Organizers of Boston's bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics on Friday released the full, unredacted version of the bid that won over the U.S. Olympic Committee, after city officials earlier this week called for their disclosure.
The documents reveal that organizers initially projected the games to cost about $4.7 billion but run at a nearly $500 million deficit. Boston 2024's revised proposal, released in June, shows a $4.6 billion budget with a surplus of just over $200 million.
Organizers also downplayed to the USOC the prospects of a voter referendum and suggested they were prepared to challenge such efforts on a variety of fronts, including the courts and legislature.
A citizen's group earlier this month filed a request to place a referendum on the 2016 ballot that would effectively prevent state taxpayer dollars from being used on the games. Boston 2024 has also said it's working to submit a proposal by the state's Aug. 5 deadline.
2.0 is the current bid before the U.S. Olympic Committee, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh believes it's garnered more support.
"It probably should have been released earlier, but it's out there," Mayor Walsh said. "As you can see, it's a concept and from the 1.0 document to the 2.0 document, it's very different."
"Boston 2024 is afraid of a ballot question, and they've outlined a detailed plan to fight back against any effort to have one," said Evan Falchuk, a former gubernatorial candidate and an organizer of the citizen-led ballot referendum.
Boston 2024 Chairman Steve Pagliuca stressed the original bid book was simply a "proof of concept" that's since been supplanted by a more detailed and revised proposal. "While it served that purpose well, it was not meant to be a final or operable plan," he said.
Opponents have countered that the original bid is still relevant because it provided a basis of comparison and also shows what promises organizers initially made to the USOC.
"The release of Boston 2024's unredacted bid documents confirm that the boosters have been saying one thing behind closed doors, and an entirely different thing to Massachusetts taxpayers," the No Boston Olympics group said in a statement.
Boston 2024 released a partial version of its winning bid in January, after the USOC picked Boston over Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. But the privately funded organization declined to release the full version the bid, citing "proprietary information" the USOC didn't want disclosed.
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In a news conference Friday, Governor Charlie Baker said "whatever the issues with respect to Bid number one, were fully focused on Bid number two."
Governor Baker wouldn't commit either way on his support for Bid 2.0. He says he's waiting to receive a consultant report due out in August.
The Mayor also weighed in the Governor not making an immediate decision.
"Seven months in you're still brand new and everyone has a lot to deal with," the mayor said. "I don't blame him for taking his time, he should take his time it's not an issue you can look at lightly."
The Governor says he plans to to speak on the phone with the Olympic Committee on Monday.
Scott Blackmun, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, said Friday that the January release of the bid, while incomplete, was unprecedented.
Four of the six chapters of the original bid have since been made public through records requests; the final two chapters had not been disclosed. Among the other findings in the previously undisclosed chapters, which focused on finances and public and political support:
- Boston 2024 anticipated submitting a raft of bills to the state legislature to "facilitate public control of the land and infrastructure" and streamline the permitting process, among other things.
- Bob Kraft, the New England Patriots owner, was named as a member of Boston 2024's original board of directors. Boston 2024 now says his name was erroneously included.
- Early polling found the idea faced "significant resistance" from older, better educated and mostly white Bostonians but enjoyed support among minorities and youths.