Committee Won't Estimate Cost Of Potential Boston 2024 Olympics

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The committee tasked with studying the feasibility of hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics in Boston will produce a report over the next two weeks, after hearing from British officials Tuesday about the costs and benefits of hosting the Games.

The potential economic benefit is the final issue the Boston 2024 Organizing Committee will investigate, but committee Chairman John Fish, who is also the CEO of Suffolk Construction, said the panel will not be conducting a detailed examination of the costs.

"We're not getting involved in the cost-benefit analysis of this in great detail," he said. "We're talking about the overall structure, potential strategy and how can we as a community entertain the thought of hosting the 2024 Olympics."

Fish said the potential cost of hosting the Games would be estimated by a second committee.

In 2012, the United Kingdom spent $14 billion on London Games. China spent $40 billion on the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

But testifying before the committee, Susie Kitchens, the Britain's consul general in Boston, insisted it was worth it.

"We've got some 800 more affordable homes in E-20, a new zone of London that is now well populated and really thriving, better transport links, and better facilities are all things we would not have had without the Olympic Games," she said.

Kitchens admits the final price tag in London was far above the original estimate of $3.9 billion when the city first submitted its bid. But she said London has seen billions of dollars in economic investment since the Games — on top of infrastructure improvements that were built to support them.

"I can't honestly say we've made a profit out of the Olympics," she said. "But with the economic benefits that have been brought into London as a result, we think we've covered the costs."

Fish and the other committee members, who previously studied issues like security and transportation, will start reviewing all their findings in the coming days. They'll produce a report on the matter for state lawmakers by the end of the month.

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Jack Lepiarz Reporter and Anchor
Jack Lepiarz was a reporter and anchor at WBUR.



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