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No Boston Olympics Campaigners to Publish Book on How They Torpedoed City's 2024 Bid

19 Apr, 2017

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

Wow. Talk about a book that is hitting the sports event marketplace with the impact of the MOAB (that’s Mother of All Bombs, for those who have been living in a missile silo).

Basically, those who successfully campaigned for Boston to drop its bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games have published a book: No Boston Olympics: How and Why Smart Cities Are Passing on the Torch.

Co-written by No Boston Olympics co-chair Chris Dempsey and Professor Andrew Zimbalist of Smith College, the book will be released in (where else?) Boston on April 28.

According to publishers, the book "provides a behind-the-scenes look at how an ad hoc, underfunded group of diverse and engaged citizens joined together to challenge and ultimately defeat Boston’s Olympic boosters, the USOC (United States Olympic Committee), and the IOC (International Olympic Committee),” the authors promise.

Boston was chosen by the USOC as the American nomination to bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in January 2015 ahead of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. Almost immediately, opposition rose from those claiming insufficient infrastructure, lack of funding, lack of support – and increasingly importantly – the reluctance to have properties seized by eminent domain for construction of Olympic venues and thoroughfares.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh initially dismissed the #NoBostonOlympics” movement as “10 people on Twitter,” but as opposition grew, officials were forced to acknowledge it – and to face the mounting backlash. Ultimately, the USOC and the city agreed to drop the bid and the USOC instead appointed Los Angeles as it candidate city. 

Since that time, #NoBostonOlympics has been at work in other candidate cities, including Hamburg, Rome and Budapest, letting residents know that they do indeed have a say in what is going on in their city, even when it comes to hosting the Olympics. In doing so, the organization has been able to evaluate what makes one city successful and one simply a place the Olympics have been foist upon, according to the book’s authors.

"The book explains why smart cities are increasingly saying 'No, thanks' to the idea of hosting the Olympics," promise the authors.

The sports market, however, is now rife with speculation: will these movements snuff out the Olympic flame’s chances of ever appearing in another city – or will they lead to a more open dialogue prior to a bid? In addition, there is the fear that cities will become 'resolution-happy,' demanding votes on any sports event that might potentially come to town, something that could have a profound impact on the sports business economy.

With only two cities in the 2024 race – Paris and L.A. – it’s going to be an interesting summer.

Bonus round: Vote in the SDM Poll – do you think the book will help or hinder the sports business marketplace?

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