Last week Boston was the United States city selected to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. Boston was picked over Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and San Francisco.
Now that we’re past the national round, Boston moves into the international round were it will be up against Berlin; Rome; Paris; Johannesburg, South Africa; Casablanca, Morocco; Melbourne, Australia; and Baku, Azerbaijan as possible sites for the 2024 games.
Locally, L.A. is the only city that was on the ballot that has hosted the Olympics (1932 and 1984). Overseas, Paris has also hosted the summer games twice (1900, 1924) as did Berlin (1916, 1936). Rome hosted the 1960 Olympics and Melbourne hosted the 1956 Olympics. Johannesburg, Casablanca, and Baku are all potential rookie host cities. Johannesburg did host the 2010 FIFA World Cup final, so they do have some experience in hosting an international sporting event.
But back to Boston; should one of the greatest sports cities in the world host the Olympics? No, it should not.
With Connecticut so close to Boston it would be awesome for such an event to be so close to home, but think of the citizens of Boston and its surrounding communities. Taxes would skyrocket, the already terrible traffic would become worse, and new venues need to be built. Sure, basketball can be played at the TD Garden, but does Boston have a velodrome? Nope. Better yet, where would they even be able to build a velodrome, or an aqautics center; Cambridge? Does Roxbury want to build a new state of the art, multi-million dollar pool? Too often in sports now are venues being built outside of the city the team or event is based in. The New York Giants and Jets play in New Jersey, the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium is in Arlington, Texas, and the new San Francisco 49ers’ stadium isn’t in San Francisco, it’s in Santa Clara which is an hour drive away.
The City of Boston’s argument is that it needs the Olympics to be considered a “world-class city”, which may be the most false statement they could make. Last April runner from 56 U.S. states and territories ran the Boston Marathon. There were also runners from 79 countries around the world running through the city. Fenway Park is called “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark” for a reason; there are so many visitors to the park that tours are conducted in English, Spanish, and Japanese. Boston has some of the most successful professional sports franchises ever. The Celtics have 17 NBA championships, the Bruins have hoisted the Stanley Cup 6 times, the New England Patriots won 3 Super Bowls in 4 years, and the Red Sox despite an 86 year World Series championship drought have won of the most loyal fanbases in the world. And that’s just sports.
Anyone have a clue what landmark outdrew Walt Disney World, the Eiffel Tower, and the Great Wall of China? That’d be Faneuil Hall Marketplace right in the heart of Boston.
I could give you more numbers and statistics on how Boston is already a world-class city and doesn’t need to host the Olympics but from a sports fan’s perspective, I think I got my point across.
Sources; ESPN.com, Wikipedia | Photo; Facebook.com/NoBostonOlympics