Published in The Daily Free Press
By: Mina Corpuz and Samantha Gross
Following conversations between the United States Olympic Committee and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston will no longer bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, Baker announced at a Monday press conference.
Baker said he, Massachusetts State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and Speaker of the House of Representatives Robert DeLeo wanted to see the results of a report by the Brattle Group to determine their stance on the Olympics, given the games’ potential impact on the city.
“I’m not going to question whatever decision the USOC makes,” Baker said. “They have a process they need to pursue and a set of decisions they need to make. Based on what I saw in the statement, one of their concerns was sort of the robust … debates going on with respect to the Olympics here in Massachusetts and in Boston.”
Boston 2024 Chairman Steve Pagliuca said hosting the games would have brought economic development opportunities for the city.
“Although we had hoped for a different outcome, we know that Boston will still benefit from the bidding process,” Pagliuca said in a Monday statement. “Ours is a world-class city, but we face challenges when it comes to the cost of housing, our aging infrastructure, and the need to help all Bostonians find good jobs.”
Hours earlier at a press conference at City Hall, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh had said he would not sign a contract with the USOC with a taxpayer guarantee to cover overrun costs by the end of the day.
Walsh said that although the bringing the Olympic Games back to American soil would have many benefits, it is simply not worth the fiscal repercussions.
“No benefit is so great that it is worth handing over the financial future of our City and our citizens were rightly hesitant to be supportive as a result,” Walsh said in a Monday statement.
Walsh said that pressure to sign the host city contract did not suit the need for ongoing discussions.
“We always anticipated having the time to do our due diligence on the guarantees required and a full review of the risk and mitigation package proposed last week,” Walsh said. “This is a monumental decision that cannot be rushed, even if it means not moving forward with our bid for the 2024 Summer Games.”