Boston’s bid for the Summer 2024 Olympic games may sound like a long, long way off, but much needs to be done in the nine short years before the games commence.
Discussions surround the Boston bid remain front and center. A raucous meeting was held Tuesday night at Roxbury Community College, one of many planned citywide meetings.
Residents expressed their concerns about the negative impact the games could have on the predominantly working-class African American Community, should Boston win approval from the International Olympic Committee to host the event.
Ed Hula, editor of the internet-based publication Around The Rings, says Boston’s roll out to win approval has been stilted and he says ,“the city didn’t’ properly handle cultivating and developing broad-based public support to really be successful in hosting and staging an Olympic games in the city.”
Hula, who has been writing and reporting about every important event on the Olympic calendar for the last twenty years says, “Boston has come around a little bit late to develop the public support and there’s a lot of misinformation, and people have grown suspicious about the Olympics." But he adds, "while some of the concerns are unnecessary, there are important questions that need to be asked, and preparations should have been done one year ago.”
Hula tells Morning Edition host Bob Seay that taxpayers dollars do get involved for security and infrastructure, but he says, “the staging of the Boston games, estimated at 8 billion dollars, is usually always covered by the revenues generated by broadcast rights, sponsorship sales and ticket sales." He says, ‘the record shows that US Olympics held in the recent past, have not had to go to taxpayers to support the operations of the games."
Boston 2024, the group that wants to bring the Olympics to Boston, has endorsed a statewide referendum on whether the city should bid to host the Summer Games. Hula has said the city of Paris, France is a "formidable" challenger to Boston for the bid, and that Boston needs to garnish support for the referendum scheduled for November 2016.
He says the 50/50 split in the public's support of the Olympics can be overcome, but that officials need to work with communities to make sure there is a housing component and jobs created in neighborhoods that would be effected.
To listen to the entire interview with Ed Hula of Around the Rings click on the link below: