Bostonians want a vote on city's bid to host 2024 Olympics

Bostonians want a vote on city's bid to host 2024 Olympics
Boston skyline.

Three-quarters of Boston-area residents say that they should get a chance to vote on a planned bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

While about half of respondents to the poll by MassINC Polling Group for WBUR radio said they supported the idea of hosting the games, they disagreed with Mayor Martin Walsh's statement that no vote was needed.

The US Olympic Committee said earlier this month that Boston would be the nation's candidate to bid for the 2024 Summer Games, putting it up against rivals including Rome and Germany and making it the first US city to host an Olympics since the Salt Lake City in 2002.

The poll of 507 registered voters conducted Jan. 13 to Jan. 15 found that approval for the bid was measured. Some 51 per cent said they supported the idea while 33 per cent opposed it.

But when asked if they were "excited" about it, 48 per cent said they were, and 43 per cent said they were not. That gap was within the survey's 6.7 percentage point margin of error.

One reason for area residents' skepticism is that 53 per cent believe that taxpayer funds will be required to pay for the games, although Walsh has vowed to avoid overspending.

City organizers pitched an economical Games, estimating costs at $9.5 billion, less than one-fifth the staggering $51 billion Russia spent last year to stage the Winter Games in Sochi.

An opposition group, No Boston Olympics, had been arguing against the idea since before Boston edged out US cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco to win the bid, citing concerns about the expense.

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