Details of ‘Highly Confidential’ Boston 2024 Bid Book Contained in UMass Emails

Newly released emails give a glimpse inside the bid's relationship with its partners and the press.

Photo via AP

Photo via AP

Emails obtained by Boston lawyer Joel Fleming reveal details of the “highly confidential” Boston 2024 bid book, presented to the United States Olympic Committee. Obtained via public records request and available for download and perusal, the emails provide a glimpse of the interplay between bid organizers, the UMass Donahue Institute (UMDI), the Boston Foundation, and the press.

In an email to UMDI senior research manager Mark Melnick, Boston 2024 Chief Operating Officer Erin Murphy describes two of the bid book’s first three chapters, and asks that Melnick doesn’t circulate the email.

“Chapter 2 is our key venue plan. This is very highly confidential and I ask that this email does not get shared beyond you and your immediate team,” Murphy wrote. “Chapter 3 includes all the information we have about hotels, sourced by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and The Smith Report. Chapter 3 also includes information about transportation and security.”

One exchange–between Daniel Hodge, UMDI director of economic and public policy research, and Mary Jo Meisner, vice president of public affairs at the Boston Foundation–shows some bristling at a Boston Globe column by Joan Vennochi, calling into question the UMDI’s independence.

“The one item that bothered me was her implication of us not being independent…it’s an easy but unsubstantiated way of critiquing our credibility which I find frustrating, especially after all the exclusive access we provided to the Globe,” Hodge wrote. In another email, Meisner apologizes for cutting a phone call short, as her March Madness bracket was due.

“Sorry about ending our call so abruptly today. I was getting peppered with emails from the bracket manager here to get mine done or I was going to miss the deadline!” Meisner wrote. “I made it but it wasn’t without some drama! I am sure my picks have nothing to do with reality since I chose them so quickly. The reason I care about this so deeply, is that I am the defending champion here at TBF!”