A poll for WBUR, Boston’s NPR radio station, shows that half of Boston residents want the city to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games while a third do not.
Steve Koczela, President of the MassINC Polling Group that conducted the survey said, “there’s a belief among proponents that support is higher than it appears to be”.
He said, “the polling suggests that opposition isn’t high but support is tepid, and that’s what I could be concerned about when going up against cities that may be as high as 70 or 80 per cent”.
The poll shows that 50 per cent of residents support hosting the Olympics while 33 per cent said they were opposed, and 17 per cent said they did not know or declined to answer. The poll surveyed 507 people from last Tuesday to Thursday and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus seven percentage points.
Those surveyed said they were concerned with potential cost overruns and whether taxpayers would be stuck footing the bill. More than half (57 per cent) said they expected taxpayer money would be needed.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has said there would be no referendum, reportedly suggesting that support was so strong that a vote would not be necessary. On January 9 he said, “I’d be willing to bet if you took a poll today, the majority of Bostonians are excited about this bid”.
At the time the Mayor dodged questions from GamesBids.com about whether a referendum was possible.
Meanwhile 48 per cent of Bostonians said they were “excited” while 43 per cent said they were “not excited”. Also 75 per cent said they wanted to vote on the matter.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not provide a benchmark for necessary public support, however they conduct two independent polls during the bid evaluation process and report the results to their membership.
Krakow, Poland was forced to withdraw from the 2022 Olympic Winter Games bid last year after losing a mid-campaign referendum.
A key element to any bid is a domestic awareness campaign used to help educate and inform constituents about the merits of the Games – hoping to promote a more positive public opinion. The Boston bid committee has months to accomplish this before the nomination deadline September 15.