Boston is no longer a candidate to host the 2024 Olympic Games, the AP reported Monday.
Boston was the U.S. Olympic Committee’s (USOC) top choice as a candidate city for the 2024 Summer Games, a prospect Mayor Marty Walsh initially greeted with enthusiasm. Given that the city’s budget of $5 billion is tiny by Olympic standards, many locals agreed. But by late spring, only half of Boston’s residents still supported hosting the Games.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker continually declined to endorse Boston as a candidate city, saying on Friday that he would base his decision on the findings by the Brattle Group, a consulting firm whose report wasn’t expected to be complete until August, according to the Boston Herald. On Monday, Mayor Walsh called a press conference in which he said he was under undue pressure to sign a contract with USOC and would refuse to comply until he was convinced that taxpayers would not be held responsible for cost overruns, according to the Boston Globe.
“I refuse to mortgage the future of the city away. I refuse to put Boston on the hook for overruns,” Walsh told reporters. “This is a commitment that I cannot make without assurances that Boston and its residents will be protected.”
Boston withdrew a few hours later.
With seven weeks left before the deadline for signing a host city agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), USOC is likely to turn to Los Angeles. In a brief response, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti released a statement indicating that, while he hadn’t had any recent conversations with USOC, he would be open to starting them, according to the AP.