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Boosters Of Boston Bid For Olympics Detail Plans

olympicstadium.jpg
Boston2024
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The group working to bring the 2024 Summer Olympic games to Boston unveiled details of the proposal today.

       Most of the venues for the proposed Boston Olympics would be grouped into two clusters, one on the South Boston waterfront and the other along the Charles River on the campuses of Harvard, MIT, and Boston University.  Twenty-eight of the 33 venues would be within a radius of about 6 miles. Twenty-six of the venues are no more than a ten-minute walk from a public transit stop.

      David Manfredi, co-chair of the master planning committee for Boston 2024, the private group behind the bid for the games, said Boston is the right size for the modern Olympics.

     " We believe the Boston games can be the most walkable games in modern times."

      The plan calls for using existing arenas and stadiums for most of the competitions. A temporary Olympic stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies and track and field events would be build in what is now a rundown industrial area known as Widett Circle.

      Another temporary venue – for beach volleyball—would be built on Boston Common.

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Credit Boston2024
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This depicts a temporary venue on the Boston Common for beach volleyball.

      The Olympic Village would be constructed on property owned by UMass Boston and would become student housing after the games.

     The Olympic boosters made public for the first time Wednesday the presentation that was given to the U.S. Olympic Committee that decided earlier this month to tap Boston as the U.S. nominee for the 2024 Games.   Boston beat out bids from San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.

      Some details,however, were held back in Wednesday’s public release because organizers said it would hurt Boston in the next round of competition.

     The city now goes up against potential bids from Rome, Paris, and Berlin or Hamburg, Germany, among others.  The International Olympic Committee will announce the winner in September 2017.

      Boston 2024 put the operating budget for the Olympic games at $4.7 billion and said revenue would come only from private sources like broadcast rights and corporate sponsorships.

          The budget does not include security, which the federal government would be expected to pay for.

      It also does not include improvements to the city’s public transportation system which are considered necessary if the games are to run smoothly.  Manfredi said those projects were already in the pipeline.

       "We have planned the games into the current infrastructure and we've planned the games into the future infrastructure."

        Dan O’Connell, president of Boston 2024 said the Olympics would create 70,000 jobs and provide a lasting boost to the hospitality and tourism industry, which he said employ many low-skilled workers.

        " The long-term benefit for the have nots will be jobs and the growth of a key industry."

      Some critics of Boston hosting the Olympics are said to be exploring a possible statewide voter referendum.  O’Connell said he believed current public opinion is in favor of brining the Olympics to Boston.

     " We would be ready to make our case as to why the games make sense and try to have a successful effort," O'Connell said when pressed about whether a referendum could discourage the IOC from awarding the games to Boston.

       Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has pledged a transparent process and has announced a series of nine neighborhood meetings scheduled through the summer to discuss the proposal for Boston to host the 2024 Olympics.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.
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