Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has held the first Olympic and Paralympic community meeting, addressing questions from residents and assuring them that the city has benefited from being nominated as the United States contender for the 2024 Games.
Walsh, who has also now met with representatives of the group "No Boston Olympics", underlined his support for bringing the Games to the city, insisting it would "allow the opportunity to grow the economy, and the revenue that could be generated here in the city".
"One of the things that the Olympics can do for us here in the city of Boston, when we talk about an international stage, is attracting companies to invest in the city," the Mayor said.
"No Boston Olympics" officials were present at the first of nine meetings that will attempt to garner further support for the bid and ease concerns of residents who are opposed to hosting the Games, on the grounds that money would be better invested in public transportation and housing.
Residents were able to ask questions to a panel including bid chairman John Fish and its chief executive Richard Davey on a variety of subjects from economic and social factors surrounding hosting the Olympic Games and the infrastructure required.
Walsh said that the major concerns of residents were the costs of hosting the Games and uncertainty of how the city would benefit, promising that public money would not be invested in Olympic venues.
"I think bringing the Olympic to the city or having the dialogue about the Olympics is a tremendous benefit for Boston on so many fronts," Walsh told necn.com.
"On economic development, about marketing our city, around and other areas."
Boston was selected last month as the US candidate after beating off competition from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C., and the panellists reiterated their desire to ensure that if awarded the Games the city would benefit from its legacy.
Walsh also confirmed that if a binding referendum was opposed to the bid it would end hopes of Boston staging the Games in 2024.
The Boston Mayor is set to meet with his counterpart from London Boris Johnson, who is set to visit the city on Monday (February 9) to promote business relationships and discuss the benefits of hosting the Games.
The next community meeting will take place on February 24 at Condon School cafeteria.
Rome are the only other city to have already confirmed that they will be putting forward a bid, while either Berlin or Hamburg is expected to be chosen as the German contender.
Potential host cities have until September 15 to announce their intentions to host the Games, with Baku, Budapest, Doha and Istanbul touted as potential bidding cities.
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