Did Boston 2024 Forget About the Paralympics?
Update: Tuesday, 5:58 p.m.
Boston 2024 has released a 1,085-word rebuttal to The Brattle Group’s report, including this passage regarding the Paralympic Games:
The Brattle Report states that Boston 2024 “disclosed no detail on the potential costs of the Paralympics.” In fact, the Brattle Group was informed that the Paralympic costs were included in the OCOG budget. Boston 2024 also reported to the Brattle Group that ticketing revenue from the Paralympics was projected at $75-80 million and that Paralympic sponsorship revenue in London was roughly $300 million. Without the Paralympic revenues included in Bid 2.0, Boston 2024 still projected a $210 million surplus. Figuring in this revenue, the surplus would have more accurately been in the $400-500 million range.
Tuesday saw the long-awaited release of The Brattle Group’s economic analysis of Boston 2024’s Bid 2.0, commissioned by Gov. Charlie Baker. Included in the bid’s plans, the report found, were “significantly underestimated” cost projections, with Massachusetts taxpayers the “ultimate risk bearers.” What wasn’t included in Bid 2.0? The Paralympics, and how to fund them.
Seems like a bit of an oversight, right? After all, these were the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games we were talking about. Yet The Brattle Group devoted an entire section of its nearly 200-page, up-to-$250,000 report to the glaring lack of detail regarding the sources and uses of funds in relation to the Paralympic Games.
“Boston 2024 disclosed in Bid 2.0 that it believed there would have been ‘[u]pside revenue from Paralympic Games,’ but it disclosed no detail on the potential costs of the Paralympics,” the report says. “Based on discussions with Boston 2024, we understand Boston 2024 believed that a large portion of the Paralympics cost would have been funded by the Federal government.”
The report notes that while Boston 2024 provided projections for ticket revenues at the 2024 Olympics based on the 2012 London Games, bid organizers provided no estimated costs for hosting the Paralympics. It also notes that the Paralympics accounted for an 153-percent increase in costs in London’s budget, while Rio de Janeiro’s Paralympic expenditures for 2016 will be covered by the city, state, and federal governments.
“Were the Federal Government not to cover a large portion of the costs of the Paralympics, Boston 2024 could have incurred significant additional costs in hosting the Paralympics as exemplified by the London and Rio Olympic Games,” the report says.