Olympics

Boston Nabs U.S. Olympics Nomination. Sucks to Be Boston.

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The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) announced Thursday that Boston—or rather, "a handful of select Boston interests"—had snagged America's nomination for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

Why would any city want to host the Olympics in the first place? The bids are generally driven by politicians, who are motivated by a combination of delusions of economic prosperity and selfish desires to have a feather in their caps for landing an Olympics.

Massachusetts is no stranger to crony spending, and now its capital city will spend millions campaigning for the right to spend billions on an event that countless studies have shown generates virtually zero boost for local economies

Boston skyline

While Boston's campaign centered on its frugality and private funding—the bid promises a budget of "only" $4.5 billion from private sources and $5 billion in public funding for infrastructure—this kind of rhetoric was thrown around by organizers of the Athens, Vancouver, and London Games too. Surprise: Those events wound up costing national and city governments billions more than predicted.

Olympics historically run 200 percent over budget. Recently, the 2012 London Games cost three times more than anticipated, after promising only $4 billion in expenses. And the price for February's 2014 Sochi games? A whopping $51 billion—more than the entire cost of every previous Winter Olympic Games combined. Boston doesn't exactly have a stellar history of saving money on major construction projects, as evidenced by the $14.6 billion boondoggle "Big Dig," which overran costs by 190 percent and finished nine years later than expected.

Economist Andrew Zimbalist, author of the book Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup, called Boston's budget estimates "farcical" and said, "More often that not, Olympics wind up as a public burden…I have no reason to believe that Boston will be an exception rather than the rule."

Along with the obvious costs like construction and security, Olympics also require a multitude of other expenses. (No word on whether or not Boston has agreed to pay for the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s demands of a free cocktail party, Samsung phones, furniture with an "Olympic appearance," or to have IOC members "received with a smile on arrival at hotel.")

Here is how the protest group "No Boston Olympics" puts it:

A Boston Olympics would divert resources from education, healthcare, transportation, and open space—all to throw an extravagant party for the unelected, unaccountable members of the International Olympic Committee.

Boston will also compete for the right to burden its residents with large doses of eminent domain, heavy traffic, and a wide variety of civil liberties violations in what Reason's Jesse Walker calls "a security apparatus so tight it makes an airport look like a free country." (The USOC was reportedly impressed by Boston's ability to implement a police state shut-down in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.)

Meanwhile, the IOC is struggling to find a bidder for the 2022 Winter Olympics, with only two cities—Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Beijing, China, both run by repressive authoritarian governments—willing to step up for hosting contention.

Until the International Olympic Committee agrees to pay its own way—IOC took in over $8 billion in revenue in the most recent four-year Olympic cycle—the Games are a terrible corporate welfare scheme for any city.

Until then, let's wish Boston bad luck in the contest to host the 2024 Olympic Games.

The same reasoning applies to the hosting of a National Football League (NFL) team, too, with 87 percent of stadium financing coming straight from the pockets of taxpayers:

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  1. “only” $4.5 from private sources and $5 billion in public funding for infrastructure

    Four and a half dollars from private sources, billions from public? Sounds like MA…

  2. But don’t you understand, this will give Massachusetts the chance to name more stuff after the Kennedy’s.

    1. After the Kennedy’s what? Penises?

      1. BOSTON DONG!

        1. Paging Swissie!

    2. I was thinking they could name a bridge after Teddy.

      1. Wouldn’t the swimming pool or the diving tank be more appropriate?

  3. Big Dig 2: The ReDiggening!

  4. I’m trying to think…why haven’t we nuked Boston yet?

    1. Because NYC, San Francisco, or Chicago should be first?

      1. And DC should be the most firstest.

      2. Those cities still have some good things about them.

        I’m trying to think of a single useful or good thing that’s come out of Boston in the last 25 years. I got nuthin.

        At best, it could be used as an example of how not to run a city, but I’m sure it will be looked at as an instruction manual.

        1. Boston is basically Detroit-by-the-sea.

          1. The wife-unit always wants to go to Boston for a day when we go to the Cape.

            WHY? What is there that’s worth a long ferry ride?

            1. The U.S.S. Constitution is pretty damned cool.

            2. Fenway Park. Nothing else there worth the hassle – and I used to live there.

              1. Fenway for sure. Some of the historical stuff. But that all can be preserved with a dose of Berthold radiation.

              2. Fenway Park

                Where thousands of Red Sox fans gather?

