Olympic Myths - No Boston Olympics

Myth #1: Hosting the Olympics will help fix the MBTA.

Boston's Olympic boosters make all sorts of promises about fixing the T, but the truth is that every dollar spent on a velodrome and aquatics center is a dollar that can't be spent on basic MBTA maintenance.  For $10 billion, the low estimate for the actual cost of a Boston Olympics, you could eliminate all of the MBTA’s outstanding debt and have enough left over to build South Coast Rail, the Green Line Extension to Somerville/Medford, and buy new rail cars for the Orange Line.

 

Myth #2: A Boston Olympics would be privately funded.

The same promises were made in Vancouver.  What happened?  After the Games were awarded, the private developer that promised to build the Olympic Village at no-cost pulled out of the project, leaving Canadian taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars.

 

Myth #3: A Boston Olympics would help the economy.

Economists that have looked at the Games see no long-term economic benefit.  In a recent NYTimes story, Philip Porter, an economist at the University of South Florida who has studied the impact of sporting events was quoted saying: “The bottom line is, every time we’ve looked — dozens of scholars, dozens of times — we find no real change in economic activity.”

 

Myth #4: An Olympic Village will solve our housing shortage.

The London Olympic Village was converted into 2,818 new housing units.  Mayor Marty Walsh recently announced that Boston needs 53,000 new housing units.  You could build a new Olympic Village each year from now until 2030 and you would still fall short of Boston's housing needs.  Hosting an Olympic Games will distract from achieving Mayor Walsh's important goal of providing housing for all Bostonians.