Boston 2024 bid leader Steve Pagliuca has claimed there is “no scope” for cost increases of venues following the unveiling of their revamped $4.6 billion (£2.9 billion/€4 billion) plan but has not ruled out further changes being made.
The release of “Bid 2.0” provided more in depth plans to those which proved successful for the city to win a four-horse domestic contest with Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C, and aimed to focus strongly on the sustainability and community benefits of the Boston bid.
Under the new plans, nearly half of the 33 venues required for the Olympic and Paralympic Games were relocated with venue construction budgeted at $754 million ($483 million/€681 million), while they also included a $210 million (£133 million/€180 million) in surplus funding, in the event of higher costs or less than anticipated revenues.
Pagliuca revealed there are likely to be changes to venues in the future, and pointed to the various alternations to Tokyo 2020’s plans since they were confirmed as hosts, but claimed they are fully costed in their plans.
“We have ring-fenced and budgeted all 33 venues,” he said.
“For some of the venues we are negotiating right now we have put in the highest cost amount that could be conceivable and so we think that any changes will be positive.
“We have made it clear that as we go through the process of what is great for the Olympic Movement and the athletes, we made changes based on input from [International] Federations and athletes themselves that we have on our Board as we go forward.
“The big issue is will there be scope for cost increases and because we have put the actual amounts in for each of venues that is going to allay those concerns.
“But we have made it clear that some of those venues could change and we have already made changes based on improving the experience for the athletes and for the community.”
Pagliuca, the Boston Celtics co-chair who replaced John Fish as bid leader last month, also promised that the temporary stadium, budgeted to cost $170m (£109 million/€153 million), would prove to be a sustainable investment for the city and comply with the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Agenda 2020.
He argued that the projected creation of 8,000 houses, following the dismantling of the stadium after the Games, would help generate “hundreds of millions in taxes” for the city in comparison to the $870,000 (£557,000/€785,000) a year it currently receives from the area where the arena will be located.
Despite attempts to win the support of the local public, Boston’s bid for the 2024 Olympic has been met with hostility, including from the group No Boston Olympics, with opinion polls finding that public support is around 40 per cent.
The figure would not prove enough to win a planned referendum due to be held at the end of 2016 but Pagliuca dismissed concerns about the current poll numbers.
Similarly to the United States Olympic Committee who hailed the "remarkable progress" being made on the bid on Tuesday (June 30) Pagliuca believes the bid is starting to gain support following the unveiling of the updated plans.
“I do know in general that it is easier to be against something with something that is a major undertaking and has a lot of complexity, it is easier to simplify,” he said.
“We’ve seen political races in the United Kingdom and the United States and you can simplify things into soundbites.
“It is a lot easier to get soundbites out there than it is to get the entire details of a fact base and we are out there doing that right now.
“I think there was probably a vacuum when the storm hit to finalise our plan, we’ve got our plan out there and it has received a very positive reception, I think we’ll start to gain.”
June 2015: United States Olympic Committee stand behind Boston 2024 following "remarkable progress"
June 2015: Boston 2024 "Bid 2.0" puts sustainability and community benefits at its heart in attempt to win over local public
June 2015: No Boston Olympics launch pledge for financial support ahead of key Boston city and USOC meetings
June 2015: Seven more venues unveiled by Boston 2024 ahead of key United States Olympic Committee meeting
June 2015: Deerfield River announced as latest planned venue for Boston 2024