City Council President Bill Linehan said today he'll chair a special committee to look at how Boston can host the 2024 Summer Olympics.
To join him, Linehan chose councilors Mark Ciommo (Allston/Brighton), Frank Baker (Dorchester), Tito Jackson (Roxbury), Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan), Michelle Wu (at large), and Matt O’Malley (West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain).
Missing is Councilor Josh Zakim Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Fenway, Mission Hill), author of a proposal for referendum questions this fall asking Boston residents whether the city should host the Olympics at all, and, if so, spend any money on the games.
In a statement today, Linehan said:
Some of the issues the Committee will investigate include insuring the community process is open to all; the economic impact of hosting the Summer Olympic Games for the City of Boston; and what effect hosting the Olympic Games will have on the City’s neighborhoods.
However, Linehan took a pro-Olympics view:
Boston does not need the games, but I have to ask the question ‘Why can’t we host the games?’ The City of Boston has a strong Olympic legacy. American athletes from Boston led the charge to victory at the first modern Olympics in Athens, Greece in 1896.
In addition, the Olympic Marathon distance run in 1896 was emulated in Boston the following year in 1897, and has evolved into what we all have come to know and love as 'The Boston Marathon,' a tribute to the first games that continues to this day.
I believe we need to look hard at our ability and capacity, and execute our goals with the intention of being Boston Strong.
The first meeting of Linehan's committee is 10:30 a.m. on Friday in the council's fifth-floor chambers in City Hall. The first people asked to speak before the committee: Boston 2024 organizers.