BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics is officially over, and most Massachusetts residents are pretty happy about it. From concerns about logistics and costs to general apathy about the Games themselves, the Olympic bid faced opposition from the get-go.
Yet one Massachusetts man has been supportive of the Olympics throughout the whole endeavor, and he goes by the name of Marshall Hook. He happened to be on Toucher & Rich on Tuesday, filling in for Jon Wallach, so it led to a healthy discussion about whether the Olympics would have actually been more viable than most folks believed.
“There’s no incentive for [Boston] not to let the cost overrun, and ultimately, it does cost people money,” Fred Toucher said.
“Except that most of those Games actually made money,” Hook retorted. “So, just, fictional numbers, let’s say the budget was $100 billion, and it cost them $150 billion, if they go on to make $175 billion, it doesn’t really matter what the cost overrun was, because you still made money on it. … I don’t know what every Games made. I know that the London Games made a profit. I know that the Atlanta Games made a huge profit. In fact, the biggest beef with the Atlanta Games was that they were too commercial, they brought in businesses, they had sponsorships. Atlanta made money.”
Fred said it matters who is making that money.
“I think that’s crooked books,” he said. “I think you can spin that based on the IOC and within the initial cost of the Games, because there’s no way that Atlanta had the billions of dollars budgeted, and they went over 147 percent and made money. I just don’t think that that can happen.”
“Yes, they did. They made a profit,” Hook said. “Now the question is who made the profit? I don’t know who made the profit. I don’t know where the money went, but if you look at it as just overall numbers, they spent this much, they made more than they spent.”
For Hook, though, the money is not the main argument.
“I think the Olympics would have been good for Boston. I think this is a city desperately in need of infrastructure improvement, as I think we all learned this winter, and I think this is a way to actually get private money to go toward infrastructure improvement,” Hook said. “The thing that I have a problem with is this city said no before they knew anything about it. They didn’t take any time to learn any thing, and they just said, ‘Oh, we don’t need it.’ At the same time, people tell me how this is a ‘world-class city. We’re right there with New York, we’re right there with London and Paris.’ You’re not! You’re not. If you are, you at least take time to learn about the bid before you say, ‘Ah, screw off, we don’t need you, get off my lawn, get out of here, we don’t need the Olympics, we’re a great city with or without it.'”
Hook added: “Ultimately, I’m not even saying that the Olympics should have come here. I’m saying that it’s embarrassing that this city said no before they knew anything about it. They knew nothing about it.”
Rich Shertenlieb joined in, saying the fact that the only information given to the public came via leaked reports created an air of distrust among citizens toward organizers.
Hook admitted that the organizers screwed up the process, but citizens were already rejecting the bid before the organizers even “had a chance to screw it up.”
Listen to the full discussion, which included phone calls from listeners, below: