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The USOC selects Boston as U.S. bid to host the 2024 Olympic & Paralympic Games

Discussion in 'General Sports' started by soxhop411, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    I think the people of Roxbury are pretty appreciative of places like the Reggie Lewis Center, which is what Olympic venues should become after the Games.

    And while I wholly support the concept of an Olympic Games in Boston, I do entirely reserve the right to be amply critical of this particular bid. I think there are things they could be doing a much better job of, but I also know that between bid document and the eventual Games an enormous amount of change occurs, in plan, in personnel and in public opinion.

    In other Olympic news, the Utah Governor recently signed a bill indicating State support for any move to bring the "shit show" back to Utah, with no noticeable opposition...
     
  2. Toe Nash

    Toe Nash Member SoSH Member

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    If you need a new Reggie Lewis Center, build it. The state managed to do that in the early 90s (for $35m according to their site) and Gov Patrick spent another $5m to renovate it a few years ago. The legacy argument completely falls flat because if a project would have a great post-games use, why would you need the Olympics to build it? Why would you spend tons of extra money for a stadium you're going to take apart and reconstruct to make smaller after the games?
     
    The "deadline" exists so that projects that have questionable public merit can get pushed through and landowners are convinced to sell because it's for the Olympics. I said this on the last page -- it's urban planning 1960s style. A lot of stuff got done in the 60s but they had catastrophic effects for many cities and neighborhoods.
     
    The Games make decent sense in LA because they have most of the venues already. I don't know about Utah but at least they have more space to build than Boston. (I doubt there is really much chance they would get a bid together in time even if the USOC decided to move, but OK).
     
    In other Olympics news the Tokyo Olympic Stadium now costs over $2 billion (55% over previous estimates) and will probably cost more as construction starts. But "Agenda 2020" says they're going to be more sustainable, right? http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/tokyo-olympic-venue-shaping-worlds-costliest-stadium-32460959
     
  3. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    Clarification on the Utah thing; they're talking about a potential bid for a future Winter Games - for which they have more or less have all the venues they need already built, operating and serving the public. The main point was that the Olympic experience was so overwhelmingly positive that there's virtually zero opposition to doing it again.
     
  4. Toe Nash

    Toe Nash Member SoSH Member

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    I mean, they bribed the IOC to get the games, and then Romney had to convince a bunch of rich families and the government to bail them out so they could get everything funded and constructed, and the Winter games are far less expensive than the Summer ones, but yes, if the venues were all constructed (like they are in LA) maybe it would make sense to hold the Games in Boston.
     
    But...that doesn't have much to do with the 2024 games.
     
  5. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    Salt Lake City didn't "bribe" the IOC to get the Games much as they paid the customary tributes to certain IOC members that were paid by all other serious bid cities between 1984 and 2002. A bribe is when you pay someone, and they deliver a certain benefit. Certain IOC members didn't do that - they took every bidder's favors and then voted whichever way suited them best anyway.
     
    What the USOC quite brilliantly did in their 2002 OWG bid process was cut a deal with Salt Lake City that they would be the US bid city for as long as it took for them to get the Games, provided that they built several of the more esoteric facilities (sliding sports, long track speed skating oval, ski jumps) right away. This both accelerated the process of them wining their bid as IOC guys do like the certainty of seeing facilities already in place, and gave the US athletes a huge head start in being ready for those Games when they rolled around in 2002.
     
    And - looking to previous Olympic cities and assessing the satisfaction or dis-satisfaction of the residents after they've lived through the Olympic experience certainly IS relevant when predicting what the experience might be like in future cities. Anti- Games groups will drum up all kinds of fears, but you don't really go to past host cities and hear a whole lot of people saying, "Holy shit, that sucked, I really wish we hadn't done that".
     
