Walsh goes to bat for Boston to US Olympic Committee

Mayor Marty Walsh is California-bound as he and backers of Boston’s Olympic bid officially make their case to the US Olympic Committee on Tuesday, Walsh’s office confirmed today.

“The mayor will be traveling to California to participate in a meeting with Boston 2024, before the U.S. Olympic Committee,” said Kate Norton, the mayor’s spokesperson, in a statement provided to the Reporter.

“He was invited to participate and share his perspective on what makes Boston a great city, not just for a possible Summer Olympic games, but overall.”

Walsh and others from Boston 2024, the private organization behind the bid, have an hour to present to the US Olympic Committee in Redwood City, Calif. – home to USOC chairman Larry Probst. Boston is the last city to present of the four US cities vying for the US bid: Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

After Tuesday’s presentation, the USOC has until January 15 to select its US host city, though that decision could come as soon as Wednesday. Boston 2024 backers have been careful to note that it is also possible that the USOC does not select any city.

US Olympic officials were in Boston last month as they traveled to the four competing cities in a meet-and-greet setting, getting to know bid backers and the cities they represent.
Should Boston be selected, Boston 2024, the USOC, and other public and private parties will have nine months to assemble a bid for the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC will then have two years–until September 2017, to determine the host of the 2024 summer Olympic games.

Opponents to Boston’s Olympics have criticized the lack of openness in the bid process thus far, including the existing businesses at Widett Circle, where the Olympic stadium has been sited. Boston 2024 organizers, including developer John Fish have been adamant that should the city win the bid, it will kick off extensive public input, including public hearings for every proposed venue.

In September, Boston 2024 unveiled a number of potential Olympic facility locations, including the stadium at Widett Circle on the Southie-Dorchester line, athlete housing at Columbia Point on UMass Boston’s campus, facilities in Franklin Park, and a number of existing or upgraded locations on college campuses. Boston 2024 estimates the games will cost $4.5 billion in private money, beyond the necessary transportation infrastructure fixes already in the pipeline and green lighted for public funding.

In Oct. 2013, State Sen. Eileen M. Donoghue, a Democrat from Lowell, kicked off a special commission to study the feasibility of hosting the 2024 Olympics. In January, the commission reported “there are congruencies[sic] that exist between the Olympic requirements and the long-term needs of the commonwealth.”

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