- Associated Press - Sunday, June 21, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Western Massachusetts economic development officials are hoping for Olympics venues if Boston becomes host for the 2024 games.

Former Westfield Mayor Richard Sullivan, head of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council, tells the Republican newspaper (http://bit.ly/1Ftjv52) the area has a good chance to host preliminary-round basketball games.

Sullivan says basketball arenas such as the MassMutual Center in Springfield and the Mullins Center at the University of Massachusetts may be too small for the finals, but are in the running for earlier games.

Sullivan, who served in former Gov. Deval Patrick’s cabinet, also said Western Massachusetts could host volleyball, whitewater paddle sports, equestrian events and long-distance cycling.

Springfield’s chief development officer Kevin Kennedy says Olympic teams could train at Western Massachusetts colleges and universities.

Boosters also note basketball was invented in Springfield, and volleyball in Holyoke.

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Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/

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