I’ve waited a week to see if the overwhelming negative reaction to the possibility of hosting the 2024 Summer Olympcs by Bostonians changed. As far as I can tell, it hasn’t. Not only is requiring an Olympic games as a prerequisite to improving mass transit and housing a fundamental failure of governance–these are problems that should be solved without hosting the Olympics–but it also doesn’t make sense on its own terms. While there has always been a minority of Bostonians who suffer from an inferiority complex (truthfully, I can’t figure this one out–Boston is a great city), Boston really doesn’t need the Olympics to increase tourism: Fanueil Hall alone is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world*. Unlike Barcelona, which used the games to great effect, Boston is already ‘on the map.’
Anyway, it seems there’s an opportunity for both local Boston politicians as well as a state gubernatorial candidate to carve out an anti-Olympics position: it’s an easy to understand policy and would probably be popular.
The other surreal thing was how the US Olympic Committee (USOC) liked Boston’s supposed ability to shut itself down. What the USOC doesn’t understand is that the shutdown was willingly done by citizens–this wasn’t something that the city had to impose with any difficulty (though I think people would have ignored it the next day), largely because people were pissed and wanted to catch the perpetrators. Hitting the Boston Marathon, especially on a nice day (which it was), is like attacking Mardi Gras in New Orleans. People will take it personally. Even so, Bostonians were not happy with the security procedures the following year. The USOC and IOC are way off base if they think Bostonians will let the city be turned into an armed playground for two or three weeks (during tourist season no less).
Anyway, Bostonians will have years to get angry about this….
*Though Fanueil Hall, as currently constituted, is one of my least favorite places, only eclipsed by the Cheeerrrs Barrrr, the scourge of all right-thinking Bostonians.