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In somewhat of a surprise, the U.S. Olympic Committee has chosen Boston to be the nation’s bid city to host the 2024 Summer Games. Boston 2024 could be the first Summer Olympics in the U.S. since Atlanta in 1996 and the first in the country since the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. The decision was made in a closed-door meeting of the 15-member USOC board of directors at Denver International Airport on Thursday afternoon. Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington were also under consideration, with the California cities widely viewed as the front-runners. “Boston may not be an international destination like San Francisco, D.C., and Los Angeles, but I think it’s got the bones to create a great story for this race,” said Olympic bid expert Terrence Burns. “It’s undeniable that they have a very strong civic, corporate and governmental support system. That is crucial.” Burns also cited the Northeast having the “greatest concentration of corporate wealth in America” as a potential deciding factor. Each of the four cities made hour-long presentations to the USOC board on Dec. 16 in Redwood City, Calif. The Boston bid was represented by bid chair and Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish, Elkus Manfredi Architects Founding Principal David Manfredi, UMass Boston Chancellor Keith Motley, Paralympic athlete and sports medicine physician Cheri Blauwet, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
THE NEW RULES: The choice comes a week before the start of the IOC’s new “invitation phase” to the bidding process, which was established as part of the Agenda 2020 reforms with the goal to make hosting the Olympics more attractive. To that end, the Boston bid follows the Agenda 2020 aims of a more sustainable and cost-effective Games. A new stadium needed for the opening and closing ceremonies, but it could be downsized to accommodate a local tenant after the Games. The proposed plan would offset costs by using Bayern Munich Jerseys 2015 some of the city’s many pro and college facilities, including dormitories for housing athletes. Boston also seeks to be a walkable Games, Hypervenom Phantom with the expressed goal of having all events within a 10-minute walk of public transportation.
A DEEP FIELD: Any of the four American cities chosen would have been considered a favorite in what is expected to be a very strong field. Paris, Rome, Germany, South Africa and Qatar could potentially vie for hosting honors. “There is no question that the U.S., if they put forward the right bid with the right city they would be a very, very strong candidate,” said Michael Payne, who ran global marketing efforts for the Olympic Movement for two decades. Payne cited the recent London Games and the three consecutive Olympics in Asia preceding 2024 as an advantage for a U.S. bid. “There’s a genuine perspective saying, ‘Right, it will be nearly 30 years since the Games were in America,’” he said. “The unofficial political geo-rotation plays certainly to America’s strength.” The next big hurdle comes in April or May 2016, when the IOC board of directors will likely narrow the field to three or four candidate cities. The final decision will come in the summer of ’17 at the 130th IOC session in Lima, Peru.
SUPPORT ON HOME FRONT: Members of the U.S. Olympic movement have already thrown their support behind Boston. USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny: “Boston is a tremendous sports town and will rally around becoming America’s choice for the Juventus jersey 2015 2024 Olympic Games. Given the city’s strong sense of patriotism along with its very diverse base of citizens, it offers a wonderful stage for the world’s most important sports event.” USA Track and Field CEO Max Siegel: “USA Track & Field congratulates Boston on its selection as the 2024 U.S. bid city by the USOC. A successful bid would be an incredible boon to track and field and the entire Olympic movement. We look forward to supporting the bid as the IOC selection process ramps up,” USA Swimming Exec Dir Chuck Wielgus: “Boston is well-known for its passionate support of its sports nike soccer cleats teams, and that will carry over to make it an extraordinary Olympic Games host. This is a fantastic opportunity to grow the sport of swimming in Boston and the New England region, with additional participation opportunities, enhanced aquatic facilities and an avid support base of swim parents.”