Other Finalists Weren’t Totally Happy with the Boston 2024 Pick

"Are you kidding me?!" wrote one L.A. city councilman.

San Francisco Chronicle Front Page. Credit: The Newseum

San Francisco Chronicle Front Page. Credit: The Newseum

As the U.S. Olympic Committee decided which of four finalist cities it would choose for its 2024 Olympics bid this week, Boston’s competitors were feeling pretty confident. “Have you been to Boston? It’s boring,” wrote an Los Angeles-based reporter for the New York Times.

Indeed, with L.A. and San Francisco the widely presumed front-runners, the USOC’s selection of Boston on Thursday evening was widely seen as an upset. Many reacted with a mix of disappointment and congratulations for Boston. Here’s the Mayor of Los Angeles:


For some, though, the upset was, well, upsetting.

Lacking for words, L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino turned to emojis:
boston olympics

The Washington Post, meanwhile, published a rather bitter slideshow comparing Boston unfavorably to the international cities with which it might compete to be the final choice for 2024. St. Petersburg, they said, is “home to the Hermitage, one of the world’s greatest museums.” Boston is “home to the New England Sports Museum, which contains the “original” Boston Bruin, a stuffed cub that once sat outside the office of the team’s first owner.”

Mostly, though the other finalist cities’ major newspapers sought, more maturely, to explain why the USOC might have passed them over.

“From the start, Los Angeles seemed like a safe choice to bid for the 2024 Olympics,” the L.A. Times wrote. “But, in the end, it seems that city officials could not overcome a sense of been-there, done-that.”

Washington, meanwhile, is just too impressive a place, according to the Washington Post. Other countries might get upset. It was a daunting task from the beginning, trying to convince leaders of the U.S. and international Olympic movements that Washington, with its attendant symbolism of American strength and political ambition, would be a wonderful setting for a Summer Games.” (Also, D.C. in August is hotter than an elephant’s innards, though the Post didn’t mention that.)

Like Boston, though, other cities had their Olympics cynics, and from those corners came relief. “SF Spared Olympic Burden,” read the SFist.com headline.

But whether they were feeling relief or regret today, policymakers in the cities that submitted bids will likely have to spend time studying Boston’s bid to see why it beat their own. Boston might seem boring to some, but its appeal to the USOC can’t be denied.