Just over six months after the U.S. Olympic Committee had picked Boston to submit a bid to the IOC for the 2024 Olympics, the USOC has now dropped Boston’s bid for the 33rd Olympiad.
I had mixed feelings about the bid at the time of the announcement. While I would have loved to see Olympic baseball at Fenway Park, I was equally afraid this would be our new Big Dig. Indeed, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh called a press conference earlier today and announced he would not sign a contract that would have made the city responsible for any financial shortfall arising from the Olympics. This effectively ended Boston’s bid right then and there.
There was never a lot of public enthusiasm for the Olympics with talk of a statewide ballot initiative being organized by anti-Olympics forces. Those organizing Boston’s bid didn’t endear themselves such as when it was revealed that former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick would be earning $7,500 a day for his services. Nice work if you can get it.
Then there were the proposed private lanes for athletes and VIPs. Boston is a 17th century city trying to manage 21st century traffic. The commute is bad enough without constructing highway lanes that are restricted to the taxpayers. No thanks.
OK, this isn’t a great day for Boston. But we’ve probably dodged a bullet. Sure it’s one thing to accommodate thousands of athletes for the Boston Marathon over a weekend. But for two weeks? We simply don’t have the infrastructure necessary to put on an event of that magnitude.
It appears that Los Angeles may revive its Olympic bid. But with Toronto having just successfully finished hosting the Pan Am Games they are a wild card. But it is most likely now that the 2024 Olympics will go to one of four European cities: Paris, Rome, Hamburg, or Budapest. The IOC will make its decision in 2017.