Steve Pagliuca Blames ‘Mother Nature’ for Boston 2024’s Collapse

The Celtics co-owner thinks L.A. has a shot.
Photo via AP

Photo via AP

Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca still blames “Mother Nature,” as well as a robust online opposition, for the demise of Boston 2024 Olympic bid, for which he served as chairman for nearly two months until its July collapse.

In a recent interview with Reuters sports business analyst Rick Horrow on the Celtics’ successes under his leadership, Pagliuca said he was “absolutely” disappointed about the bid’s demise, and, despite the findings of the so-called Brattle Report, maintained that “no money from the government…at all” would’ve been needed to put on the Summer Games.

“I think we got defeated by Mother Nature,” Pagliuca said. “Things were starting to go well with the Olympics and we had a fantastic plan that would’ve been very creative to the city.”

Pagliuca placed some of the blame on the beleaguered MBTA, which crumbled under the weight of the snowiest winter in Boston’s history last year.

“I think when that snowstorm hit, it put a malaise on us. People couldn’t get to work, and they said, ‘How are we going to have an Olympics if we can’t even get to work?'” he said. “The funny thing is, L.A. is doing a great job out there. They don’t even have a T. So you don’t really need a T for the Olympics, but it really set us back. It had a slow start, then set us back with some politics, unfortunate politics.”

Pagliuca said that Boston 2024 passed along its financial plan, as well as its insurers, to the Los Angeles bid.

“I’ve actually never seen that community come together as well as it did for that. Unfortunately, a large snowstorm and some very sophisticated political opposition, with the Internet and the rest, set us back,” he said. “I wish I could’ve done a better job getting the message out there, but there wasn’t enough time to turn around public sentiment without risking losing the games. So L.A., I think, has a really good shot, and it was best for us to step back and say, ‘Let’s have America get it, even though Boston’s not going to get it.'”

You can listen to the entire interview here.


Kyle Scott Clauss Kyle Clauss, Digital News Writer at Boston Magazine bmagdigital+kclauss@gmail.com