The Globe had articles regarding the Boston Olympic bid both yesterday and today.
First, yesterday’s piece reveals that despite promises of private funding, Boston will still be on the hook:
In 2017, as the international competition goes forward, Mayor Martin J. Walsh will be expected to endorse Boston’s blueprint for hosting the 2024 Summer Games and with his signature make a promise that should the plan for a privately funded Olympics falter, the city — and its taxpayers — will step in and fix it.
What is the plan of the organizers?
To protect the city from loss, local Olympic organizers with Boston 2024 say they have already been working on an Olympic plan, to be finalized by mid-2017, that will reduce risk, indemnify the city, and convince Walsh that he can comfortably agree to be the backstop without significant risk to taxpayers.
Still, there is no such thing as a risk-free Olympics.
“This is a big complex project, so there is going to be risk,” said Doug Arnot, an adviser to the US Olympic Committee who is helping Boston 2024 develop America’s bid for the Games. “What we can say is, we will take every step we can to manage that risk, to mitigate it, and relieve the potential for exposure to the city.”
But there is no guarantee.
And today, the Globe says “Despite early pitch, many public projects don’t have full funds in place”
Boston Olympic organizers initially pitched the Games by declaring that they would boost an array of public transit improvements, including a $1 billion expansion of South Station, new diesel trains between the Back Bay and Newton, and an upgraded JFK/UMass Station in Dorchester.
Best of all, Olympic organizers said, the projects had already been approved in a $13 billion bond bill signed by Governor Deval Patrick last year. “That money has already been allocated,” John Fish, the chairman of Boston 2024, said last year.
But despite those statements, not all of the projects have been fully funded and others were not even included in the bond bill. In fact, if the state were to pursue all of the projects, taxpayers would have to kick in at least another $4 billion, according to a Globe review.
“The information that is being provided at this stage should be accurate,” said Rafael Mares, a lawyer at the Conservation Law Foundation, “and, unfortunately, it isn’t.”
Do those of us who have been expressing skepticism regarding the info Boston 2024 has been putting out still need to explain ourselves?