SBD/July 29, 2014/Olympics

Boston Mayor Excited About City's Bid For '24 Games, How Games Fit Into City's Future

Walsh said much of the meeting was spent asking questions to the USOC staff
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh returned from a meeting with the USOC last week "sounding more upbeat than ever about the prospects of bringing" the '24 Summer Games to Boston, according to Thomas Grillo of the BOSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL. Walsh: "I spoke about the 'Boston 2030 plan' for the city’s 400th anniversary around infrastructure and building the city, and it fits with what we could be doing with the Olympics. ... If we are chosen, it would speed up by six years some of the plans we have. It’s exciting." He added, "We did not talk about particulars about money. That’s the next step. It was more about what cities are really poised to look like into the future." But Walsh "dismissed claims that the Olympics drain cities and bleed cash." He said, "Anytime the Olympics have been held in the U.S., they have always made money because of the way we do business." Walsh said that much of the time at the meeting was "spent asking questions and getting answers from the USOC staff" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/28).

STICKING POINT? The AP's Eddie Pells noted if Boston, L.A., S.F. or DC is picked to host the '24 Games, one of the USOC's first tasks will be to "hand over millions in sponsorships to the victorious city's newly formed organizing committee." The last two American bids for Olympic Games have "included agreements that didn't conform" with the IOC's guidelines, which call for around 90% of the host federation's domestic sponsorship "to be channeled to the new organizing committee." The USOC, which is not backed by any government funding, has "balked at the terms because it would have trouble making up for the millions it gives away." USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said, "It's been a contentious issue in the past, both with New York and Chicago. I can tell you we're working hard to change our relationship with each bid city. We want to work with them to develop a structure that makes sense for us and them." IOC Dir of Television & Marketing Services Timo Lumme said that there is "some flexibility built into the program, so the USOC might not have to give away as much as some other countries, but the principle of the concept stays true" (AP, 7/28).
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