There hasn't been an Olympic games hosted in the U.S. since 1996 in Atlanta, and like leaders at Massachusetts State House and the Boston City Council will be exploring the feasibility of bringing the games to New England.
"Why hasn’t Boston made a serious play for the Olympics?" District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley asked during Wednesday's council meeting. "It’s obvisouly a huge undertaking. [...] It could bring peril. [...] The Atlanta Games of 1996 was really run well and turned a profit. [...] Montreal hosted the games in 1976 and it took 30 years for them to pay off a billion dollar budget."
He added that Vancouver had debt problems after hosting the games, too.
O'Malley said he doesn't want to rush the process but that there is momentum with State Sen. Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell) having filed a state bill to study the feasibility of hosting the summer Olympics.
But Mayor Thomas Menino told WBUR that the idea of Boston hosting the Olympics is "far-fetched." It costs $6-8 million just to bid, and that would be publicly funded.
Pushing for the games is the Boston Olympics Exploratory Committee, which has already reached out to councilors and the city administration (having met with Menino already). The group also has its own website for the 2024 games.
"The benefits could be enormous," O'Malley said. "We have the hotel rooms, the dorms. The locations of sporting events would not just be in Boston proper. It could be 200 miles north, south, east, west of Boston. We could be talking about the New England region. Another strength we have is the city could hold the summer or winter games. When you apply for both your chances are exponentially heightened."
However, O'Malley also admitted it could cost billions of dollars to implement additional infrastructure.
The matter was referred to the Committee on Economic Development for a future hearing.