Fall River Wants to Host a Portion of the 2024 Summer Olympics

Let the games begin.

If Boston hosts the 2024 Summer Olympics, Fall River wants a piece of the action.

At least, that’s the hope of the city’s mayor, who has called on former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to help him put together a package arguing why Fall River should get some of the Games. “I would love nothing more than for the 2024 Summer Olympics to be held in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and specifically in the great city of Fall River,” Mayor William Flanagan wrote in his letter to Romney, dated July 10.

In a phone interview with Boston, Flanagan said because Olympic events are often held in various parts of a region selected to host the games, he is happy to open up his community to specific ones, like soccer or track and field.

“I hope Boston will be picked, and hopefully if they are we can have some of the events here,” he said. “I would love to see that here in the community. It would bring us to a whole new level. I would be open-minded to any event within the community. As mayor I would support it coming to the city.”

In his letter, Flanagan told Romney that he was calling on his support to help organize efforts to bring the summer games to the coastal community, which boasts  a population of 90,000 people, based on the former presidential candidates success in supporting the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. “You did much to flatten the economic concerns that opponents of the Olympics cite often,” the mayor wrote to Romney. “It is no wonder you emerged as the public face of the Olympics in the United States.”

Flanagan told Boston that Romney “helped make it a successful event,” and “he knows Massachusetts.”

Bringing the 2024 Olympics to Massachusetts has been a point of contention for people in Boston and surrounding communities. Some have argued that it will do nothing but cause problems and lead to serious debt, while others have flaunted the city’s amenities, claiming there is no better spot to welcome such a massive sporting event since Boston has so many resources at hand.

In June, officials from the United States Olympic Committee even announced that they narrowed down the list of potential cities to host the 2024 Summer Olympics to four, and Boston made the cut. A decision about a U.S. bid is expected by 2015. If Boston were to rise to the top of that list, and choose to toss its hat into the ring, they would then have to contend with other cities from all across the country before being selected.

The decision to include Boston in the group of potential host cities came after a meeting with Olympic officials in Cambridge last month. That meeting was preceded by an extensive report compiled by a special legislative commission tasked with examining the feasibility of taking on such a monumental event.

But according to Flanagan, if Boston becomes the centralized location for the games, there’s more than one reason why his city should be a part of it.

For starters, Flanagan said Fall River has a rich tradition of excellence in sports, adding that four players from the men’s U.S. World Cup team come from the city, as well as multiple players in the MLB, NHL, and NFL. He said hosting a portion of the 2024 Summer Olympics would be a monumental addition to the proud history that they have already established in the sports world. “It would also uplift the self esteem and image of the community. To have your city’s name associated with the games has a really positive impact on a community,” he said.

Flanagan, in closing, said Romney’s “expertise” would be appreciated in helping him craft a bid. “Please consider joining us in what we hope will be a glorious new chapter in Fall River’s incredible story,” he wrote.

The letter was first published on Barstool Sports. Boston later reached out to the mayor’s office to obtain a copy and speak with Flanagan.

Olympics Letter to Governor Romney – Signed