Boston falls out of the running to host the 2024 Olympics

Boston isn’t about to repeat what happened in Athens.
Boston isn’t about to repeat what happened in Athens.
Image: AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris
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Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic is heading to an early grave.

After months of protest from Bostonians, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) terminated the city’s bid for the Olympics after the city’s mayor, Martin Walsh, told the USOC in a press conference today (July 27) that he would not agree to sign a contract with the committee.

The bid had been heavily criticized by Boston residents since the USOC announced that the city would officially represent the US against other bids globally, beating out Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington DC. Many viewed the chance to host the Summer Olympics as a curse that would leave the city inundated with traffic during the games and shackled by debt and littered with underused state-of-the-art sports facilities afterwards. In June, 50% of Massachusetts residents surveyed said they opposed the bid, while 42% said they supported it.

The battle over the Boston bid reflects a growing antipathy among major cities, especially in developed economies, about hosting the Olympics and other global sporting events, amid mounting evidence that the potential for economic gains tend to be overstated.

Beautiful stadiums constructed in Athens, Greece for the 2004 Summer Olympics, for instance, have been abandoned and left to decay. The €9 billion ($10 billion) price tag Greece paid to host the Olympic games notably contributed to its ongoing debt crisis. Roughly a year after Brazil spent $3 billion on stadiums to host the World Cup, the most expensive among them (which cost $550 million) is being used as a bus parking lot.