The 2024 Olympics Will Disrupt Boston’s Way of Life


Boston Olympics 2024? (Graphic / Ellie Hilty)

Lauren Wigren

Boston Olympics 2024? (Graphic / Ellie Hilty)
Boston Olympics 2024? (Graphic / Ellie Hilty)

   In 2012, British taxpayers contributed nearly £3 billion for security and lavish ceremonies while hosting the Summer Olympics in London. In 2014, Russia spent $51 billion on the Sochi Winter Olympics—the most expensive Olympic Games held on record.

   Hosting the Olympics would be an exciting endeavor. Boston would have an opportunity to display its unique culture and attract people from all over the world. The city would be crowded with tourists, who would spend money in Boston’s numerous stores, restaurants, hotels, and local businesses. Bostonians could revel in the pride and prestige that comes from having hosted the Games.

Are Bostonians, however, able to handle the cost?

   The Games are expected to cost $4.5 billion—excluding security. A price that large will inevitably require tax dollars from the general public.  Money that would normally be spent on education, healthcare, and infrastructure would instead be put towards the tremendous cost of the Olympics.

   One of the basic necessities of a suitable host is space. If Boston were to be burdened with the responsibility of finding sufficient space to hold the Games, properties that are already in use would have to be sacrificed. Several local businesses and residences would have to relocate, and local parks and open spaces would be occupied for months. According to the Boston 2024 website, current organizers plan to use current facilities for 50% of the needed venues, which will include several college campuses. Furthermore, there are plans to construct an Olympic paradise in South Boston, including the construction of media broadcast centers in the Fort Point area, and an “Olympic Boulevard” on Dorchester Avenue, according to Residents and business owners will inevitably be forced off of their properties.

   In April 2013, Boston was reminded just how vital security is during city-wide events. Two bombs went off at the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring dozens more. The Olympic Games will attract not only Bostonians, but spectators from all over the world, making Boston a primary target for terrorism threats. Boston would have to take drastic steps in order to ensure the safety of the thousands that will be involved in both the games and the ceremonies. The Olympics would inevitably become a risky and costly endeavor.

   While hosting the Olympics may have plenty of advantages, there are several drawbacks that need to be considered, and the people of Boston should ultimately be the deciding voice. Recently, the city of Boston has called for a statewide referendum on the bid. If granted, citizens will get a chance to vote on the issue in the November 2016 election. Bostonians should have been given the opportunity to speak up about the Olympics in the first place, before the bid was made. Whether or not the U.S. Olympic Committee decides to withdraw the bid, the citizens of Boston should at least be allowed the referendum.

  The U.S. Olympic Committee should allow the general public, especially the citizens of Boston, to be represented. As for the citizens  themselves, they should consider the cost before determining their stance. $4.5 Billion is a already an extravagant amount of money; and with security costs, we may soon find ourselves in a similar position to London and Sochi.