  6. Phil Plantier

    Phil Plantier Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    except Athens
    or Montreal
    or Atlanta
     
    Put Munich, Los Angeles, Seoul, Barcelona and Sydney in the other basket, with the jury still out on London and that is 3/8 of the summer venues in my lifetime (in free-speaking countries) have been disasters. Do you trust the political/construction cognoscenti of Boston to be in the latter group?
     
    Edit: I'm trying to separate the financial impact from the terrorism impact (which is more random), and that's why Munich is in the latter group.
     
    Second edit: Maybe Atlanta belongs more in the undecided category, but I think the point still stands.
     
  7. twothousandone

    twothousandone Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Well. . .

    Put Atlanta in undecided, then 25% have been disasters. Viewed through the current geo-political lens, maybe it's no surprise Greece went the way it went. So, then it's why was Montreal so bad?, and I think specific factors can be highlighted.

    "Don't do what Montreal did. Base your operating principals on what worked in LA, Barcelona and Sydney. Profit."

    I'm not sure the point still stands. A more important point would be to look at the factors that helped each successful Olympics be successful. Of those, factors, which were common, which were unique? Does Boston have those common factors, and can it generate a few unique ones? If not, don't do it.
     
  8. moly99

    moly99 Member SoSH Member

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    Sydney and Barcelona both lost money: in fact billions of dollars each. Not only that but they also had to spend public money maintaining the venues built, and Sydney's tourism developed more slowly than the rest of Australia since they spent their money on stuff that tourists actually do (like use mass transit, go to zoos to see koalas, etc) instead of sports stadiums.
     
    Los Angeles 1984 is the only Olympics that ever made a profit, and even that's only because LA both hosted the games before (and didn't build a single new venue) and was the only bidder for 1984 so they could tell the IOC to go fuck themselves if they didn't like LA's plan.
     
  9. kenneycb

    kenneycb Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play SoSH Member

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    Just because Barcelona lost money during the Games doesn't mean it wasn't a success.  They transformed the city, largely through investments in infrastructure, transformed its image into one of the top tourist destinations in Europe and created an estimated 20k permanent jobs.  Just look at pictures of what the Olympic Village was pre-Olympics against what it is now as one quick aesthetically anecdotal reference.  For a city so reliant on tourism, the Olympics were a great success for them.
     
  10. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    I don't think you can use non North-American cities as comparables - many non-US hosts have approached the Games from an entirely different perspective, and a rosy bottom line and positive experience for residents aren't necessarily even intended outcomes for some hosts. Athens, Barcelona, Beijing all were very different Games with different sets of priorities than LA and Atlanta (Montreal was a complete clusterfuck across the board. Gross corruption and incompetence will do that. If I believed for a second that Boston 2024 would be as poorly executed as Montreal was, I'd be as anti-Olympic as anyone else).
     
    I should add - I agree with Toe Nash that if we need certain civic facilities, we SHOULD go ahead and build them - with or without the Olympic Games. The thing where the Olympics come in is that there is an influx of cash from outside sources for that. Personally, I'd love to see something like what happened prior to Salt Lake happen, and we get some pretty cool venues which can later be modestly upgraded if an Olympic Games happens. The big stadium is the only real sticking point there - and maybe we can wait on that.
     
    And for what it's worth, Calgary, Salt Lake and Vancouver all either broke even or reported a profit - but those numbers can be spun a lot of ways depending on what side you're on. 
     
  11. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    What on earth would make you think gross incompetence and corruption wouldn't be a central tenet of an Olympics in Boston?
     
  12. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    Why would you assume it would be?

    In general, I go through life assuming at least moderate competence and honesty, and let the other be an outlier. Maybe I am naive, but it's an approach that has served me well.

    Further, a lot of lessons have been learned since Montreal. A lot of things have changed since the 1976 Olympic Games (insert Bruce Jenner joke here)...and really, the "gross incompetence" bar was set REALLY high in Montreal.
     
  13. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    Centuries of history?
     
