DeLeo wants statewide Olympic venues

House Speaker Robert DeLeo wants to see 2024 Summer Olympics venues around the state and not just in the greater Boston area.

Organizers should look to Springfield, Worcester, the South Coast and the Berkshires for venues, DeLeo (D-Winthrop) said Wednesday, adding, "I'd like to see the rest of the state share in some of the activities."

Supporters of the bringing the Olympics to the city of Boston have repeatedly pitched the venture as uniquely "walkable."

DeLeo told reporters having Boston under consideration as a site by the International Olympic Committee is a "great accomplishment, says a lot about our city and our state."

In addition to the location of venues, DeLeo said paying for the Olympics is an issue he's concerned about.

"I don't want to see Boston turn out to be as some Olympics have in the past, in terms of where you've had millions and millions of dollars in deficit, where you've had facilities that have had to be mothballed because they're of no further use to the community," he said. "So I'm interested to get some finalization in how that is going to be addressed."

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has said public funds would be used for infrastructure improvements but no taxpayer money would be spent on Olympic facilities.

Asked if he backed a potential referendum on the Olympics in Boston, DeLeo said, "Right now I'd like to see if I can get answers to some of the questions which I just raised before I would be able to answer that. I feel that we're sort of caught up in the frenzy and excitement of being chosen as the city. But I think we have a ways to go in terms of finding out some of the answers, some of the solutions to some of the problems that have been raised."

Boston 2024, a group formed to support the city's bid for the summer games, on Wednesday released information on their efforts, including plans for Olympic "clusters" around South Boston and by the Charles River.

[Andy Metzger contributed reporting.]



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