Poll Finds Boston Still Says ‘No’ to Olympics

A year after the Boston 2024 Olympic bid died, residents are still opposed to the concept.

Boston Olympics 2024
Boston has had a year to let the disintegration of the city’s bid for the 2024 Olympics stew, and, it turns out, we’re still just not that into it.

A poll of 301 Bostonians that WBUR and MassINC Polling completed earlier this month shows 48 percent of people think the Summer Games would have been bad for Boston, while 44 percent are still keeping their Olympic fervor alive. Those are the exact same numbers WBUR found this time last year. Polling didn’t change much when the bid was still active, either.

“The intervening year has apparently done little to change minds of whether the 2024 Olympics would have been good for the city,” writes Steve Koczela, MassINC president, in an analysis of the findings published Tuesday.

But the intervening year has also seen the demise of another big showy sports spectacle: IndyCar. Just as Olympians will not be pedaling their way around a Velodrome somewhere in Somerville, IndyCar drivers won’t be zooming around the Seaport this Labor Day Weekend. And we’re not even done with that whole mess yet. Ticket-holders are still owed hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Which inevitably leads us back to the question that has become one of the defining ones for Boston over the past 12 months: Will Boston ever say “yes” to anything big again?

Koczela weighed in on the “City of No” reputation in his analysis:

The Summer Games and the Indy race were both disruptive, one-time sporting events, but the reasons they failed are quite different. IndyCar ran off-course in the midst of Boston’s bewildering permitting and political environment; the Olympics bid ended mostly because voters just weren’t into it. There was no one moment when everything went wrong for Boston 2024; there just was never a moment when most things were going right.

In the aftermath, political and business leaders hastened to take credit for their fiduciary caution on the Olympics. But there is little question that public support was the main issue.

You know who doesn’t have this problem, by the way? LA. They love the games. Eighty percent of them are in favor of it, says WBUR. You can read the full report on WBUR’s website.

Want to relive the good old days of Boston 2024? Take a spin through our archives.