Of course, absent something to rally around like the Olympics the possibility of comprehensive improvements to our declining infrastructure — especially restoring the MBTA to developed-world standards from its current emerging market also-ran status — have passed from unlikely to almost zero (looking at you, Governor “no paradigmatic improvements for the MBTA on my watch” Baker, and the “not on mine either” legislative leadership). Despite brave words from No Boston Olympics (“We need to move forward as a city, and the decision to drop the Boston 2024 bid allows us to do that on our own terms, not the terms of the USOC or the IOC.”) I haven’t seen any moving forward organized by the Forces of No — certainly not on their (c) 2014 website.
But a bid by Rome, which hopes to follow a similar low-cost model, may already be in jeopardy: The city’s new mayor, Virginia Raggi, has very publicly objected, saying that Rome’s municipal deficit is too vast to consider hosting the Olympics. “Historical data from the Olympics, discounting eventual episodes of corruption, shows us that the costs are not sustainable,” she said in June. “Other cities have already withdrawn their bids for these reasons. And I don’t think they were thinking about corruption or Mafia infiltrations.” She was probably referring to Boston, which last year ended its effort to host the 2024 Games over anxieties about the cost.
Actually, in the case of Boston folks were, in fact, worried about political corruption and organized crime, among other concerns, but never mind, point taken.