  14. Comfortably Lomb

    Comfortably Lomb Koko the Monkey SoSH Member

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    Jesus Christ. There is zero chance this thing isn't a giant dumpster fire, political career killer, and money pit. I'd don't know how anyone could think otherwise. If you want all the transit upgrades and velodromes then how about just funding it without all the Olympic BS?
     
  15. The Napkin

    The Napkin wise ass al kaprielian Dope SoSH Member

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    I'm pretty sure Fred not Lynn is either John Fish or a close relative.
     
  16. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    Forgive me for believing that a city like Boston is capable of executing an event that has been successfully hosted by several other cities in North America.
     
    There seems to be an element that takes a perverse pride in the difficulties of doing business in Boston, and Massachusetts in general - but can't look at our successes. A real or perceived environment of incompetence and corruption shouldn't stop us from moving forward with ambitious projects and events. Should we let the possibility of incompetence and corruption delete the probability of competence and transparent practices? If you're going to let the crooks scare you out of daring to dream, you're in a very bad place...
     
    Things get built in and around Boston every year, events are held with great success on a regular basis. Crises are managed and life is disrupted and returns to normal. A Boston Olympic Games would have it's share of minor controversies, fires to extinguish, traffic jams and cost over-runs (which will elicit a chorus of "toldja so's" from those who oppose), but in the end would happen with general success - just like any other moderately well planned major event in 2015 and onward.
     
  17. Leon Trotsky

    Leon Trotsky Member SoSH Member

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    I'd vote for Fred not Lynn.
     
    The naysaying is tiresome, particularly when it is not fact based and grasping to fit the narrative. 
     
  18. Cellar-Door

    Cellar-Door Member SoSH Member

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    I don't think Atlanta can be seen as anything but a success. Rembert's piece is more about the pride in the history of having the Olympics than the realities of how positive or negative it was for the city. The article earlier in the thread does a nice job of showing how the Atlanta Olympics were a huge success for the city, sure there were some failures, but it transformed the city. Now the better question is whether a Boston bid would do the same, which is definitely questionable.
     
  19. Ralphwiggum

    Ralphwiggum Member SoSH Member

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    Wait, what? If the Salt Lake City folks gave the IOC money with the intent that it could help sway votes in their favor, that's a bribe whether or not the IOC members actually voted the way the Salt Lake City people wanted them to.  Further, if the Salt Lake City folks paid "tributes" to IOC members because they knew that failure to do so would mean they would receive zero votes, that is also a bribe.
     
    Edit:  Not that this has anything to do with the topic at hand, but I don't think it serves any purpose to sugarcoat what happened.
     
  20. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    During that period, the practice of "bribery" was more or less the entrance fee to the race. Every serious bidder for every Games since LA paid. That doesn't make it right, but don't make the mistake of singling out Salt Lake, or concluding they got the Games because of bribery. No one who hosted between 1988 and 2002 got their Games without engaging in the very same practices, as did most of the unsuccessful bidders they beat out.

    I don't think that "sugar coats" anything, I think it exposes the Samaranch era IOC as a pretty filthy outfit.
     
  21. Ralphwiggum

    Ralphwiggum Member SoSH Member

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    If by refusing to pay the bribe they would not have gotten the games, then they got the games because of bribery even if all of the other bidders did the same thing.  The right result would have been for them to not host the games if the only way to get them was to bribe corrupt IOC officials.
     
    Edit:  I think by trying to draw a distinction between paying "tributes" and "bribes" and pointing to the fact that, because all of the bidding cities paid the "tribute" that it wasn't actually a bribe, yes that is an attempt to downplay what happened.  None of this has anything to do with the Boston bid (hopefully), but make no mistake, the Salt Lake City organizers paid bribes to corrupt IOC officials that, in part, helped them secure the games.
     
  22. Toe Nash

    Toe Nash Member SoSH Member

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    And what layers of accountability have been put into place post-Samaranch? This is unbelievable stuff.
     