                You’re not making a very good argument against nuking.

                1. I meant the park. Not the people. Of course, Wrigley is better, so maybe we don’t need Fenway.

            3. If you’re interested in “history on the ground,” then most of the sites on the Freedom Walk are worth it.

              1. History on the ground
                History on the ground
                Lookin’ like a fool with your
                History on the ground

            4. I really like the idea of Boston. I spent a few days there last year after I had been working my ass off for month after month, and it was very refreshing to walk down the street in a city with 50+ universities and colleges. I’m not used to that many women.

              I like the history there, and the food, and the education atmosphere. I like it much better than NYC. However, I get the feeling that if I ever spent significant time there that I’d get tired of the liberal yahoos. But then again, that’d happen pretty much anywhere.

          2. Oh please. The two cities are too different even for a snark.

          3. Now that’s a bit silly. Boston has plenty wrong with it, but it is far from being a city in decline like Detroit.

            Why does everyone hate Boston so much? I wouldn’t want to live there, but that’s for the same reasons I don’t want to live in any city.

    2. Because we can’t do shit from orbit yet. Except operate some measly communications satellites. Meh.

      1. Although, apparently, it was considered in the ’60s:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-20_Dyna-Soar

    3. Can I please give my sister a heads up first? I’d like to give her the chance to move before it’s nuked.

      She’s a teacher there at one of the universities.

      kthxbai

      1. She’s a teacher there at one of the universities.

        You’re not making a very good argument for giving her advance notice.

  5. They could do it on the cheap the way it used to be done. Plenty of stadiums in the area – Foxboro, Fenway, BC, Harvard, etc… they could run the Boston Marathon and stick the village in a suburban college.

    But that’s not the way to spend $10 Billion and not how they would do it.

  6. In the summer Boston smells like a landfill. If they got the people at Axe to dump tankers of body spray all over the city during the Olympics, it would actually be an improvement.

    1. Yeah but then it would just smell like Jersey.

      1. Good one. Hehehe!

    2. All cities smell terrible (all the ones I’ve been to, anyway).

      1. Denver’s not too bad. As long as you’re not downwind from the National Western Complex during the National Western Stock Show. Or the Purina plant. Or the refinery in Commerce City. Or…

  7. (The USOC was reportedly impressed by Boston’s ability to implement a police state shut-down in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.)

    “We haven’t seen a response this coordinated since the 1936 games.”

    1. “We haven’t seen a response this coordinated since the 193672 games.”

    2. Boston 2024: Shelter In Place

  8. I’m trying to think of where they would even put the Olympic facilities, and I can’t think of anywhere actually in the city, except maybe South Boston? Regardless, the traffic nightmares that will ensue will look like the “everyone is trying to escape, in a car, from the invading aliens/tidal wave/nuclear explosion” scenes in disaster movies.

    1. The stadium for the Olympics opening and closing ceremonies as well as for track & field is supposed to be located along I-93, between South Boston and South End. This area is currently occupied by food warehouses.

      1. Holy shit. They are serious about building a new stadium in South Boston that will never be used by the Patriots, Red Sox, or local colleges? That’s fucking insane.

        I assumed they would do that crap in Foxboro and the indoor stuff at the Boston Garden.

        1. Actually, they think about building two stadiums there: one for the Olympics, the other one for the New England Revolution.

          1. Aren’t they owned by Kraft – and play in the stadium he actually built with his own money? I suppose he might agree if somebody wants to build him a new stadium for free and not charge rent.

            1. The Foxborough stadium is too big for a soccer team. Also, soccer fans in the US are so urban-centric, they won’t drive to a stadium in the far-away burbs.

              1. So they are going to give Kraft a spare stadium for free so the Hispanics and wannabe Eurotrash can take the T to the games. Wow.

    2. They’ll fill in the Bay.

    3. Worcester. Pronounced “sriracha.”

      1. Don’t even joke about that.

        (shudders)

        1. With Olympics billions, anything is possible. Personally, I hope they conduct the whole thing in a giant hole in the ground, which they’ve conveniently dug already.

        2. Woostah and sriracha both suck?

          Seriously, and I’ve mentioned this before, I’ve never understood why some foods suddenly become trendyfoods. We had “chai” as opposed to regular tea back in the late 90s, and “Greek” yogurt a few years ago, for example.

    4. South Boston is gentrifying. Not enough poor people there.

      You put the facilities where there are poor people so you can use eminent domain. Poor people don’t have the resources to fight back.

