Boston 2024 Chairman John Fish addressed members of the business community at the Four Seasons this morning. Amid pressure to improve public relations, he asked the business community for support and spoke about continued work with city officials to win the bid.
It’s clear that John Fish is trying out a new presentation of the Olympic bid. He spoke dramatically about how the Summer Games could unite local residents and improve morale and patriotism.
"Pride in our city, pride in our country, and pride in ourselves, must be restored," said Fish.
Fish and his fellow Olympic bid organizers have been under pressure to improve public relations as polls show declining support. In a gesture to the audience, he invited the city to hire accountants or consultants to track Olympic costs.
“They can issue a summary report both independent and third-party that documents the fiscal responsibility that has been underwritten for the Games themselves so we don’t put the full faith and credit of our city and our commonwealth and our taxpayers on the line in a foolish way.”
But it’s unclear how the city could oversee an independent review of the Games, given that Mayor Walsh is strongly in favor of hosting. Still, in response to Fish’s suggestion, Walsh says he’s thinking about creating an Office of Olympic Accountability at City Hall.
“We’re making sure we have a set of eyes and ears inside city hall that can go through all the documents, really look at the metrics, the numbers, really moving forward and keeping a full-time eye on what’s happening with the Olympics,” said Walsh.
Walsh and Boston 2024 have pledged to gauge public opinion and say they will not host the Olympics without majority support state- and city-wide. Members of the US Olympic Committee are now in town almost every week to assist with the bid planning.