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Times puts the entire weight of the world on our shoulders

The Times takes note of our little Olympics dustup and sternly warns:

[I]f voters rejected Boston’s bid in a referendum and the city pulled out of contention, it would be a disaster, not only for the bid leaders, but for the entire Olympic movement.

Also, the Times reports the decision to keep details of the Boston bid secret was made by the USOC, not our local organizers.

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Comments

Boston residents similarly fought against a big bicentennial celebration in the 70s and philly hosted, and now Philadelphia is much more sought after, and has a lot more sites and museums, than Boston for early amercia history buffs and the tourism and jobs they bring. Opponents of the Boston Olympics should at least give the Olympics idea a chance and not just, as many have done, decide it won't work. What do Boston residents want, many are constantly whining about the Universities that are here that employ so many people and the sporting events (marathon, red sox etc.). If there was a blank slate, would Bostonians vote for anything other than freeways and free parking?

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Philly? I think Philly is great and all, but whatever Philly did to become the city it is today we want to do the opposite.

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A (relatively) cheap, interesting, authentic Northeastern city with fantastic food, a diverse population, and plenty to do? Philadelphia blows Boston out of the water when it comes to finding things to do, it's far less insular and hostile to outsiders. Also, check the data, it gets more tourists than Boston too.

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You think Boston has problems? Try Philadelphia.

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I don't know how one defines "much more" sites/tourism, but I hardly think Boston suffers from a shortage of tourism by American history buffs. Witness the crowds along the waterfront, Freedom Trail, Bunker Hill, etc, every spring through fall, to say nothing of countless Duck Boat, trolley and Harbor tours. Also, although I didn't live here in 1976 I remember seeing the massive crowds on the Esplanade during the Pops concert broadcast, and I would think Queen Elizabeth/President Ford's joint appearance at the Old State House was a pretty bif deal

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"Let's go to Philadelphia, where the Revolutionary War began!"

--no one ever

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Based on the NYT's recollection that Bostonians were against the Bicentennial celebration in Boston, one can understand why that paper's ownership of The Boston Globe was such a disaster. First of all, Boston was never planned to be host of all the Bicentennial events in 1976. Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was written was always planned as a focal point of the national celebration..

As I recall, any objection to the celebrations by Bostonians had to do with Queen Elizabeth's visit here (where at the time she still owned nearly all the buildings in Fort Point Channel) at the same time America's two hundredth birthday. There were a significant minority against that visit, Boston being home to so many proud men and women of Irish decent. It was resolved somehow and the visit took place. Overall, our City was charmed but not silenced about the Troubles back home when Elizabeth stepped off her yacht Britannia.

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It wasn't just the Queen. Hicks led a delegation down to Washington to oppose Kevin White's plan for a bicentennial World's Fair in Boston Harbor on both existing and planned islands. Hicks won.

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First prize was a week in Philadelphia. Second prize was two weeks. - WC Fields.

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Freeways are a west coast term, but the free parking sounds nice.

We don't want the diversion from sustainable development or to be left holding the bag of DEBT and DISCARDED venues. We don't want to enrich developers and construction companies in a city that can't even give decent shelter to its homeless.

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Philly, by their own account, receives 38 million domestic visitors and roughly 600,000 overseas visitors (Nat'l Travel and Tourism Office numbers). Boston receives around 18,000,000 domestic travelers by their own counting and over 1,200,000 (NTTO) from overseas. I would doubt that the 20,000,000 extra domestic visitors to Philly is due solely to Colonial fandom, but their pull is certainly stronger than our with the rest of the country - probably something to do with it's proximity to New York. We're far better with internationals however, who generally spend more money than domestic visitors.

My opinion on the Olympics is negative - not because I'm not enticed by the idea, but because there is a lack of any idea. It's a bunch of half-plans, "we might be able to's", "it would be nice", etc... I'm not changing my view until I see hard evidence as to exactly where the events and temp stadiums are going up, I'm just going to take them at their word. I want to know how Boston2024 is going to work a stadium into Widett Circle and what the effect of that is going to be on the MBTA - who's been trying to expand their layover yard into the same space to deal with increased CR headways. I'm not keen either on the thinly veiled "well if you want a reliable mass transit system, support us..." - tying MBTA restoration to the Olympics would be a disaster, it's too important a facet of life here to get dragged into the Olympics.

I'll give the Olympics a chance when they've given the public a chance to look over their proposal in it's entirety.

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U-Hub - a web site of tangents

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You have something good in the last part of your post about the virtues of Philadelphia.

Opponents of the Boston Olympics should at least give the Olympics idea a chance and not just, as many have done, decide it won't work. What do Boston residents want, many are constantly whining about the Universities that are here that employ so many people and the sporting events (marathon, red sox etc.). If there was a blank slate, would Bostonians vote for anything other than freeways and free parking?

Too bad people aren't going to respond to it due to the cheap shot you took in the first part of your post. I agree, the problem with Boston and the Olympics is that people have unwarranted negative views about what this city can do. It would be interesting to see what people think Boston can achieve, then we could have a discussion about how such things resemble or differ from the Olympics idea.

