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Boston in bid for the 2024 Olympics?

According to a Boston Globe poll, 47 percent of Bostonians back the Olympic bid while 43 percent are opposed to it. And the gap, it seems, is only narrowing. The 2024 Summer Olympics  maybe a decade away but the US Olympic committee is likely to decide in another four months whether to enter a US city in the international competition to host the event. Boston, with good reason, has decided to make an ambitious pitch for playing Olympic host. The other cities in the race are Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington. A final decision will be taken by the International Olympics Committee, meeting in Switzerland, this December.

Let us look at some of the key factors which favor Boston’s bid to play host for the Summer Olympics.

Existing venues

Boston has many compact venues such as the Harvard Stadium and MIT’s Killian Court, excellent transport facilities and a well-knit city layout that will make hosting the games very convenient. Yet if Boston is selected to host the Olympic event, the city will be forced to make some infrastructure changes. An Olympic Village, Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Center would need to be built. While there is concern that these facilities may lie idle after the event, a carefully fashioned plan could lead to infrastructure improvement and accelerate the economy thanks to sports tourism in the city. The city’s numerous hotels offer a vast choice for tourists and could easily accommodate the hospitality needs for the 2024 Olympics.

Issues in transit facilities

The influx of domestic and international visitors for the games would boost business for the capital’s transportation sector.  Some serious issues would need to be addressed such as traffic management, subways and the public transportation management system for the Olympic Village, which will be housing approximately 16,000 athletes.

Safety and Security

Olympics would require the city, state and federal officials to work together to optimize security and safety of the visitors and participants. Some unique security concerns are likely to crop-up when an international event like Olympics is hosted, and the city needs to have quick responses and high vigilance in place. Fortunately, the commonwealth of Massachusetts, experienced in hosting large-scale, coordinated national and international events, has excellent public safety measures and trained security forces to handle the show.

Budgeting and finance

Budgeting for Olympics will be a complex and monumental task. A responsible Olympics budgeting plan for Boston 2024 would need to safeguard public dollars and consider strategic public-private partnerships. It would also need to factor in the social cost of building what some people call unnecessary infrastructure.

However, being a healthy commerce and an economy hub, Boston has all the potential to host the Summer Olympics. Boston’s weather in summer, young, collegiate atmosphere and sport-crazy populace will only add to the glamor and charm of this international event.