  23. Toe Nash

    Toe Nash Member SoSH Member

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    Nah, an unelected group forcing a boondoggle with questionable benefits, huge costs and zero transparency -- a boondoggle that the majority doesn't want -- on a region that is otherwise thriving is tiresome.
     
    Painting reasonable requests for facts and transparency as "naysaying" is ridiculous. If they had vetted the venues with the landowners, established a fuller plan (remember, plenty are still "TBD") and been up-front about ALL the public costs, then we can have a reasonable debate on the facts. As it is, they are only providing transparency kicking and screaming and still not revealing full budgets and using questionable numbers when doing so.
     
    The media center posted earlier is just one of many examples -- they planned to use the expanded BCEC, didn't know that the Governor was going to cut the funding to expand it, and then just threw the venue in the "TBD" column in bid 2.0 and oh, cut its cost by 95%. This isn't something minor that will just be used for one event -- it's the base for media operations and the Olympics are the biggest television event in the world! It's a lot easier to balance a budget when you wildly under-estimate the costs of one of its more expensive parts.
     
  24. Toe Nash

    Toe Nash Member SoSH Member

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    The scale of the Olympics is magnitudes higher than anything else the city has done except the Big Dig. That means it needs to be vetted carefully and be well-planned and the public needs to have a say. This isn't an office building that might go over budget and affect some neighbors, or an IndyCar race that is going to affect one neighborhood for a weekend and cost the public a few million. It's a huge amount of building, logistics, and, nearly always, significant public costs. The MBTA and state budget are still negatively impacted by debt from the Big Dig and that project started 25 years ago.
     
    Other countries have their NATIONAL governments involved and Governor Baker hasn't even committed to a side yet.
     
  25. Leon Trotsky

    Leon Trotsky Member SoSH Member

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    It is TEN YEARS AWAY. It is ludicrous to expect every i to be dotted and t crossed on a plan that has literally thousands of moving parts. That is the nature of a project like this and does not mean it was not well thought or not well intentioned. But then again, it wouldn't fit yer narrative.
     
  26. maufman

    maufman Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers Staff Member Dope Gold Supporter

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    Samaranch was an unrepentant fascist who coddled of some of the world's worst dictators. Letting his cronies line their pockets was the least of his sins.

    I'm not sure why Boston should invest billions of dollars and endure years of construction to let this "filthy outfit" hold its biennial showcase event here.
     
  27. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    4,697
    The quick, easy answer is that the IOC is a very different organization today from what it was in the Samaranch era. There have been significant reforms in the bid process, and in overall operation.
     
  28. The Napkin

    The Napkin wise ass al kaprielian Dope SoSH Member

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    I can't imagine any reason why we would possibly think this would be a clusterfuck
     
    The $115,000 salary of City Hall’s new Olympics watchdog is being paid by the group she’s supposed to be monitoring — an arrangement that potentially puts her in the position of dueling loyalties.
    Boston 2024 is reimbursing the city for the salary of Sara Myerson, the executive director of the Office of Olympic Planning.
    Myerson, whose position is carried on the Boston Redevelopment Authority budget pending Boston 2024 reimbursement, said she’s 
currently doing a line-by-line review of Boston 2024’s budget and revenue projections, and is “eager to dive in” on insurance plans to guard 
against risks.
    So far, Boston 2024’s top official is happy with Myerson’s work.
     
    I mean it's not like they promised full transparency and then refused to release documents. Oh wait. Now that they're going to be subpoenaed I guess they're going to release them after all. Next Tuesday. Supposedly. Because it takes a week to release a document. I can't imagine why they would want to wait a week or what they're doing. It's not like there's going to be a debate tonight or anything. Oh. Wait. Right. Bummer that information won't be available tonight then, eh? That's convenient.
     
    I mean I'm sure it's all on the up and up. It's not about a land grab by any means.
     
