A new poll of Bostonians finds that residents are turning against the city’s bid to secure the 2024 Summer Olympics with over 50 percent opposing the idea.
One of the chief reasons for the decline is the city’s long history of budget-busting boondoggles.
Early in January the International Olympic Committee invited Boston to join other cities of the world vying to host the 2014 Summer Olympics. Beantown beat out Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. to represent the United States in the bidding process.
But ever since the city announced their bid for the games public opinion has been decidedly dour on the idea and the newest poll still finds that only 40 percent of residents support it.
According to Boston.com, “Support for the bid fell from 44 percent in February to 36 percent in March, while opposition jumped from 46 percent to 52 percent. In January, 51 percent said they supported the bid while 33 percent opposed it.”
One of the reasons that so many Bostonians are wary about the games is the cost the city will likely incur. Boston.com reported that “89 percent said they feel it is very likely or somewhat likely the Olympics would cost far more than is currently estimated, compared to just 6 percent who said it was unlikely.”
With the estimate that the games will cost Boston $4.5 billion, Boston Herald columnist and radio talker Howie Carr warns that if Boston gets the games it will be just another tax wasting boondoggle.
“After 30 years of disastrous multi-billion-dollar public construction disasters, cost overruns, and scandals, it appears that a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Boston may be the last straw for overtaxed voters in the deep-blue state of Massachusetts,” Carr wrote in January.
And even some local politicians are questioning the efficacy of having the games in Boston. United Independent Party Chair Evan Falchuk wanted to have the public be able to weigh-in on giving the green light to the games.
“Raising critical questions about the billions the Games would cost, as well as security and traffic concerns, doesn’t make anyone a ‘naysayer,'” Falchuk said, “It makes us taxpaying, thinking adults.”
The Olympics, Peter Ueberroth overseeing a privately financed Los Angeles games in 1984 serving as a notable exception, always seems to be a money pit. Only a few years ago The Atlantic warned cities bidding for the games that they shouldn’t count on gaining much for their moment in the sporting sun.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com