Opponents Get Last Word As Boston 2024 Report Released

Boston was the USOC nomination for 2024 Olympic Games bid

Boston was the USOC nomination for 2024 Olympic Games bid

A $250,000 report commissioned by the Massachusetts Governor to analyze the financial risks of the now defunct Boston 2024 Olympic bid was released Tuesday by the Brattle Group.  Pointing out understated costs and questionable legacies, the report summarized that at best the bid was a risky proposition.

“Even though the bid was withdrawn, this report demonstrates that there were a series of real risks associated with bringing the Games to Massachusetts,” Senate President Stan Rosenberg said regarding the report in a statement.

The No Boston Olympics opposition group, cited as a reference in the report, used the opportunity to validate the victory that caused the the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and Boston 2024 to abandon plans late last month,

“This independent analysis completed by experts hired by the state confirms that Boston 2024 was a risky deal for taxpayers,” a No Boston Olympics statement on Tuesday said.

“The healthy skepticism expressed by voters and leaders in the State House was warranted. Massachusetts dodged a bullet.”

“Massachusetts dodged a bullet.” – No Boston Olympics

The report said that Boston 2024 underestimated construction costs by as much as $970 million – and worse, risks around private financing, revenues and costs could have resulted in even higher cost over runs.

The bid that had battled poor public support and fierce opposition was withdrawn after Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he would no longer sign the International Olympic Committee (IOC) host city agreement despite promises he made when the city was selected over Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington in January.  Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker also refused to endorse the bid until he was able to review the just-released Brattle report.

If Boston 2024 hadn’t pulled the plug in July, Tuesday’s report may have doubled as the bid’s death certificate after it questioned both financial risks and legacy.

The report analyzed Boston’s “Bid 2.0” which was said to be closely aligned with the IOC’s Agenda 2020 – a set of reforms that promises to reduce the risks and costs associated with bidding by relaxing rules and promoting sustainability.  Further clarification of these rules may be required to ensure they are correctly applied to future bid cities.

The USOC is now in talks with Los Angeles with plans to bid for the Games.  A decision about that bid is expected by the end of August, ahead of the September 15 IOC deadline.

Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome have announced their bids for the 2024 Games while Baku and Toronto are currently discussing the prospect.  The host city will be elected by the IOC in September 2017.


About Robert Livingstone

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.