston; San Antonio; and Seattle.”

  • Guest

    This would only be good incentive to leave the city, if not the state. I say no.

  • http://twitter.com/tom_dauria Tom Dauria

    Boston is a big city that thinks small

  • Graeme Dennis

    Is this a reprint from the Onion?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Richards/1648096580 Nick Richards

    Absolutely not. Montreal which hosted the 1976 Olympics only finished paying off their tab in 2006, 31 years after the games. Hosting the games is a financial boondoggle that benefits only the International Olympic Committee and has bankrupted more than a few cities. Many of the incredible facilities built for the Beijing games now stand empty and padlocked; and while the Peoples’ Republic may be able to toss away billions upon billions of dollars I think there are many more pressing issues that require our money here in Massachusetts. Congratulations to Mayor Menino for speaking the truth – I hope he stands up to whatever forces are pushing this foolish agenda.

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