What does Boston need to do win over Olympic naysayers? (+video)(Read article summary)
The revised Boston 2024 Olympic Games bid is out now. Opponents say it lacks details.
Elkus Manfredi Architects for Boston 2024/AP
Boston Olympic organizing planners on Monday unveiled their $4.6 billion plan to bring the 2024 Summer Olympic Games to Boston, arguing that the Olympics would create thousands of jobs and housing units and generate millions of dollars in new tax revenue.
The revised bid, called "Bid 2.0," estimates the Olympics would generate about $4.8 billion in private revenue through broadcasting fees, ticket sales, corporate sponsorship, and other profit streams, which would leave about $210 million in contingency and surplus.
Boston 2014 Olympic bid chairman Steve Pagliuca told The Boston Globe Monday that he believes the estimated revenue is “a conservative number.”
Part of the plan includes building two new Boston neighborhoods at Widett Circle and Columbia Point.
Bid 2.0 offers more details than the first bid included in January, but opponents still say planners are not revealing enough.
“We were hoping for a lot more detail,” Chris Dempsey, a co-chairman of No Boston Olympics, the chief opposition group, told The New York Times. He specifically talked about the lack of detail in the bid committee’s insurance plan after attending the Boston 2024 presentation.
The bid committee has set aside $128 million for insurance, which it says would protect taxpayers from risk, but there are no specifics on the insurance policy and the possible companies willing to insure the city.
Mr. Dempsey argues that the bid committee does not explain how they got to this number and they do not demonstrate that it is sufficient for insuring the city against overruns.
Opponents argue that the cost of hosting the 2024 Olympics will burden the taxpayers, who they say will not benefit from the event in return.
On Monday, the committee announced that taxpayers will only be responsible for $775 million needed for transportation projects, which the committee maintains should be done with or without the Olympics.
But those who are against the plan are not going to be convinced easily. They are demanding more explanation.
"They still have not explained why city of Boston taxpayers need to take the risk and sign a blank check," Dempsey told the Associated Press. "Boston 2024's only real insurer is the taxpayers of Massachusetts."
He adds that the plan still holds a “substantial risk” to the public.
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) picked Boston's bid for the 2024 Games over bids from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington in January.
According to monthly polls taken by Boston radio station WBUR, the support for the 2024 Olympics among Boston residents has fallen from 51 percent in January to 44 percent in February and to 36 percent in March.
The American competitor for the 2024 games must enter the international competition by Sept. 15.
If Bid 2.0 fails to get the green light, the USOC could either reconsider the bid from Los Angeles or just drop out of the 2024 Games.