Olympics fact vs. fiction
Thank goodness Boston 2024 is going to start releasing details of its bid for the 2024 Olympics this week because reporters are starting to fill in the blanks on their own and it’s getting hard to tell fact from fiction.
Case in point: During the broadcast of the Patriots-Colts game Sunday night, CBS announcer Jim Nantz suggested Patriots owner Robert Kraft had indicated to him that Gillette Stadium would be Boston’s proposed site of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Games.
Yet that’s not what Boston 2024 officials were saying after they were selected by the US Olympic Committee to submit the country’s bid. The officials talked of building a temporary Olympic stadium, where opening and closing ceremonies and track-and-field events are typically held, at Widett Circle in Boston. John Fish, the chairman of Boston 2024, said Gillette would not play a central role in the Games because it is too far from Boston.
The Boston Globe on Sunday reported that the Boston bid would probably include venues in other states, including Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden in New York City. Yet Fish, after Boston was selected by the USOC on January 8, said 28 of the 33 proposed Olympic venues would be within six miles of each other and three-quarters of them would be on college campuses. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, asked whether Boston was going to play host to every event, said other cities would participate, but specifically mentioned only Lowell, Somerville, and Cambridge.
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Half of Boston’s residents support a local Olympics but nearly three quarters say they want to hold a referendum on the Hub’s participation, according to a new WBUR poll conducted by the MassINC Polling Group. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh earlier said he opposed a referendum on the Olympics, but Evan Falchuk of the United Independent Party said he is considering a host of ballot challenges. The Herald says Olympics opponents will run into the same hurdle in a ballot effort that did in those trying to repeal the state’s casino law: The huge spending advantage Olympics boosters will enjoy with politicos and the state’s business community.
The effort by Boston 2024 to win the hosting rights for the Olympics will be a massive promotional campaign over the next two-and-a-half years targeting just 100 people — the deciders on the International Olympic Committee who will make the call in 2017.
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