Boston 2024 Called It Quits with Millions and Millions of Debt

The defunct Olympic bid is negotiating with vendors to resolve its multimillion-dollar shortfall.

Photo via AP

Photo via AP

Boston 2024 has been dead for 46 days. Bid organizers-cum-undertakers have spent that time sorting out the millions of dollars of debt the doomed Olympic bid accrued in its short existence, according to the Boston Globe, even asking vendors to accept less cash than previously promised.

By the time the United States Olympic Committee pulled the plug on the failing bid, Boston 2024 had just $571,000 in cash, and outstanding payroll obligations and unpaid invoices in excess of $4 million. Among those stiffed by Boston 2024 are David Ortiz’s Children’s Fund, which was promised $7,500. Elkus Manfredi Architects, the bid’s lead design firm, was owed $1.27 million by time the whole thing went belly-up, while a catering bill worth a few hundred dollars was still outstanding. Color Copy Center of Boston received its $12,000 owed for a short notice print job, but only after having to chase down bid organizers for payment.

The Globe reports that Boston 2024’s debt is “south of $1 million” now, thanks to donations received in August and September, as well as negotiations with vendors.

When the bid returned from the dead to rebut the scathing Brattle Group report, which heaped criticism on Boston 2024 for the millions in budget miscalculations contained in Bid 2.0, Boston magazine asked a Boston 2024 spokesperson who would be compiling the follow-up rebuttal foreshadowed in a Shirley Leung column, and if they would be paid for doing so. We did not receive a response.

The irony of all this is awe-inspiring. Never mind all the errors in the bid’s internal documents obtained by the Globe, which make it difficult to ascertain the true extent of its shortfall. Boston 2024 maintained the fiscal responsibility of the plans it presented to the public and cast doubt on a 200-page report replete with evidence of the contrary, all while searching the couch cushions for $325,000 of unpaid payroll.

“Our fiscal philosophy is laid out plainly in our guiding principles,” chairman Steve Pagliuca wrote in a December 2014 op-ed.