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Faneuil Hall is one of the top tourist attractions in the country:

http://consumertraveler.com/today/forbes-americas-top-tourist-attractions/

Nothing in Philadelphia even ranks.

Boston doesn't need the Olympics. We're too good for them.

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You mean, this might cause a setback to those roving parasites ?

Cut them down to size?

Oh, how the thought of it chuffs me.

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it's on the people who decided this was a good idea.

I think they could get a majority of people on board simply by showing us how this DOESN'T turn into the big dig and costing us directly or indirectly a boatload of money.

It will be a logistical nightmare - it's the Olympics - no question. But so are a lot of things. I live in the heart of the city and having my life disrupted for a month (or even more) with 10 years to plan for it doesn't bother me. With enough notice, I can manage around that.

I just don't want to pay for other people's folly. Hell, I have a tough enough time paying for my own follies already!

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The IOC requires the host of the Olympics to provide a guarantee that they will cover cost overruns in the event that the other agencies involved cannot. That is, if the Olympics run a hundred million dollars over budget and nobody ponies up, the taxpayers must agree ahead of time to cover that or they don't get to host the Olympics.

So when Boston2024 says "no public money," they really mean "no public money assuming everything goes perfectly according to budget, and if it doesn't, well, then, a shitload of public money."

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I wonder. Is there any way this could work? It seems as if the anger is directed towards the organizers and their track record of lying to and keeping everyone from knowing what the truth is.

Is this all about tax payers footing the bill? Is there any way that this could be handled by an outside, impartial organization that would pay for it? (advertisers like a Nike or Converse)

If there was an all inclusive plan that addressed the concerns and made sure the greed, dishonesty and elitist mentality was eliminated couldn't we figure out a way to actually benefit from this?

As a retailer and a business owner I would love to have thousands more people buying from me. Coming out of this winter and watching businesses dropping like flies, the thought of a huge event designed to put money IN my pocket would be a good thing.

Is it too late? Is it even possible in a state like this?

http://cappyinboston.blogspot.com/

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Yes, it is all about the tax payers footing the bill. I don't believe that this isn't going to benefit the USOC, the IOC, the Boston2024 and construction people at the expense of the rest of the city, in terms of both dollars and opportunity cost.

If they were truly able to host the games and it would only cost things like OT for police and the like, I could live with a 2-3 week disruption just like I deal with the marathon or Red Sox games in Fenway, etc...

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But like you've noted, a big part of the problem is that the organizers and the people pushing for this don't seem at all trustworthy.

There are a million things that could change between now and whenever that would make all of this work. I just think it's incredibly unlikely that they will. And thanks to the distrust, even if it appeared that everything was considered and planned out, I'd still be suspicious.

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It's about the congestion, the construction, and the disruption for those of us who just want to enjoy our summer in the city we love.

For me personally, it's about having my life turned upside down for a year for an event I could not care less about no matter what city it's in.

It's about including Cambridge, Quincy, Medford - all cities with proposed Olympic sites - in the decision and letting us have a seat at the table without Boston steamrolling over us.

It's not just about money. It's about quality of life.

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From what I've read of their presentations/public comments/etc., the organizers have done nothing but explain why their plans will not turn into the Big Dig or something like it. It seems more like people simply don't believe them. Frankly I don't really understand how we got to this point, it's not like any of these people have ever seriously wronged the state before now.

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but the IOC that I am suspicious of. From what I have read about other recent Olympics they are very expensive and there are serious problems associated with them and the IOC.

That said, if the plans for Boston focused on areas that might benefit from redevelopment and not on our historic parks I might be more in support. If the Olympics could fix problems instead of creating new ones I think we would all be much more interested in it. So far the proponents really just haven't done a great job explaining why their plan is the one that will work. Or where the money is coming from.

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I'll buy that the federal government will pay for security

I'll buy that we might get SOME money for transit - plus what the state can kick in - no matter what - it will just be what it will be

I'll buy (with a bit of skepticism) that the operating costs will be covered by operating revenue

What I don't buy is that somehow we will be able to build all these venues with no public money - and then tear many of them down and dispose of the waste. That question they have NOT answered - and when you ask it you get very odd and evasive answers - which as I've stated before, turns into some middleman taking a slice out of what should be "public profits" for rezoning and selling off very public property.

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Things like the cost of unemployment compensation for those whose workplaces will shut down.

Things like the cost of housing for those pushed out by Olympic lease endings.

Things like the cost of cleaning up the city before and after.

Too many things seem to be "off the books" when it comes to measuring the economic impact of the Olympics - either because the burdens are devolved to individuals or because the organizers simply choose to ignore certain externalities.

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Or wake-up call?

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Right. But I don't think we can reasonably expect the IOC to realize they have a public relations problem on their hands.

In a perfect world, we'd go to our elected representatives and tell them that the US should boycott the olympics until substantial ethical / regulatory / corruption reforms are instituted.

In practice, I think we've seen these same elected representatives just leap off a cliff, because the USOC told them to.

I went to school with the son of one of the current members of the IOC. I petitioned him that we should permanently move the olympics to Switzerland or Athens.

