The city of Boston was selected over San Francisco, Washington D.C. and two-time host Los Angeles to represent the U.S. in a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, according to an announcement by the United States Olympic Committee on Thursday. The U.S. last hosted the Summer Games in Atlanta in 1996.
After swinging and missing on bids for the 2012 (New York) and 2016 (Chicago) Summer Olympics, the United States did not bid for the 2020 games in an attempt to refocus on landing either the 2024 Summer games or the 2026 Winter games. The 2020 Summer games were awarded to Tokyo over Istanbul and Madrid, while the 2022 winter games are down to Almaty, Kazakhstan or Beijing, China.
Boston will now begin the long, two-and-a-half year process to put together a compelling bid to land the games. The U.S. bid is expected to face steep competition from Rome, Paris, Hamburg or Berlin, Budapest and Istanbul. Bostonians will have to wait until the summer of 2017 before the IOC makes its final decision on the 2024 Summer Games.
With Boston receiving the nod from the USOC, the question on Superfans' minds is how Boston College will be involved in the city's bid to host the games.
The Boston bid will be under the IOC's new bidding guidelines, which were drafted with an eye towards keeping costs down and reusing already existing venues. And while it's far too soon for specifics, organizers have already said that the city's dozens of colleges and universities will have a big role in the city's bid. Given the IOC's new bidding guidelines and how geographically compact the city is, the bid is expected to rely heavily on existing venues, including Boston College's Conte Forum.
Just don't expect the USOC to plunk down an Olympic Stadium or the Olympic village on BC's postage stamp of a campus.
Current plans call for a "modular," 60,000-seat Olympic stadium to be built at Widett Circle along I-93 near Frontage Road. Instead of building a massive stadium near downtown Boston that gets little use after the games, organizers have said the stadium can be repurposed, downsized or completely moved to a different site. The Olympic village to house the athletes is planned for the former Bayside Expo grounds, which will be later converted into dorms for UMass-Boston. Dorms at BU and Northeastern may be used for housing the media.
It's far too early to speculate on how Boston College's athletics facilities will be used, but it's sure fun to think about watching, I don't know, judo or table tennis at Conte Forum, or rugby sevens at Alumni Stadium. Hopefully there are also some more lasting transportation improvements included in the city's bid as well. Can you imagine Olympians trying to get downtown on the Green B-line T? Though I am getting ahead of myself a bit here as there's still a long road ahead for the city of Boston and its Olympic-sized dreams.