Next Stop on Boston 2024’s Bid 2.0 Tour: Billerica?
Billerica: Home of Tom Glavine, a trampoline park, and Olympic shooting?
Following announcements of sailing in New Bedford and tennis in Dorchester, Boston 2024 could soon announce Billerica as the proposed home of Olympic shooting, as part of the bid’s sprawl across the Commonwealth in search of greater public support.
“Minute Man Sportsman’s Club has been offered and has accepted a tremendous offer to host the Boston 2024 shooting venue,” the club said in an email to members, provided to Boston magazine by a member under condition of anonymity. “This is going to transform our club and offers some amazing improvements to the club from clubhouse to shooting venues.”
Minute Man Sportsman’s Club is a privately owned, shotgun-only shooting range. A person familiar with Massachusetts shooting venues suggested that the facility is the only one in the Commonwealth equipped to host international-level trap shooting events. (A representative of Minute Man Sportsman’s Club could not be immediately reached for comment.) If the report is accurate, it would be among the new venues expected to be named in an updated “bid 2.0,” due out in the coming weeks. The club, situated on roughly 100 acres in Billerica, and accessible via Francis Wyman Road in Burlington, would replace the previously proposed gun range on Long Island, as contained in the initial bid book presented to the United States Olympic Committee in December.
The same member says he attended a meeting between Boston 2024 organizers and Minute Man Sportsman’s Club members Wednesday night. He said Boston 2024 Vice President of Master Planning and Games Delivery Peter Campot gave a presentation containing new details—subject to change, he says— that include kayaking in Western Massachusetts, handball in Worcester, and nothing in Springfield.
The gun club’s inclusion in the revised bid is news to Billerica, however. “This is the first we’ve heard of it,” Town Manager John Curran tells Boston. “But we’d certainly be willing to talk to somebody about it. That’d be good reason for them to expedite the Middlesex Turnpike progress.” Burlington building inspector John Clancy says his town had no knowledge of Boston 2024’s plans either.
“That Middlesex Turnpike project would have to be complete. My biggest concern would be making concern the turnpike project would be done,” Curran says. “But no, nobody to my knowledge has heard of it.”
When asked about Billerica, Boston 2024 Vice President Erin Murphy would neither confirm nor deny. “We will be making additional venue announcements throughout June, and we will be confirming venues as they are finalized. The only venue we have confirmed so far as part of our revised plan is sailing,” she said in a statement last Friday, prior to this week’s tennis announcement.