Boston 2024 Leadership To Meet With IOC Next Week

Steve Pagliuca, Boston 2024 Chairman (Photo: Bain Capital)

Steve Pagliuca, Boston 2024 Chairman (Photo: Bain Capital)

The  leaders of Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, along with U.S. Olympic leaders, will travel to Switzerland next week to meet with members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to discuss their struggling candidacy for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

The Associated Press (AP) reports the high-level American delegation will be at IOC headquarters in Lausanne Switzerland next Wednesday and Thursday as part of the new “invitation phase” for Olympic bid cities.

The invitation phase was introduced as part of IOC President Thomas Bach’s “Olympic Agenda 2020” reform program approved in December to bring more flexibility to the process and make bidding and hosting less expensive.

During the invitation stage, IOC officials will provide bids with consultative guidance without the National Olympic Committees having to commit to bid or propose a specific city.  This, it is hoped, will provide prospective bids with better expectations and give them the information they need before they apply.  The application deadline is September 15.

The Boston delegation will be headed by Steve Pagliuca,  Boston Celtics co-owner, who took over as bid leader on Thursday amid a shakeup that officials say helped broaden the leadership.

The U.S. officials will reportedly meet with an International Olympic Committee group headed by Christophe Dubi, the executive director for the Olympic Games.

Public Support for Boston has been a concern for the USOC.

Public Support for Boston has been a concern for the USOC.

Boston was selected by the USOC as its candidate city in January over Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, but because polls showing support for their candidacy at below 50 per cent , Boston officials have decided to put the bid to a statewide referendum in November 2016.

This week U.S. IOC member Angela Ruggiero voiced that Boston’s bid was not guaranteed and was still being vetted by the USOC.  If so, the visit to Lausanne may help the USOC and the bid committee better understand expectations around public support and referendums – and to make decisions before the final application date.

Rome and Hamburg are also declared bidders, with Paris and Budapest expected to enter the race soon.

German and Hungarian officials have already visited Lausanne for the invitation phase.  French officials are expected June 3 with the Italians visit scheduled for the following month.