Backing Boston’s 2024 Olympic Bid
by The Milton Measure on Friday, February 6th, 2015
As the United States’ Olympic bid, Boston is abuzz with the exciting prospect of hosting the 2024 summer games. For the typical Bostonian, the idea of going to the Olympics at home is undoubtedly inviting. However, would hosting the Olympics here have a positive or negative effect on the city’s present and future both in image and finance?
In my view, Boston could reap extreme benefits of being an Olympic host. To start, the Olympics offer a global stage that is hard to pass-up. It is a chance to showcase all that our city has to offer. Dedicated sports fans and Olympic fanatics from across the globe would come to stay in Boston in order to attend the games. Boston would become an even bigger hot-spot for tourism. According to Guinness World Records, the last Olympics held in the United States in 1996, held in Atlanta, sold the most tickets of any games.
Increased tourism in Boston will not cease after the games conclude. According to The Center for Olympic Studies, after Barcelona hosted the 1992 Olympics, hotels in the city had to install 6,500 new beds because “room occupation rates rose from 71% to 84%” in just two years. Furthermore, The Economist stated that, “largely in result of the London 2012 Olympics, London tourists’ spending increased by 30% between July 2012 and 2013.” Tourism is essential to economic growth. According to the U.S. Travel Association, tourism is “one of America’s largest industries,… [generating] $2.1 trillion in economic impact… [and] $133.9 billion in tax revenue for local, state and federal governments.” Therefore, Boston and the entire United States would benefit from a tourism increase.
There remains much dispute over whether or not the honor of hosting the Olympics is worth the work and expense of planning the games. Many residents fear that hosting the games will significantly increase taxes and cause drastic changes in the city they love. However, according to Boston’s Olympic website, the tax dollars supporting the Olympic games will be put towards “roadway, transportation and infrastructure improvements”, causes no different than what taxes are typically used for. Furthermore, a majority of the spending for the Olympic games could easily be obtained from private enterprise and donations, as private companies already sponsor Boston sports arenas.
Money put towards constructing or redesigning Boston facilities for the games would pay off in time. Robert K. Barney, a writer for a New York Times blog, stated that Olympic games “do return long-term benefits to residents of host cities” because the improvements to “facilities… that involve transportation, communication and beautification, [enhance] the quality of urban life.” For example, plans for the improvement of the Franklin Park have already been published. Franklin Park in the past years has become run-down and is as a result rarely visited. The renovating of this historic park would allow the landmark to reach its full potential as a lovely and peaceful attraction for residents and tourists alike.
Forget for a moment the economic benefits or detriments that hosting the Olympics could bring; think instead of the honor and excitement that would surround such a great event. Specifically, think of the good that the Olympics could do not just for city structure but for the moral of city residents. The Olympics would lift Bostonian spirits after events such as the Boston Bombing have caused much upset. The Olympics could give rise to a sense of hope and joy for a city that has faced hardships in the recent years.
Hosting the Summer Olympics in 2024 could have very positive effects on the city of Boston. There would be economic perks, stemming from an increase in tourism, as well as an enhancement of Boston’s beauty through the improvement of infrastructure. The Olympics would secure a way in which a city recently traumatized by national horrors could find energy and excitement in a new focus.
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