Boston chosen as U.S. bid for 2024 Summer Olympics

Noah Cary

The U.S. Olympic Committee chose Boston as its bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The only other city that has announced its candidacy for the 2024 Olympics is Rome. France, Germany and Hungary are expected to make announcements in the coming weeks, as well as a bid from South Africa.

“Today’s selection by the USOC is the beginning of an incredible opportunity for Boston,” said the city’s bid chairman, John Fish. Boston was selected from four U.S. cities that also included Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who attended the bid presentations last month, said it was “an exceptional honor” to be chosen.

Though it is several months until a chosen city is announced, there are already a lot of opinions on Boston’s bid. Many are saying that Boston is not well suited to hold such a large event because of the age of the city, as well the limits on its public transportation. If Boston were to be selected, the city would have to under go major renovations at the taxpayer expense.

Another looming issue is the lack of venues in Boston. A 60,000-seat stadium would have to be constructed to host the Olympics, which would have to be downsized or even torn down after the games are over.

Boston claims that it will only take about $5 billion to prepare the city for the games if selected. This comes in well short of the $19 to 40 billion that it took to prepare the previous four host cities selected. There is also a lot of open space surrounding Boston, with a lot of potential for renovation.

The last Olympics held in the U.S. were the 2002 Winter Olympics, held in Salt Lake City, Utah. While the last Summer Olympics to be held the U.S. was in 1996 in Atlanta, Ga. The cost of the 1996 Olympics was only $1.7 billion in governmental funds, which were used for security, while taxpayers footed nearly $500 million to pay for infrastructure to support the city and prepare it for the games. Commercial sponsorship was used to support the games and the venues with a net gain of $10 million for Atlanta from the games.