Boston has made the shortlist United States cities bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. Along with Los Angeles, Washington DC and San Francisco, Boston will work to have its bid approved by the United States Olympics Committee. The USOC will decide whether to select a city to represent the U.S as a whole and then complete with other bids from throughout the world for the right to host the Games.
Hosting the Olympics would make Boston the focus of the world while also forcing the city to confront its myriad infrastructure problems. The MBTA is drastically outdated and any Olympic bid would include upgrading the T and other area transportation systems.
Many members of the public, along with politicians on Beacon Hill, are receptive to the idea of seeing Boston recognized as “a world-class city”. Former Governor William Weld, a Republican, expressed his support for the bid as did Democratic former Governor Michael Dukakis. Weld told the Boston Globe, “I know from my travels that the leadership of most countries in the world is well aware of all that Boston has to offer— not least because they send the tuition checks here."
However, hosting the Olympics also means a sizable financial commitment. Many are unwilling to spend huge amount of money on what they view as a world festival with fleeting returns. According to the Boston Globe the group No Olympics Boston said in a statement, “Bidding on the Olympics is the wrong priority for Boston and our region. We have far more pressing challenges than throwing a three-week party for the global elite, one that comes with a $15 billion hangover.”
At the same time, Brazil is hosting a similar spectacular four-year event in the World Cup. While fans were celebrating the spirit of soccer in SãoPaulo, citizens were protesting against their government’s corruption, the forced evictions of thousands and social services that can be described as lacking. More and more people are starting to think about whether or not hosting a world-class sporting event is worth the costs.
In the future, the USOC will make several trips to Boston to exam whether the city can fulfill certain requirements, such as constructing modern Olympics stadiums, a safe Olympics village to house the athletes, and a well-equipped broadcasting center.
In 2017, the International Olympics Committee will make its final decision. Whether Boston is in the running for this selection will be determined in the coming days, months and years.