Boston chosen for U.S. 2024 Summer Olympic bid

The U.S. Olympic Committee announced Thursday that it has selected Boston out of four cities that competed to represent the United States in a bid for the 2024 Summer Games.

The USOC, after a day-long meeting at Denver airport and more than one round of voting, announced the decision on Twitter that it had selected Boston to carry the flag forward. Boston beat out Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco to compete against a host of potential international bidders for the Olympic and Paralympic games.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh plans to attend a press conference Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to discuss the Olympic bid where he is expected to be joined by members of the USOC.

The selection of Boston will touch off eight months of planning as organizers must try to galvanize public support for the games and flesh out the details of where venues such as an Olympic stadium and athlete village will be located. Bid organizers plan to make extensive use of existing venues such as TD Garden and facilities at colleges and universities.

The International Olympic Committee's deadline for 2024 bid submissions is Sept. 15, 2015, with the ultimate host city to be selected at a meeting in Lima, Peru scheduled for September 2017.

The IOC will meet with representatives from the contending cities Oct. 7- 9 in Switzerland to establish rules for bidding. Cities will then have until one year from Thursday to submit final bids.

Atlanta was the last American city to host the summer Olympic and Paralympic games in 1996, while Salt Lake City hosted the winter Olympics in 2002. The Associated Press reported Rome is the only other city that has formally decided to bid, while Germany, France and Hungary are among the other countries eyeing bids.

"This bid uniquely combines an exciting, athlete-focused concept for hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games with Boston's existing long-term vision. We look forward to working with Mayor Walsh and the Boston 2024 team to fully engage with the local community and identify ways we can make the bid even better," USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in a statement.

No Boston Olympics, a grassroots group organized to oppose a Boston bid, said Boston doesn't need to host the Olympics to prove it is a "world-class city."

"Our region's prominence in the world has always been made on its own terms, and by its own people: from our forefathers who led the American Revolution, to today's citizens who lead in cutting-edge research, technology, academics, and so many other arenas. Sending a bid to the International Olympic Committee would be an unfortunate change," the group said in a statement.

No Boston Olympics expressed their concern that hosting the games would "divert resources and attention away" from the challenges that face the state, such as improving education, without any proof that it will spur local economies.

Liam Kerr, of No Boston Olympics, said the group will be holding a meeting soon with "like minded folks" to try to expand the group. Kerr said he believes public sentiment is on their side.

"The five words we hear most is, 'Where do I send the check?' We're going to make sure their energy is put to good use and try to defeat this as quickly and efficiently as possible," Kerr said.

A Boston Globe poll taken in June found that 47 percent of Massachusetts residents supported pursuing a bid to host the 2024 summer Olympics compared with 43 percent opposed.

Walsh called it an "exceptional honor" for Boston to be selected.

"This selection is in recognition of our city's talent, diversity and global leadership. Our goal is to host an Olympic and Paralympic Games that are innovative, walkable and hospitable to all. Boston hopes to welcome the world's greatest athletes to one of the world's great cities," Walsh said.

The mayor recently traveled to California to help make the pitch for Boston with Suffolk Construction's John Fish, who is helping to spearhead the effort to bring the Olympics to Massachusetts as chairman of Boston 2024.

Fish has said the games would be financed without public dollars through private donations, broadcast rights and ticket sales, while Walsh and other public officials have said the Olympics could give the city and region an opportunity to plan needed transportation and infrastructure project around the games.


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