One Step Closer To Getting The Summer Olympics to Boston

Lawmakers passed a bill to allow a research group to examine the feasibility of hosting the 2024 games.

Senate leaders have passed the torch to the House of Representatives, hoping they will vote favorably to allow the formation of a group to study whether or not Boston could host the 2024 summer Olympic games.

On Tuesday, in a 38-1 vote, the Senate approved of a bill, sponsored by state Sen. Eileen Donoghue, D-Lowell, to create a nine-member board that would dissect and analyze every aspect of what it would take to have the city be the destination for the future event. If House members approve the bill it would need to be signed by Governor Deval Patrick before it became official. From there, the members appointed to the commission, by the legislature, would have until March of 2014 to look at how the games would impact Boston’s overall infrastructure, transportation, security, and whether or not it could spur job growth in the state. ”

In August 2012, an independent group of supporters, vying for Boston to become the home of the 2024 game, kicked off a Twitter and Facebook campaign, followed by an official website, to rally support. The group, called the Boston Olympic Exploratory Committee, said its goal to get the Olympics to New England was “ambitious, but not impossible,” and with the latest news about Senate support, their hopes have been amplified.

The group said in an email they didn’t want to comment on the latest push forward, in regards to the favorable response of the bill, until they received the blessing of Mayor Tom Menino, a task that may be tough since he originally called the concept “far-fetched.” But despite the mayor’s initial inclinations, the group doesn’t think they are out of the race just yet. “The Boston 2024 Organizing Committee was excited to learn of the bill passing in the Senate. Unfortunately we cannot comment any further as we would like the blessing of Mayor Menino for this privately funded feasibility study to be done. After all, this is his city,” the group said in a statement.

With Menino on his way out soon, the group maintains that others would likely back the plan, referencing Boston’s “global recognition as a leading cultural, sports, educational, medical and business center.”

“We are also home to corporations that are active in supporting sports culture such as John Hancock, Liberty Mutual, Fidelity and Gillette,” the group said on their officials website.

Donoghue, who filed the bill in January, to put together the commission, said the move is “not without risks,” but if it were to happen Boston would reap the benefits for years to come. “Hosting the Olympics could also create long-term investment in infrastructure, the addition of thousands of jobs, and an amplified international profile that will keep people visiting and investing in our spectacular state,” she said.