Photo: No Boston Olympics
The Boston 2024 Organizing Committee, a group that is looking to host the next summer olympics in the Hub, brought together dozens of Massachusetts Olympians at a Fenway sports bar Monday night to garner support for the push, but not everyone is convinced it would be a wise endeavor.
A June poll by The Boston Globe found that 47 percent of 604 people polled backed the Olympic bid, while 43 percent opposed it. But when asked if they would back tax dollars supporting the bid, just 25 percent were in favor, while 64 percent opposed the idea.
According to Christopher Dempsey Co-Chair of No Boston Olympics, it's clear why.
"It's a scary reality," said Dempsey. "The [International Olympic Committee] is looking for someone to throw it a big, expensive party, and Boston is actually one of the favorites. But why would we want to foot the bill for that? "
No Boston Olympics released a report in February estimating that the cost of hosting the 2024 Games could run between $10 billion and $20 billion - about as much as The Big Dig.
But rather than using that money to build a velodrome or a new soccer stadium, No Boston Olympics believes it should be spent on improving transportation and building schools, hospitals and bridges.
"Those are the things that will make Boston a great place to live in five or ten years," said Dempsey. "Not sporting venues we don't really need."
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh addressed cost concerns at Monday's event at Blazing Paddles, saying he wasn't going to "mortgage the future of the city for the Olympics."
"I've been working very closely with the 2024 committee to talk about how we pay for it," Walsh said. "I think there’s an opportunity here in the city of Boston to put together an Olympics that’s a walkable Olympics. The infrastructure can be mostly private infrastructure."
Dempsey said No Boston Olympics plans to build more momentum against the 2024 bid in coming months.
"We'll be more active after the election," he said. "We want to be a consistent response to boosters who are talking about these big plans."
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