‘No Boston Olympics’ Displayed Pop-Up Billboard Outside of USOC Meeting
Members of “No Boston Olympics” hired people to stand outside of the United States Olympic Committee’s headquarters in California with a sign on Tuesday, as Mayor Marty Walsh and a private organization trying to bring the games to the city in 2024 made their pitch to officials indoors.
“We call it a ‘pop-up billboard,’” said a spokesperson from No Boston Olympics, an independent group of Massachusetts residents decrying the lack of transparency in the Boston Olympic bid process so far. “This was not a protest, just an attempt to get USOC folks to see our message before they went into the meeting—since we weren’t invited.”
The banner, which simply said “No Boston Olympics,” was held by people hired by the group through TaskRabbit. Those lending a hand through the online service stretched the banner across the sidewalk so officials heading into the building couldn’t miss it.
In an email, No Boston Olympics members said they arranged to have the banner on display since the presentation “occurred behind closed doors,” and no one from the public was allowed to see the official bid put forward by Boston2024, the private group funding efforts to bring the games to Boston. Boston2024 attended the meeting in California on Tuesday with Walsh.
“The citizens and taxpayers of Massachusetts still do not have access to that bid, and were not invited to hear or respond to what promises Boston2024 made to the USOC,” members of No Boston Olympics said. “[We oppose] our city submitting a bid in this auction, especially one conducted behind closed doors.”
Despite the banner representing the group’s dissatisfaction with Boston’s potential bid, Walsh and members of Boston2024 said that the 45-minute presentation in front of 15 USOC Board Members and staff was a success.
“Boston 2024 was honored to meet once again with the USOC and make our case as to why Boston would be an ideal host for the Summer Games in 2024,” said Boston2024’s executive vice president, Erin Murphy-Rafferty. “We feel Boston made a very strong presentation to the committee that focuses on the many strengths of our city and region.”
The USOC met with representatives from four cities including Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., all of whom are vying to secure a bid to host the summer games in 2024. Shortly after officials representing each respective city made their plea, the United States Olympic Team tweeted that the USOC would officially be moving forward with a bid on behalf of the U.S.
A decision about which domestic candidate they will consider, and submit for review by the International Olympics Committee, is expected sometime in January. From there, the IOC will be tasked with choosing a host city from a pool of applicants from all around the world.
“If Boston moves on to the next phase, we look forward to exploring the possibilities of a Boston Olympics that would be innovative, sustainable, and transformative to Massachusetts,” said Murphy-Rafferty.