Bos­ton drops Olympic bid

Eyes now turn to Los An­ge­les to re­vive hopes of another U.S. Games

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY ED­DIE PELLS

Bos­ton’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics was un­der­cut by its own mayor, its skep­ti­cal public and, fi­nally, lead­ers of the U.S. Olympic Com­mit­tee, who were tired of the city’s ever-chang­ing blue­print.

Next, it may be time to see if there’s more Olympic love in Los An­ge­les.

Af­ter the USOC and Bos­ton cut ties on Mon­day, CEO Scott Black­mun said the fed­er­a­tion still wants to try to host the 2024 Games. The USOC has un­til Sept. 15 to of­fi­cially name its can­di­date. Sev­eral Olympic lead­ers have qui­etly been push­ing Los An­ge­les — the city that in­vented the mod­ern-day tem­plate for the Olympics when it played host in 1984 — as the best pos­si­ble sub­sti­tute.

Ap­proval rat­ings that couldn’t sneak out of the 40s were the first sign of trou­ble for Bos­ton, and it be­came clear the bid was doomed in the 72-hour pe­riod be­fore the USOC board met with bid lead­ers Mon­day and they jointly de­cided to pull the plug.

On Fri­day, Mas­sachusetts Gov. Char­lie Baker stuck to his pre­vi­ous po­si­tion: That he’d need a full re­port from a con­sult­ing group be­fore he would throw his weight be­hind the bid. On Mon­day morn­ing, Mayor Marty Walsh slapped to­gether a news con­fer­ence to an­nounce he wouldn’t be pres­sured into sign­ing the host city con­tract that es­sen­tially sticks the city and state with the bur­den of any cost over­runs.

No gover­nor. No mayor. No bid.

“Bos­ton 2024 has ex­pressed con­fi­dence that, with more time, they could gen­er­ate the public sup­port nec­es­sary to win the bid and de­liver a great games,” Black­mun said. “They also rec­og­nize, how­ever, that we are out of time if the USOC is go­ing to be able to con­sider a bid from another city.”

The Bos­ton bid started sour­ing within days of its be­gin­ning in Jan­uary, be­set by poor com­mu­ni­ca­tion and an ac­tive op­po­si­tion group that kept public sup­port low. At his news con­fer­ence, Walsh said the op­po­si­tion to the Olympics amounted to about “10 peo­ple on Twit­ter.” He mis­cal­cu­lated, and the In­ter­net struck back. The hash­tag #10peo­pleonTwit­ter started trend­ing.

The chairs of No Bos­ton Olympics planned a cel­e­bra­tion at a Bos­ton pub.

“We need to move for­ward as a city, and to­day’s de­ci­sion al­lows us to do that on our own terms, not the terms of the USOC or the IOC,” they said in a state­ment. “We’re bet­ter off for hav­ing passed on Bos­ton 2024.”

Bos­ton 2024 chair­man Steve Pagli­uca said the move was made “in or­der to give the Olympic move­ment in the United States the best chance to bring the Games back to our coun­try in 2024.”

The United States hasn’t hosted a Sum­mer Olympics since the At­lanta Games in 1996, or any Olympics since the Salt Lake City Win­ter Games in 2002. Bids for 2012 (New York) and 2016 (Chicago) both ended in fourth-place em­bar­rass­ments.

The USOC spent nearly two years on a mostly se­cret do­mes­tic se­lec­tion process for 2024 that be­gan with letters to al­most three dozen cities gaug­ing in­ter­est in host­ing the games.


In this Feb. 5, 2015, file photo, peo­ple hold up plac­ards against the Olympic Games com­ing to Bos­ton dur­ing the first public fo­rum re­gard­ing the city's 2024 Olympic bid in Bos­ton.

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