BOSTON (CBS) – I really hoped I would never have to talk about the Boston Olympic bid again after it fizzled out this summer.
But remarks by U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun Thursday demand a response because they indicate that he still doesn’t get what happened here.
Blackmun told a meeting of Olympic officials and supporters that the Boston bid failed because “it was not…supported by the people of Boston,” and on that we certainly agree. But his explanation of why they wanted the Games here suggests an answer to that question – they didn’t have the slightest idea what Boston is all about.
Boston was an “appealing venue,” he said, “because it would rely on, as well as leave behind, university sport facilities. It was appealing because of the great network of international influencers that had been educated in Boston. It was appealing because it is a hub of technology, innovation and medicine.”
Here’s the problem – our garden of Eden is a mostly middle-class and blue-collar universe where people struggle to pay the bills. Yes, our universities are key players in our community and economy, but they are mostly private institutions that do not always reflect the interests and character of this area.
Those “international influencers” who went to school here? A fine target market for over-priced Olympic events and corporate luxury boxes perhaps, but not really a major category of Bostonians.
And yes, we’re the hub, but we’re a hub with major needs that wouldn’t have been addressed by risking billions on the Olympics.
Sorry Scott – you still don’t have the license number of the MBTA bus that hit your Boston Olympic dream.
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