Boston Mayor Won’t Risk Taxpayers for Olympic 2024 Bid – Next City

Boston Mayor Won’t Risk Taxpayers for Olympic 2024 Bid

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh at a news conference in June (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

After months of waning public support and growing opposition, Boston has officially pulled out of the running to host the Summer Olympic Games in 2024.

Though Boston persisted as one of America’s most promising possibilities for hosting the Games on U.S. soil, public support took a heavy hit thanks to a number of factors, including the economic realities of the infrastructure prep required to be an Olympics city. When the Boston bid was first announced, a group called No Boston Olympics was created almost immediately, and argued that hosting the Games wouldn’t help the local economy and would instead hurt the taxpayer.

“Every dollar that gets spent on a velodrome is one that doesn’t get spent on fixing potholes or paying police officers,” the No Boston Olympics site reads. “But perhaps the biggest cost of hosting an Olympics is the one that is hardest to account for — the price of taking our eye off the ball.”

Though the views of No Boston Olympics clearly represented a definitive anti-Olympics side, the group’s main ideas were echoed in general public feedback. Boston NPR station WBUR found in a poll that support for being a host city was at just 40 percent by July, down from 51 percent in January.

A bad break for Boston was its particularly brutal winter, which exposed locals to the elements and inadequate infrastructure, raising doubts in the minds of many over whether Boston’s regional transportation agency, MBTA, could withstand a significant international event.

Though millions of dollars had already been spent in the last seven months to promote Boston’s bid, the Boston Globe reports the city was depending on $4 billion from private developers for the project.

“I cannot commit to putting the taxpayers at risk,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh during the announcement of the end of the bid. “If committing to sign a guarantee today is what’s required to move forward, then Boston is no longer pursuing the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Marielle Mondon is an editor and freelance journalist in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia City Paper, Wild Magazine, and PolicyMic. She previously reported on communities in Northern Manhattan while earning an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University.

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