” ‘The “New Englander attitude’, in which slower is better, needs to be changed because the world is changing, especially the economy.” John F. Fish, CEO Suffolk Construction Company, Inc.; Chairman of the Boston Olympic Committee.
By next January, the USOC will pick the location for the 2024 Summer Games and Boston is a top contender.
International Olympic Committee members have encouraged the U.S. to bid – and the USOC is intent on selecting a potential bid city by the end of the year.
Candidates include San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
IOC members are said to favor a bid from San Francisco, but the USOC hasn’t identified a favorite.
USOC Chief Executive Officer Scott Blackmun said the organization will spend the rest of the year meeting with mayors and city leaders to evaluate the viability of a bid from each city. It hopes to select a city by the third quarter of this year and have its board vote by March 2015 on whether the U.S. will put forward a bid.
Greater Boston would stack up well against its U.S. rivals in the race for an Olympics bid because this region has at least one key selling point. There’s a college or university on almost every block. As business leaders pull together local support for the Olympics bid, it’s becoming increasingly clear how important our higher education sector could be when the U.S. Olympic Committee makes their choice in the next six months. In addition the venerable Boston Marathon, Charles Regatta and Boston’s reputation as a sporting town should make this a close race. Bob Kraft may be looking to build a world class soccer stadium in greater Boston and Mitt Romney would be a key consultant after his Salt Lake experiences. Done correctly the Games can bring updated infrastructure and a burst of pride and jobs to the host region which resonates for decades following.
The U.S. hasn’t hosted a Summer Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta Games. It last hosted a Winter Olympics in 2002 in Salt Lake City. Bids by New York for the 2012 Games and Chicago for the 2016 Games were rejected by the IOC.
A final bid for the 2024 Summer Games would face stiff competition. Rome and Paris, which would be celebrating the centennial of its second Olympics that year, both plan to bid. Doha, Qatar, and South Africa also have expressed interest.
We will be crossing our fingers for Beach Volleyball on the North Shore in ten years.
…..The aquatic center where American swimmer Amy Van Dyken won four Olympic gold medals is noisy with amateur divers bouncing off clattering springboards, before a national competition. Across town, at the stadium where the palsied hands of Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic torch in 1996, the hometown Atlanta Braves are looking for back-to-back wins, before 26,000 fans. Twenty miles outside the city, however, scraggly weeds grow thigh-high on the abandoned court where tennis stars Andre Agassi and Lindsay Davenport each earned gold for the United States.
These and a dozen other former Olympic venues scattered across Greater Atlanta hold lessons for Boston — of what worked and what can go wrong — as the city flirts with a bid for the 2024 Summer Games…..