    The proposal does not cover any cost risks associated with overruns in building an Olympic stadium at Widett Circle or an athletes' village on Columbia Point, but Boston 2024 says taxpayers will be protected through "transfer of risk to private sector in capital project development," that is, private developers will be handed large chunks of land - and associated risks - at the two locations to build Olympic facilities in exchange for being allowed to build mega-developments on the land before and after the games.
     
    Huh. Wonder why that would be included.
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
    Oh.
     
    But why was Bill Linehan so eager to try to block and delay Tito Jackson's subpoena of the "secret" 1.0 bid documents?
     
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
    Oh
     
  29. axx

    axx lurker

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    If the USOC was really reformed, they would have chosen LA.
     
  30. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    The USOC and the IOC are totally separate organizations.
     
    And - I should note; I'm very supportive of the concept of Boston hosting an Olympic Games, and 2024 is as good a time as any - BUT, I do reserve the right to not like the way this particular group is going about things. I'm not saying I am displeased by their performance, but it's just too early to tell, and there have been a few things that aren't my cup of team with them.
     
  31. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    Just wait a bit. There will be more things you're not enthralled by. Despite your naïveté on the matter, if this goes through it will be an absolute shitshow. If you're still around here in ten years you're going to have to prepare for a lot of "I told you so".
     
  32. Comfortably Lomb

    Comfortably Lomb Koko the Monkey SoSH Member

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    You are completely out of your mind.
     
  33. Myt1

    Myt1 the FRESH maker Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    The Boston 2024 movement has nothing at all to do with hosting the Olympic Games and everything to do with trying to put the city into crisis deadline mode to attract favorable terms to build two new city neighborhoods from the ground up.
     
  34. Myt1

    Myt1 the FRESH maker Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    The expanded BCEC was going to be an event venue.  The proposed media center, all 34 acres of it, was going to be a bit closer to Fort Point.
     
    IIRC, the TBD is more based on the fantasy of, "Uh, in ten years, who knows what sort of technological advances could come that would make this smaller and less expensive?!?" than the BCEC stalling.
     
  35. Toe Nash

    Toe Nash Member SoSH Member

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    You're right - I misremembered, and fair enough. And yeah, maybe tech gets cheaper by then -- 95% so?
     
    Surprised no one topped this thread today with the debate last night and the unredacted release of "bid 1.0" today. The debate didn't really move the needle either way I don't think but seeing what they told the USOC to win -- and then later hid from the public -- was illuminating.
     
    Boston Business Journal summarizes:
    http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2015/07/24/disclosures-show-boston-olympics-group-budgeted.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
     
    I agree with Myt1. They want a shortcut through the public process for Widett and Columbia Pt, the land to be upzoned, its current owners to sell, and the public to kick in huge tax breaks and infrastructure upgrades. Honestly, they could probably do something "better" with that land, but the decking proposal is pretty questionable (we have huge swaths of the Pike that haven't yet been decked over, and would be much closer to downtown) and I tend to think these things should at least go through a pretend public process and various stakeholders should have their say. We should be making these decisions on the timetable of the city and not an artificial deadline.
     
  36. Comfortably Lomb

    Comfortably Lomb Koko the Monkey SoSH Member

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  37. PedroSpecialK

    PedroSpecialK Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    24,153
    Pagliuca and Doctoroff v. Dempsey and Zimbalist on Fox right now [edit: looks like this was actually on July 23 my bad]
     
    Pagliuca coming across as a kid with fingers in his ears, constantly talking about 'getting away from the hyperbole'.
     
    Doctoroff may be the most insincere person I've ever seen on TV.
     
