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Boston Group Will Seek Voters' Support for Olympic Bid

  • VOA News

U.S. Olympic Committee's graphic announcing Boston's candidacy for the 2024 Olympics.

U.S. Olympic Committee's graphic announcing Boston's candidacy for the 2024 Olympics.

The group bidding to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to the northeastern U.S. city of Boston wants to have public support from its citizens and plans to try to get a referendum put on next year's Massachusetts state ballot.

Two months ago, the U.S. Olympic Committee chose Boston as the U.S. bid city for 2024, bypassing Washington, San Francisco and Los Angeles. But a poll last month by a Boston radio station showed only 36 percent support among residents for holding the Games in their city.

The chairman of Boston 2024, John Fish, told local business leaders Tuesday that the privately funded group would end its bid if a ballot issue failed to gain sufficient support.

The group purchased advertisements in two major Boston newspapers this week that outlined 10 “core principles” that must be met before making a bid to the International Olympic Committee. A key one is having “a majority of people in Massachusetts support bidding for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.” Another is making sure "tens of thousands of good-paying jobs are created for Massachusetts residents leading up to and during the 2024 Games."

USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky told one of the Boston newspapers that "community support is extremely important to the success of any Olympic bid."

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh endorses having a referendum. He said that if the city was going to be successful in pursuing the Olympics, it had to have the backing of residents.

The IOC will not select the host for the 2024 Summer Games until 2017. The early competition includes Rome and Hamburg, Germany, but others are expected to enter the race by this year's mid-September deadline.

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