Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Good on you, Boston: #Boston2024 nixed.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Nixes the #Boston2024 U.S. Bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games - CityLab



Boston didn’t fall out of love with the idea of hosting the games; the city just doesn’t want to pay for it. While majorities of Boston voters and Massachusetts voters supported a bid that did not require any public funding, according to recent polls, the overwhelming majority of voters don’t think such an Olympic Games is possible.
John Oliver's piece on public financing of stadiums for private interests isn't one of my favorites of his, generally brilliant, take downs of our collective idiocy -- not because the case isn't good on the merits, the humor in it just missed the mark for me.

The Olympics bring a different dynamic to the argument, but I think the general argument remains the same: the taxpayers shouldn't be on the hook for the expense. The myth that stadiums are somehow a long-term economic boon for cities has been debunked. Olympic stadiums have fared better than World Cup stadiums in terms of re-usability, and one would have hoped Boston would've been closer to London than to Brazil's experience, but it's still a huge gamble. Gambling not being one of the better uses of public financing.

Boston did the right thing. Here's hoping other cities follow this example and tell any extortioners coming 'round to try to drain money out of the public coffers to run their game on some other sucker.


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