    Dare I say, Pagliuca is using the words 'hyperbole' and 'catalytic' to a hyperbolic degree
     
    "There'll be lots of tickets available at very reasonable prices" - Steve Pagliuca
     
    Then he mentions that attending the marathon is free because, oh I don't know, it's 26 fuckin miles long.
     
    edit: Doctoroff's Twitter description of "Led NYC rebuilding post-9/11 as Deputy Mayor of Econ Development." tells you all you need to know
     
  38. Billy R Ford

    Billy R Ford douchebag q momfingerer SoSH Member

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    WBUR had an interview with a Brazilian journalist about Rio 2016 that I think perfectly captures my concerns re: the Boston Olympic bid.
     
    "Dancing with the Devil" Details Rio's Prep for 2016 Olympics
     
    Regarding the three-week games themselves, I don't doubt the city could make it happen, and I'm sure they'd be great:
     
     
    But that the benefits don't even begin to cover the costs of the tournament. Even without getting into the details of the numbers, the opportunity costs are staggering:
     
     
     
    I hope they do end up pulling the bid tomorrow.
     
  39. JimBoSox9

    JimBoSox9 will you be my friend? SoSH Member

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    What an interesting piece of horseshit journalism.
     
     
     

    The amount of information they provide, concrete or otherwise, that isn't "DeFrentz is going to a USOC meeting and a Boston 2024 status report is on the agenda", is nil.  Used to be, you had at least buy a gal a drink for an anonymous smear quote to gin up your sensationalism.
     
    So, here are some other equally-true openings they could have used instead:

     
     
     
  40. Myt1

    Myt1 the FRESH maker Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    The scope of both projects is an issue for me, too.  We're overcrowded in certain neighborhoods and I don't think that we're at the point where supply meets demand yet, but I don't know that demand will continue to keep pace with the development of the waterfront AND Widett Circle AND Columbia Point.
     
    Better to let that sort of development happen organically, IMHO, than to appoint a master developer for two brand new neighborhoods.  Especially given that the agency overseeing the development is one of the most poorly run in the entire state.  The notion that the BRA--which has something like another year or two worth of independent audits coming--can manage something of this scope is very nearly the definition of insanity.
     
    Pagliuca's use of "hyperbole" during the debate may have been my favorite thing ever, even better than Boston 2024 hiding its plan to oppose a referendum question before it basically begged for extra innings and a 2016 statewide ballot to provide political cover for the mayor and the city counselors who have tried to thwart citywide ballot questions this fall.
     
    Full disclosure: I've written a couple of opinion pieces opposing the Olympics and, more specifically, Boston 2024.
     
  41. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    If there's already buzz out there that this is on the table to be killed, it's probably already dead.
     
  42. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    But what will they do without a velodrome they so sorely need????
     
  43. Corsi

    Corsi isn't shy about blowing his wad early Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    12,955
  44. soxhop411

    soxhop411 Member SoSH Member

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    Does this mean the U.S. Olympic committee will choose another U.S. City or will we not have a U.S. City in the running?
     
  45. jsinger121

    jsinger121 @jsinger121 SoSH Member

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    Easiest way to help pay for cost overruns is through an increase on tax of alcohol and tobacco products. 
     
  46. Myt1

    Myt1 the FRESH maker Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Either could happen. For political reasons, I think they're likely to at least offer another.
     
  47. soxhop411

    soxhop411 Member SoSH Member

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    You think California could step in?
     
  48. jsinger121

    jsinger121 @jsinger121 SoSH Member

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    Yes
     
  49. The Napkin

    The Napkin wise ass al kaprielian Dope SoSH Member

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    But I don't understand? We were told that there would be no overruns. It would all be great! So why not sign something that says that we'd cover it? I mean there aren't going to be any so what's the big deal, right? Right?
     
    https://twitter.com/universalhub/status/625671313689038848
    Adam Gaffin ‏@universalhub 18m18 minutes ago
    Walsh: "The opposition for the most part are about 10 people on Twitter."
     
    Bite me Marty. Enjoy your one term.
     
  50. Comfortably Lomb

    Comfortably Lomb Koko the Monkey SoSH Member

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    Walsh is not a smart man. General observation.

    This looks deader by the second. Fantastic day!
     

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