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Matheson Weighs Pros and Cons of Boston as 2024 Olympic Bid

January 23rd, 2015 by 
Victor Matheson

Massachusetts is buzzing with excitement over the announcement made last week by the U.S. Olympic Committee that made Boston its city of choice for the 2024 Summer Games. However, the bid doesn’t come without trepidation. Victor Matheson, professor of economics at the College of the Holy Cross who specializes in ‘mega-sporting events’ and is a Boston native himself, has shed light on the pros and cons of bringing the 17-day event to Boston.

The Boston Herald quotes Matheson weighing the options: “Bostonians will get to experience sports such as ‘the shotput, marathon and rhythmic gymnastics’ in their own backyard, but will have to make sacrifices.”

“It will be a traffic and transportation nightmare for three weeks,” Matheson says. “Imagine three weeks of Yankees/Red Sox Friday night during the pennant race. We have that to look forward to.”

In terms of the economics, after repeated high-budget games that led to massive public spending elsewhere, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has indicated it is interested in lower bids.

“It’s very unlikely a Boston bid will be one of the most expensive bids,” Matheson says. “We’re definitely going to be on the lower side. It’s going to be hard to garner widespread support for a 10- to 15- to 20- billion-dollar bid. There are other countries that you could see that coming in.”

My Fox Boston reports the total cost is an estimated $4.6 billion.

“It’s like a wedding. It won’t make you rich, but it may make you happy,” says Matheson to the New York Times.

Boston beat out the favorite Los Angeles, as well as San Francisco and Washington for the U.S. nominee for the 2024 Olympics. Boston will compete with such cities as Rome, Melbourne and Doha.

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