Boston 2024 Boosters Set to Present Bid 2.0 on Monday
Local business and civic leaders have struggled mightily since January to win over a pessimistic public, a skeptical local media, and a poker faced Beacon Hill with their plan to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Boston. For months backers of the bid have said that their original plan was merely a placeholder, a “proof of concept” to show that it was possible, and that they were reworking their original plan in accordance with the feedback that they have received.
On Monday Boston 2024 is hitting the reset button and presenting their revised plan. Call it Bid 2.0.
Boston 2024 has been trickling out pieces of the revamped bid for nearly a month with a well-coordinated rollout of new details. The plan that was initially sold to the United States Olympic Committee was walkable and compact, with venues located primarily within six miles of Boston; the new plan, in the glimpses that we have seen, spreads venues to nearly every corner of the state.
So now we have shooting in Billerica, beach volleyball in Quincy, canoeing and kayaking in the Berkshires, handball in Worcester, and sailing in New Bedford. As the project spreads across Massachusetts more of the state is now looking at this as an opportunity to be a part of something special instead of just being on the hook for cost overruns for another Boston-centric project they don’t think they would benefit from.
This important and dramatic shift in organizing the games appears aimed at winning statewide support in an inevitable referendum fight. Polling results from the MassINC Polling Group have shown that the bid is more popular with voters when presented as a statewide event.
While the organizers have been crafting Bid 2.0, thousands of emails, obtained through pricey public records requests, between Boston City Hall officials and Boston 2024 have been released revealing some of the inner workings of a massive development project with numerous players.
Boston 2024’s approval numbers have remained frozen underwater since the record-breaking winter brought the city’s woefully dilapidated public transportation system to a screeching halt. The winter thaw that many thought would raise Boston 2024 popularity did not happen as winter became spring and spring became summer.
Elected officials on Beacon Hill and the Boston City Council have shown little interest in spending public money on the games. Gov. Charlie Baker has played his Olympic cards close to his chest and is scheduled to join a smattering of Beacon Hill bigwigs at a meeting with organizers on the new bid. Baker pressured Boston 2024 to present a new bid to his office by June 30 in order for outside contractors to review the bid and determine its potential effect on the state.
With Olympic enthusiasts in Los Angeles whispering more loudly in the ears of USOC officials to pull the troubled bid, the relaunch and recalibration of Boston 2024 could not come at a more important time for Boston boosters.