Boston was named the host city for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics back in January, but today Boston.com reported that the mayor is rethinking whether the city wants to host after all.
Mayor Marty Walsh, who has long been supportive of hosting the Olympics, said today he’d rather not sign a contract to move forward if it puts city taxpayers at risk. The host city is responsible for all of the Olympics’ financial shortfalls and this has become a major point of contention for the mayor.
“I cannot commit to putting the taxpayers at risk,” Walsh said. “If committing to signing a guarantee today is what’s required to move forward, then Boston is no longer pursuing the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
It is no secret that the Olympics has long been criticized for being a money pit for host cities.
“My basic takeaway for any city considering a bid for the Olympics is to run away like crazy,” Victor Matheson, a professor of economics at College of the Holy Cross told Washington Post in an August 2013 article.
When DC was in the running to host the 2024 games, many in the region were concerned that the city’s infrastructure couldn’t handle the influx of people and that it was too financially risky. Hosting the Olympics, according to the Post article, rarely brings in more money, despite international attention. It’s also easy to lose track of expenses with big projects. Once they’re underway, the pressure to spend more money to complete them often outweighs other options.
Update: On Monday afternoon, the Associated Press reported that the USOC is ending its effort to bring the 2024 Olympics to Boston.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/boston_isnt_committing_to_hosting_2024_olympics/10174
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