    5. The big thing is that you need an Olympic stadium. Only the Patriots have use for such a place and they already have a new and nice stadium. And they would not allow their stadium to be modified to include a track.

      So you would have to build an 80 thousand seat or more stadium that would be absolutely worthless after the games.

      The other issue is where would you put the Olympic village? You can’t bulldoze Southie because of the historic preservation issues. And if you put it out of down, how do you handle security and transportation of the athletes?

      As far as the rest of it, you could use the Garden and the various college facilities around the city to host most events without having to build new venues.

  9. Boston Strong!

  10. The Olympics suck. Boston sucks. Long may you run.

  11. Plopping a bunch of foreigners down in the middle of the country’s most racist city? Count me in!

    1. Dude, they do that every September already as soon as the first semester starts. Duh.

      1. Especially at MIT, which is German for “with.” With what you ask? No one knows.

        1. Your mom?

          1. Good guess, but no, I don’t think she’s ever been there. Besides, MIT with a female? Surely you jest.

        2. Nah, it’s “Da MIT”? damit, or therewith.

    2. Not Philly??

      1. Exactly, Philly is way more racist than Boston.

        1. I’d like a formal study to confirm that. As big a pit as Philly can be, I observed some shocking racism in Boston firsthand, which, considering how little time I’ve spent there, is shocking. Besides, Auric.

          1. Auric is originally a Vermonter, though. He only hates people who aren’t from Vermont. North Vermont.

            1. As any northern Vermonter would.

              Now get off my lawn, flatlander!

          2. I’ve been gay-bashed in Boston and I was only there for a weekend. Something that took 8 years in Buffalo, and has never happened after almost 20 years in NYC.

            1. This must have been years ago. Nowadays, Boston is so gentrified, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a LGBT.

            2. Really gay bashed or “what’re you a faaaaag?”

      2. Filthadelphia is the worst city in the world. That’s not to be confused with the most racist.

        1. How all of you seem to forget about Washington DC amazes me. I’ve been to lots of cities and DC is, literally, the worst city in the entire world.

  12. Callers on the radio in the Boston suburbs this morning were running about 12 – 0 against in the half hour that I listened. Only the cronies want this; for once the plebes are smart enough to realize they are about to get royally shafted.

    1. Yet they’ll be too tribalist/ignorant to vote out the assholes that pushed this on them.

  13. before I looked at the draft that said $9300 , I didnt believe that…my… brother woz actualy earning money part time on there computar. . there best friend haz done this 4 only about 1 year and as of now cleard the mortgage on there mini mansion and purchased themselves a Car . you can try this out……….

    http://www.Jobs-spot.com

    1. Would job bots be more successful if they spoke English? Discuss…

      1. American English, for that matter. “Draft”? Try “check” (not “cheque”).

    2. From my special collection just for you trolls…

      http://www.plusaf.com/linkedin…..eleted.jpg

      Enjoy, “Julia”….

  14. No word on whether or not Boston has agreed to pay for the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s demands of a free cocktail party…

    The IOC is a bunch of COSMOS?

  15. Cant we just host the retaaad Olympics instead and save all of this money?

    /Bostonite tax payer.

    1. DURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!1

      /Boston taaahd

      1. Eunice Kennedy staated the retaad Olympics. That should make us a shoo in.

  16. Why should Boston court the Olympics at such great effort and expense? You really need to ask? Because it’s Big. Dig?

  17. Maybe they need Mitt to run the Olympics – Salt Lake City was reportedly a success. Or is Peter Ueberroth still alive?

    October 17, 1983

    The stunning cost of hosting the Olympics throws many nations into debt, but Peter Ueberroth, who headed up the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, kept the checkbook close and the government money out of reach.

  18. I found out that LA lost yesterday and I almost ran down to Jerry Brown’s screaming “Allahu Akbar!” What, we don’t have enough fucking problems in LA?! If they held it here the Olympics would have to take a fucking year just cuz traffic. We don’t have fucking water. Half the 405 isn’t paved and never will be. But there’s billions hiding out somewhere for new stadiums? Dick.

  19. Jim Pagels… Boston could be made into a Poster Child for the W/W Olympics: Publish the forecasts and actuals for budgets and expenditures on the fiasco Every Week in papers around the country and have Woof Blister keep everyone updated via his “Situation Room.”

    Now, THAT would be a Public Service Announcement I’d tune in for!

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