Could D.C. host the 2024 Summer Olympics? Sure, but not yet

August 10, 2022 | Boston takes a pass on the Olympics. Could the D.C. area have another shot? (WTOP's Andrew Mollenbeck reports.)

WASHINGTON — Now that Boston won’t host the 2024 Olympics, one analyst thinks it’s time to look westward.

“Los Angeles is ready, willing and able, and could probably dust off the Coliseum and the Rose Bowl, and be ready tomorrow,” says Christine Brennan, a sports columnist for USA Today and consultant for ABC News.

The U.S. Olympic Committee chose Boston as the host city in January. Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. were the other finalists to host the 2024 summer games. L.A. hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics. As the Associated Press points out, the city has experienced Olympic leadership and several venues in place. The U.S. hasn’t hosted a Summer Olympics since the Atlanta games in 1996.

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In December, before Boston was selected for the games, a public poll showed 45 percent of those surveyed were in favor of summer games in Boston. Negative opposition kept rising while public support stayed the same.

“It just goes to show that the Olympics, at least locally, aren’t as popular as they used to be,” says Ben Fischer, Olympics Reporter with the SportsBusiness Journal. “You have to really have a very strong sense of where your popular sentiment is before you head down this path.”

The Boston bid seemed doomed from the beginning. Key politicians were never really sold on the proposal; on Monday, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he wouldn’t be pressured to sign the host city contract, which would’ve made the city responsible for any cost overruns.

“To have a ready-made protest group in place was a recipe for disaster,” Brennan told WTOP. Choosing Boston as a host city was a poor decision, “and I think this is one of the darkest days we have ever seen in U.S. Olympic Committee history.”

The 2004 Olympics cost the city of Athens $7 billion. There’s the heightened threat of terrorism in Olympic host cities, and Montreal just paid off its deficit from the 1976 summer games, Brennan says.

So, what about D.C.?

“I think it would be a perfect city” for the Olympics, Brennan says, though D.C. will likely be considered for the 2028 or 2032 Olympic games.

“If Los Angeles doesn’t jump into the fray,” Brennan concludes, “Washington could be terrific, official Washington would do a wonderful job, [and] it would be a great event.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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