- Associated Press - Monday, October 27, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - Hosting the Olympics will be a $10 billion to $20 billion undertaking that will threaten the state’s ability to make investments in health care, education and transportation, activists opposed to Boston’ bid for the 2024 summer games wrote to the U.S. Olympic Committee on Monday.

Boston would have to build from scratch a new Olympic stadium, velodrome, aquatics center and Olympic Village, the activists, called No Boston Olympics, wrote in a letter.

“As the home of the United States’ first public school, first public park and first subway, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a strong and proud tradition of social investment,” the group writes. “Choosing Boston as the sole U.S. finalist for 2024 will threaten those efforts.”

In the coming weeks, the group promises to provide the U.S. Olympic Committee more information about the “troubling weaknesses and flaws” of the Boston bid.

The Boston 2024 Partnership, the privately funded organization that’s developing the city’s Olympics proposal, said it is working to meet a Dec. 1 deadline to submit its proposal to the U.S. Olympic Committee. It said residents will have “many opportunities” to weigh in on the plan, if the committee selects Boston.

The group also released a new video on its website Monday promising its proposal will offer “groundbreaking new ideas” and a “sustainable model” for future Olympic host cities to replicate.

“We’re here to put our history, technology, academics, infrastructure and, of course, our people to work in defining the next chapter of the Olympic movement, together,” a narrator says over images touting Boston’s winning professional sports teams and its “proud legacy of forward progress.”

Boston 2024 Partnership President Dan O’Connell, in the group’s first formal briefing earlier this month, said the initial estimated cost for the games would be about $4.5 billion.

None of the expenses would be paid by the city, including security, which would be paid for by the federal government. The city’s $1.2 billion share of broadcast revenues from the games and revenue from international and local sponsors and ticket sales would cover the other costs, O’Connell said.

The Boston 2024 Partnership is considering proposing major Olympic sites in South Boston and Dorchester, including an athlete’s village around the University of Massachusetts-Boston campus, a new Olympic Stadium near South Boston’s Widett Circle and use of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center near the South Boston waterfront.

Other possible sites include beach volleyball on Boston Common, sailing in Boston Harbor and soccer at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, which is home to the NFL’s New England Patriots and the Major League Soccer franchise the New England Revolution.

Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco are among the other cities the USOC is considering as it weighs whether it wants to compete with other countries for the 2024 summer games. The U.S. committee is expected to decide in January whether it will make a bid; the International Olympic Committee will make its decision in 2017.


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