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Why does everybody act like this IOC are almighty gods living high in the clouds above mortal men and that they should be bowed down to? I've never seen anything like it. Exactly who are they and what are their qualifications? What do they do? How do they get this "job"?. Sounds like a lot of old European money to me. Someone should tell them to get lost.

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Oh wait, we really don't care about the McDonald's / Coca Cola / Visa marketing event of the mid-2020's. We don't. Bugger off back to wherever you are from and leave us alone.

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Mr. Davey said one of his goals was that someday residents will feel they own the Olympics the way they own the Boston Marathon.

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As long as we hold he Olympics in Boston every year for about a hundred years.

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and that day is a holiday.

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Apart from Greece, how can any city or country feel like they own the Olympics in anything but a very temporary way?

It's sort of funny that Davey is invoking the future memory of the event as a selling point; a lot of the concern people have is that they'll be paying for (and regretting) hosting the Olympics years after it and the IOC have moved on to the next rube-filled city.

Future generations of Bostonians may indeed feel like they own the Olympics, if they keep seeing bills for it.

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"Mr. Davey said one of his goals was that someday residents will feel they own the Olympics the way they own the Boston Marathon."

As much as we will pay for it if it does happen, we should own it.

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That's their PR strategy for shoving this thing through. Nice of them to admit it. Expect shilling to have started already.

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We just assume that this will be a nightmare designed to enrich a small group of shady backroom-dealing insiders, with another ring of people scrambling for the table scraps of profiteering. With the general citizenry taking the hit. While propagandists try to program Bostonians that circus for the benefit of billionaires is Boston culture. Because that's how things work here, and that's who the players we see are.

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What exactly is the "Olympic Movement"?

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This movement only appears every two years. It's huge.

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LOL, just LOL!

Lets just hope the Ex-Lax works to keep this "movement" on movin' right outta here and into the toilet where it belongs..

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and this was not a "disaster" for the Olympic movement. They simply found another location for the event -- Innsbruck, Austria. That will happen again if Boston and/or Massachusetts votes no.

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Well, sir, there's nothing on Earth like a genuine, Bona-fide, Electrified, Six-ring Olympics! ...
What'd I say?
Olympics!
What's it called?
Olympics!
That's right! Olympics!
I hear those things are awfully loud...
It glides as softly as a cloud.
Is there a chance the track could bend?
Not on your life, my Hindu friend.
What about us brain-dead slobs?
You'll all be given cushy jobs.
Were you sent here by the devil?
No, good sir, I'm on the level.
The ring came off my pudding can.
Take my pen knife, my good man.
I swear it's Massachusetts' only choice...
Throw up your hands and raise your voice!
Olympics!
What's it called?
Olympics!
Once again...
Olympics!
But Main Street's still all cracked and broken...
Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!
Olympics!
Olympics!
Olympics!
Olympics!
Oly... D'oh!

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But the MBTA's all cracked and broken

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... there is nothing Boston could accomplish by hosting the Olympics that couldn't be done better if Boston didn't host the Olympics.

I would probably enjoy a Boston Olympics. I'd go see a bunch of events. Some athletic facilities that might get further use would be built. Some parks would be spruced up. Traffic would suffer for a month. But it wouldn't be terrible.

That said, Boston is extremely well positioned to grow in the absence of an Olympics. Some things that the Boston area could do to improve its odds are:

1) Upgrade its public transit system, which as recently demonstrated is barely holding together

2) Continued improvement in public schools, already the nation's best by a lot

3) See what we can do to improve near-Boston cities like Worcester, Fall River, Brockton, etc. -- some suburbs (Salem, Somerville) are already doing very nicely

4) Try some new approaches to urban poverty and crime

5) Rationalize its state political system (a stretch, but we can dream: unicameral legislature? full-time legislators, albeit fewer of them?)

That's my list; yours may differ. But none of those things on my list -- and, I'll bet, nothing on yours -- requires that Boston host an Olympics. These things can be done better by paying attention to them directly, not by hoping they'll come about as side effects of hosting an international amateur athletic competition.

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http://www.businessinsider.com/2022-olympics-host-bidding-2014-10

Boston won't be the first to back out of a bid once people woke up to the financial reality of hosting and how it destroys public resources...just the most recent.

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The linked articles showing post-Olympic-desolation in Athens and Sochi should really inspire us to hand our city (and our wallets) over to the Olympics boosters.

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In the fourth photo in the NYT article, notice the fake Green Line T station sign in the background that says "Davey Station".

Mr. Davey, please tell us what on earth you were thinking when you had that sign printed up.

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Somebody else had that printed and gave it to him as a gift. Whatever else you might think of him, he's never come across as an egomaniac.

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... so whoever thought of it, it seems fair to say he approves of it. How arrogant they all are.

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If the Boston Olympics gets greenlighted, mark your calendars to get out of Mass. municipal bonds.

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If that is the case, maybe they should have given the Olympics to a city that wanted it.

And Stevil, for once, you and I are on the same page. Woohoo!

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They've come to pillage luxury goods and cash from our city! Landing soon ... All hail!

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/vT9Ig6K.jpg)

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to F themselves.

Sincerely,

A Bostonian

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