Boston 2024 today released the two previously withheld chapters of its initial bid documents that won us the right to compete for the 2024 Olympics (Political and Public Support; Bid and Games Budget).
Although Boston 2024 has repeatedly said - as recently as last night - that the games will be profitable - the previously secret Bid and Games Budget document said that would happen only after first plugging a sizable budget hole:
Based on the rigorous analysis conducted and continued USOC support, Boston 2024 has high confidence in our ability to achieve the revenues and manage the cost projections detailed above. Currently, Boston 2024 requires an additional $471M in revenues to support the Games. Boston
2024 continues to actively investigate ways to bridge this gap both by reducing costs and increasing revenues in areas such as sponsorship and ticketing. As Boston 2024 moves forward in the bid process, the budget team will work closely with the USOC to identify and establish plans to close this gap.
In the Political and Public Support document, Boston 2024, which now says it supports the idea of a referendum on the Olympics next year, originally pooh-poohed the idea:
The Massachusetts Constitution does provide a state-wide initiative petition process to allow citizens to propose laws for approval by the electorate. Utilization of such process by opponents to the bid is possible, but would require overcoming substantial obstacles including intense use of resources, significant financial expenditures, legal challenges and extensive lead time. Every cycle, many petitions may be filed, but very few end up on the ballot....
The initiative petition process generally takes a minimum of two years in order to satisfactorily complete the many burdensome steps. Although technically possible to have a ballot initiative in 2016, given the onerous process, any initiative petition advanced by opponents to Boston 2024 would likely not appear on the ballot before November 2018.
The document talks about how popular the Olympics would be here:
Bidding for and hosting the Games in the Boston area are generally popular ideas. Support is consistent across the Commonwealth, and over the past seven months, we have seen this support grow steadily as residents begin to learn more about a potential Olympics in the Boston area. In Boston alone, nearly 60% of residents favor the proposal to host the Olympics in the city, which represents a strong baseline of support garnered with minimal public outreach. Even before hearing details about the proposed bid, residents are receptive to the idea, and support jumps to a clear-cut majority after residents receive more information. Support is strongest among young people, African-Americans and Latinos.
Boston 2024’s formidable presence on social media illustrates this broad-based support - we currently have 4,200 followers on Twitter, our "likes" on Facebook have increased by 80% since August and after only one month on Instagram, the number of followers grew by 75%. ...
Four local activists formed a group in opposition to our bid, and while we respect their differing views and their right to promote them, our polling data shows that they do not represent the majority of public opinion. No elected official has publicly endorsed the group, they have not received significant financial backing and their efforts have been limited to social media.
However, the document includes a summary of polling results in which "significant" opposition to the idea of games here was found among older and well educated residents.
H/t Adam Castiglioni.