BOSTON (CBS) — The organizers of Boston’s Olympic bid are calling for a statewide vote next year to determine if the city will move forward in its quest to host the 2024 summer games.
Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish, the chairman of Boston 2024, said Tuesday that Olympics backers will gather signatures to place the question on the ballot in Nov. 2016, a presidential election year, WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports.READ MORE: Thousands Lose Power As Strong Winds Spread Damage Across Several Towns
“We’re making a statement that if we can’t have a success both statewide and citywide, we will not move forward,” Fish told reporters.
On Monday, a full-page ad in Boston newspapers from Boston 2024 said they would only submit a final bid if the majority of people in Massachusetts supported hosting the games.
Fish said Tuesday that the planned referendum to gauge support would be statewide, but voters in Boston will have the final say.
“If we can’t win a majority in Boston, the voting district of Boston, we do not want to go forward,” he said.
Recent headlines about the Olympics have focused on issues like how much consultants are being paid, and Fish said there has been “miscommunication.”
“Boston has a history of being suspect…and there’s justification for a lot of that suspicion,” he said. “I’m not sure we’ve had the opportunity to address a lot of the concerns that people had.”READ MORE: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
No Boston Olympics, the group opposing the bid, said they also support a referendum question, but have concerns about how it would be worded.
“We hope to work constructively with Boston2024 to craft language that accurately and fully reflects the difficult choice facing our Commonwealth,” the group said. “We need to ask voters if taxpayers should be on the hook if things don’t go according to Boston2024’s plan.”
No Boston Olympics also wants a non-binding citywide question on the Olympics on Boston ballots this November.
Mayor Marty Walsh issued a statement on the proposed referendum Tuesday morning.
“The success of our bid for the Olympics depends on the support of residents and we should only move forward in a way that will bring the greatest benefit to the City and its neighborhoods,” Walsh said. “Over the next year, I encourage residents to engage in a conversation to learn more about what the Olympics could mean for Boston and the entire Commonwealth, and to put forward any suggestions or concerns.”
Secretary of State Bill Gavin told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 on Monday that a non-binding referendum put on the ballot for next year’s presidential primary in March would be the “most practical” option.
“At the end of this process, we may not be hosting the Olympics,” Fish said. “But as a community we’ll have given ourselves an opportunity to have such rich dialogue about the future.”MORE NEWS: Mitt Romney Taken To Hospital For 'A Lot Of Stitches' After Fall In Boston
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports: