By Duncan Mackay

The USOC claim they are unconcerned about the high levels of opposition to Boston's bid for the 2024 Olympics and Parlaympics ©Getty ImagesUnited States Olympic Committee (USOC) officials are not concerned by the amount of opposition to the city's proposed bid to host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, they claim.

A recent poll commissioned by local radio station WBUR discovered that 46 per cent of people there were against the bid, a drop from 51 per cent who supported it in an earlier survey.  

There is also anger among many citizens at the decision to employ former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick as a Global Ambassador paid $7,500 (£5,000/€7,000) per day for his work.

But USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun claimed that they understood early resistance to the campaign and were confident that they could deal with the concerns of Bostonians so they would get behind the bid. 

"Do we wish the approval ratings were higher than 46 percent, absolutely we do but candidly it is much more important those numbers be high two-and-a-half years from now," Blackmun said following a meeting of the USOC Board of Directors in Washington D.C.

"Very few of us remember what was happening in [2012 host] London in 2002 and 2003.

"What happens today is much less important than what happens during the six months leading to the vote.

Boston were the surprise choice in January of the USOC to bid for 2024 ahead of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

Larry Probst, the USOC chairman, claimed they had been reassured by presentation given to them during the Board meeting in the American capital by top Boston 2024 officials, led by chairman John Fish,

"The questions we asked them are the same questions you're asking us," said Probst.

"Polling results, the narrative, what's the communications strategy going forward?"

USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun is confident Boston 2024 officials will show citizens there that the bid for the Olympics and Paralympics is worth backing ©Getty ImagesUSOC chief executive Scott Blackmun is confident Boston 2024 officials will show citizens there that the bid for the Olympics and Paralympics is worth backing ©Getty Images

Boston and Rome are currently the only declared candidates for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, although Germany are expected to propose either Berlin or Hamburg next Saturday (March 21). 

The campaign does not even properly start until September 15, when countries have to officially informed the International Olympic Committee whether they will bid or not.

"I think Boston is where they need to be right now," said Blackmun.

"I think they purposefully waited to socialise this plan fully with their community until they were named [as the US bid city].

"What we need to do first and foremost is assure the people of Boston that this is a fiscally responsible bid.

"People of Boston are really smart, they are asking some really good questions and I think after this process has run its course, people of Boston will have confidence on the most important issue of all here - can we do this without tapping into the resources of the city of Boston.

"I think the answer to that question is going to be yes."

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