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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Going for gold

They had me at reliable public transit system.

It's certainly not a crime to aim high, but the idea of greater Boston hosting an Olympics 11 years from now is enough to make me laugh hysterically -- or cry uncontrollably. Or both.

For a city that hasn't had what it takes to host an NBA All-Star Game since Lyndon Johnson was president to consider bidding for one of the biggest public boondoggle around is, to be generous, nuts.

The public investment required would total in the billions. The disruption would be Herculean. And what, exactly, would be the return on that investment?

We live in a state (and let's not forget this event would likely swallow up much of eastern Massachusetts) that still is not ready for the conversation, let alone the reality of what it will cost to create a "reliable public transportation system," let alone a highway system that isn't crumbling.

Similarly, we haven't really talked about some officials' dream of an expanded convention center, the only thing that would justify a one-third increase in hotel rooms in greater Boston.

Then there's the history of the Olympic Games themselves: public works boondoggles constructed over years for two weeks' use. Think of how many years it took to get Gillette Stadium built and the public acrimony -- and private money -- surrounding a venue which is only guaranteed to be used dozens of times a year.

Do we really need an ornately constructed sports stadium that becomes a white elephant?

Civic pride is a good thing, but there are far more long-lasting things we can invest in with the billions it would take to get a couple of weeks of good international PR.

But at least we have someone with experience in Olympic organizing efforts to spearhead everything.

Um, on second thought, never mind.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can't run the 'T' properly in a snow storm, or decide where to put a casino, how are we going to host the world in a way not to embarrass ourselves in the eyes of the world? Doesn't anyone remember the disruption the DNC caused a few years ago, and that didn't involved the addition of numerous venues?

March 05, 2013 12:46 PM  

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