The City of Boston has never hosted the Olympic Games. Hosting the event, especially set in the summertime, is often viewed as a major economic boost for a city. It is thought to bring in tourists and drive local leaders to repair infrastructure and build anew, which can be used by city residents after the fact.
That was the thinking, however, until recent games which saw host cities go into debt, build stadiums, arenas and housing which then went unused, and throw transportation into gridlock for months or years while construction is underway, not just the weeks of the games.
With this, the residents of the northeast city of Boston wanted none of the Games when some city officials launched a bid to host them in 2024. The Boston Globe reports,
Anticipation that the bid could unravel had been building steadily for months, because of low public support. Over the weekend, the Globe reported that the USOC was pressing [Mayor] Walsh to guarantee that the city would be the final backstop for Olympic cost overruns or revenue shortfalls, which raised new questions about the long-term fate of the bid.
“I cannot commit to putting the taxpayers at risk,’’ Walsh said at the news conference. “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.”
Not only did the liberal residents of Boston put fiscal responsibility before prestige, so did their mayor, Democrat Marty Walsh.
Unlike most cities, Boston knows what a long, expensive and overrun project looks like, with most citizens still not so fondly looking back on the construction project known as the “Big Dig.” Bostoners learned from that experience, which proved not all public projects are made equally, nor are they ever known for coming in ‘at cost’ and told the Olympics they’d rather not have a repeat of the experience.
What do you think? Would you want your city or area to host an Olympics Games?