SBD/July 16, 2014/Olympics

Boston Mayor Intrigued By Potential Bid For '24 Games, But Concerned About Cost

Walsh said there would have to be a true public-private partnership
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh last week "seemed interested but wary, curious but not fully invested" in the city bidding to host the '24 Summer Games, according to Adrian Walker of the BOSTON GLOBE. Walsh believes that the process of seeking the Games "could benefit the city, but at the same time, he is deeply concerned about the financial guarantees the city might have to make in the process." He said, “I’m not going to be putting billions of dollars in it. The city doesn’t have it, number one. I think there’s going to have to be a true (public-)private partnership.” Walsh added that he is "in the process of appointing a group of aides to get a better handle on what the city’s role and responsibilities would be." He said, “At the end of the day if we get it, and we get to the final (international competition) it puts us on a world stage. We’re already there, but it puts us on a world stage in a way that there’s going to be a transformation.” Walsh added, “The short-term benefit is to come up with a really good planning process for the city to see what we want Boston to look like" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/14). In Boston, Jon Chesto noted the Games would "need to use college facilities, and tap into some of our colleges' fund-raising prowess, particularly in places where new athletic venues fit into institutions' master plans." Massachusetts Competitive Partnership President & CEO Dan O'Connell said that the Boston 2024 Partnership that is "building a case for a Boston Olympics plans to research the educational backgrounds of all 105 voting members" of the IOC to "find out how many of them have ties to local schools." He added that the goal, if Boston "makes the cut in January, would be to help renew those connections as a way of persuading IOC members to vote for Boston" in '17 (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/14).
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