2024 Olympics: Boston Won't Pursue Bid to Host Games

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2015

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 09:  Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker addresses the media as Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, right, looks on, during a press conference to announce Boston as the U.S. applicant city to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on January 9, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images for the USOC)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Boston's controversial bid for the 2024 Olympic Games is over before it even got off the ground. 

The organizers confirmed the decision Monday via Twitter, while an Associated Press report stated the U.S. Olympic Committee would explore a bid with a new city, with Los Angeles being the "best bet."

"L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti released a statement saying that his office hadn't had any recent conversations with the USOC but he'd be happy to have them," the AP report stated.

Los Angeles, which finished second behind Boston in the competition to win the bid, "would be ready and willing to mount a bid on short notice," according to David Wharton of the Los Angeles Times.

The USOC originally chose Boston over Washington D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles as the U.S. bid representative in January. Despite an initial push from politicians within the city, Boston residents soured on the Olympic bid almost from the moment it became official. In April, an NPR poll found 50 percent of Boston-area residents were opposed to the city hosting the Olympics, with most citing the onerous burden on taxpayers.

The push to withdraw a bid altogether has been cresting in recent days, with Mayor Martin J. Walsh saying Monday he was not ready to make taxpayers responsible for cost overruns.

"I cannot commit to putting the taxpayers at risk," Walsh said, per Mark Arsenault and Andrew Ryan of the Boston Globe. "If committing to sign a guarantee today is what's required to move forward, then Boston is no longer pursuing the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games."

An organization called No Boston Olympics has been among the most vocal in denouncing the Games. It cites studies showing the lack of economic growth in cities that host the Olympics, the massive cost (roughly $15 billion) and the number of public services that could be improved with the money.

The United States has held the most Olympic Games with eight, three more than any other country. However, it has not played host to a Summer Games since 1996. Boston pulling out may guarantee the U.S. will top the three-decade mark between Summer Games, a surprise given the nation's sports-crazed culture.

The USOC now must decide whether to award the bid to another city or withdraw from the process entirely. 

Any city willing to host must submit its official application to the International Olympic Committee by Sept. 15, according to the AP. That gives the USOC less than two months to readjust its strategy following Boston's withdrawal.


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