A report into Boston’s now defunct bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games has revealed a number of “real risks” in the city’s failed attempt at staging the event.
Conducted by consultancy firm the Brattle Group, the report, which cost local taxpayers a total of $250,000 (£159,000/€226,000), also claimed organisers underestimated construction costs for hosting the Games by as much as $970 million (£619 million/€879 million).
An over-reliance on securing private financial commitments to construct the Athletes' Village and Midtown areas was one of the main risks of their failed bid, the report found.
Other problem areas included shortfalls in revenue generated, increased operation costs than had previously been projected and issues with infrastructure investments.
“Even though the bid was withdrawn, this report demonstrates that there were a series of real risks associated with bringing the Games to Massachusetts,” Senate President Stan Rosenberg said in a statement following the release of the report.
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) dropped Boston’s bid on July 27 following months of debate and opposition, saying they could no longer back it, but the commissioned report was undertaken anyway.
Had Boston still been involved in the race, the Brattle Group’s document could have been hugely influential in the likelihood of the Massachusetts city being on the start line come the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s deadline for candidacies to be officially submitted on September 15.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s refusal to commit himself to backing the bid until the publication of the Brattle Group’s report was a key factor in the USOC’s choice to drop Boston’s much-maligned attempt.
The USOC’s decision also came after Boston Mayor Marty Walsh had announced he could not support the bid if that meant signing a host city contract at the time, which the USOC had asked him to do.
Los Angeles was confirmed as the United States' preferred bid city for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics last week, providing a satisfactory agreement can be reached with the city.
By the time the USOC opted to withdraw Boston from the race, public opposition, which had been gradually increasing since it was chosen ahead of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. in January, was as high as 53 per cent.
Boston’s bid attracted a vast degree of negativity, mainly from No Boston Olympics, a campaign group set up to dissuade locals from supporting their attempt to bring the Summer Olympics and Paralympics to the United States for the first time since Atlanta in 1996.
“This independent analysis confirms that Boston 2024 was a risky deal for taxpayers,” the opposition group said in a statement.
"The healthy scepticism expressed by voters and leaders in the state house was warranted.
"Massachusetts dodged a bullet."
As well as Los Angeles, Rome, Hamburg, Budapest and Paris have all announced their intention to bid for the 2024 Games.
Toronto and Baku, hosts of the Pan American Games and the inaugural European Games respectively, are the other cities reportedly declaring their interest before the September 15 deadline.
The IOC will elect its chosen host at its Session in Lima in 2017.
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