Boston mayor on Olympic bid: The financial model needs to work
Boston mayor Martin Walsh told 93.7 WEEI he thinks the city has a "fair shot" at being awarded the 2024 Olympic Games, but that the financial model for hosting the games needs to work.
The city of Boston was selected as the U.S. applicant to bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics last month.
"It's been 30 years since we had a [Summer] Olympics in the United States, so I think we have a fair shot with that case," he said. "I also think the IOC is looking saying we need to bring these costs down. The popularity of these games isn’t where it was say in the 80s, or '84. They have to rebrand themselves and that is where we're trying to look at here in Boston is rebranding what the Olympic model would be, not just in the United States, but in the world. It is a lot of money for a 14-day event and it is a lot of money for a 30-day event when you put in the paralympic games."
In January, a Greek economic think tank found that it cost Greece a total of €6.5 billion ($7.5 billion) to host the 2004 Olympics and didn't significantly affect the debt-heavy country's finances.
"I think as long as the financial model that we’re talking about works, we're O.K.," Walsh said. "If it doesn’t work then we have from now until 2017, and I will be the first to say we're not going for it if the financial model doesn’t work."
An independent poll conducted by Sage Consulting last month found that more than 55 percent of Massachusetts residents surveyed support Boston's bid to host the 2024 Olympics. More than 45 percent said they think it is either "very likely" or "somewhat likely" Olympic expenditures would produce a "lasting economic benefit for the city of Boston."
There has been grassroots opposition to Boston hosting the games, primarily from a group called "No Boston Olympics."
The 2024 Olympic host city will be announced on Sept. 15, 2017 at the 130th IOC Session.
- Molly Geary