By Daniel Etchells

John Fish, chairman of Boston 2024, has pledged that the bid will not go forward if the majority of the city's voters don't support it ©Getty ImagesBoston 2024 will seek a statewide referendum on whether the city should bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, chairman John Fish has announced today.

Fish said the organisation will gather the signatures required to get the measure on the statewide ballot in November 2016.

He also pledged that Boston 2024 would not go forward with its bid if the measure does not pass, or if a majority of voters in the city of Boston do not support it.

"Prior to this vote we will be working with the people of Boston and Massachusetts to build the best bid possible - one that reflects the best of our state and the Olympic and Paralympic movement," said Fish, during a speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

"Then, the people of Massachusetts can make the final decision on whether we have achieved those goals."

A poll published last week revealed that 52 per cent of the 504 Boston area voters surveyed were against the campaign, with 36 per cent in favour.

"We want to build consensus statewide, but we also want to build consensus in the city," Fish told reporters following his speech.

"We're making a statement that if we can't have success both statewide and citywide that we won't move forward."

The results of a poll published last week suggested that support for the Boston 2024 bid is declining ©No Boston Olympics/FacebookThe results of a poll published last week suggested that support for the Boston 2024 bid is declining ©No Boston Olympics/Facebook

Prior to Boston being selected as the United States Olympic Committee's candidate city in January, there had been talk of a possible referendum on the Olympics. 

Fish, who revealed he spoke to Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh prior to making the announcement, insists the USOC supports the idea. 

"If they weren't supportive, I'm not sure I would have made the recommendation or had the conversation with the Mayor and the Governor, because I don't think that would be appropriate if one of our partners didn't really support the strategy we're implementing," he said. 

Voter approval will undoubtedly be essential to the bid as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) places a high priority on local support in selecting host cities.

Fish said that Boston - with its 100-plus universities and world-renowned innovation, research and medical sectors - is well positioned to meet new standards set by the IOC's Agenda 2020 reform process, which encourages the use of existing, temporary and re-useable facilities.

"We believe our bid will be fiscally and socially responsible and will set a new international standard for a sustainable Games," he added. 

"It is our intent to bring the Games back to the United States and host an event that will propel the Olympic and Paralympic movements forward for a new generation."

Public opposition brought an end to Oslo's bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games ©Getty ImagesPublic opposition brought an end to Oslo's bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games ©Getty Images

The race to host the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games was marred by failed referendums with Munich and St Moritz and Davos withdrawing from the process having not been able to garner the necessary public support.

Voters on the Munich bid rejected the plan in all four areas where polls were held, including Traunstein and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, while St Moritz and Davos' campaign was ended when voters in Graubünden canton voted 52.66 per cent to 47.34 per cent to decide against approving funding of 300 million Swiss francs (£212 million/$318 million/€245 million).

Oslo also pulled out of the race after the country's coalition Government failed to back the bid in the face of formidable opposition, leaving Almaty and Beijing as the only remaining candidates.

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