SBD/July 9, 2014/Olympics

John Fish Says Hosting '24 Olympics Could Help Shape The Future Of Boston

Suffolk Construction Co. CEO and Boston Olympic Committee Chair John Fish, responding to criticism of the Boston area possibly hosting the '24 Olympics, said, "It really is talking about the vision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Boston. Where do we want to be in 2030 or where do we want to be in 2040? The Olympics allows us as a community to have that conversation and to me it isn’t about the Olympics, it’s about where Boston’s future is." Fish, appearing yesterday on Boston-based WEEI-FM, added, "I’m focusing on, along with some other business people and people in the educational field, to discuss that and we’re working with the mayor’s office and the governor’s office to have a robust conversation." Fish said of the question of what to do with venues after the Games, "One of the guiding principles we have is there's no white elephants. Nothing that would be constructed would not have a legacy value subsequent to the Olympics themselves (and) that’s a principle that we’d absolutely enforce. Secondly, I think we are fortunate to have over 100 colleges and universities in our backyard currently today, that some of them have uses for some of these particular facilities and the sense is right now we are working with them not on their current plans today, but what is the long-term strategic plans for these institutions and what are the requirements and how do these requirements sort of fit together with the Olympics?" Fish: "My sense is, when we take back in history and look at some of the impacts that these Olympics have had in the United States of America, they have been transformative in those particular areas. Have they been 100 percent? No. But have they been strong legacy economic drivers? Absolutely" ("The Dennis & Callahan Morning Show," WEEI-FM, 7/8).

JUST SAY NO: In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy wrote, "Stop the madness. Please. Can we have no more noise about the Olympics coming to Boston in 2024?" The city does "not need an event that would strangle us financially and logistically for decades." The world today is "peppered with wonderful cities still paying for Olympic Games and wishing the five rings never had invaded their boundaries." Shaughnessy: "If you believe in the Olympics in Boston you are either hopelessly naive, or you stand to profit from the venture" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/6).
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