Taxpayers Won't Fund Olympic Bid, Senate President Rosenberg Says

The Boston 2024 logo is displayed on a screen before a January news conference about the bid. (Charles Krupa/AP)
The Boston 2024 logo is displayed on a screen before a January news conference about the bid. (Charles Krupa/AP)

A top state lawmaker said Tuesday he expects the Legislature and Gov. Charlie Baker to take a firm stand against any taxpayer funding for Boston's bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.

"We do not want to put ourselves in a position of having to provide any kind of operating subsidy, or subsidy to close a deficit with the Olympics," said Senate President Stan Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat.

Should the group organizing the bid approach the Legislature for money in the state budget, it would face "very serious problems," he added.

Boston 2024 repeatedly has pledged that if the city is awarded the Olympics, no tax dollars would be used on sports venues or for operational costs. Organizers have said public investment would be restricted to infrastructure improvements that are needed even if the city does not host the games.

Rosenberg's comments came a day after Boston 2024, a privately funded nonprofit group, disclosed that six of its ten full-time staffers were earning annual salaries of more than $100,000, led by chief executive Richard Davey's $300,000 a year salary. The group also revealed that former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, who was named as a consultant to promote the Olympic effort overseas, would be paid $7,500 for each day he travels.

Asked about Patrick's stipend, Rosenberg joked that Massachusetts was famous for "good jobs at good wages," but added that he had no objections to organizers hiring top talent to pursue the games.

He said legislative leaders and Baker, a Republican, have discussed bringing in their own unpaid outside experts to assist state officials with the Olympic planning process.

No Boston Olympics, a group that was formed to oppose bringing the games to Boston, mockingly released its own salary list on Tuesday, making clear that all of its members were volunteers who earned no pay whatsoever.


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