By Andy Metzger
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE -- Boston is among four U.S. cities in the running for a potential 2024 Olympic Summer Games bid, the U.S. Olympics Committee reported Friday.
Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. are also in the hunt with the largest city in New England.
"I think there's a great opportunity to develop a great plan. And I think the fact that the Commonwealth and the proponents of this adventure are thinking big about the Commonwealth and projecting that into the world, as you know, is something I think is good for us," Gov. Deval Patrick told reporters Friday.
"The work of developing a good plan and a successful plan, and frankly how it leverages accomplishing some of the unmet transportation needs that are really important to me because they are really important to the Commonwealth, remains."
U.S.O.C. Chairman Larry Probst said Dallas and San Diego will not move forward in the process to be the country's bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The board met earlier in the week but waited to announce the four finalists so that city officials could be contacted first.
Sen. Eileen Donoghue, a Lowell Democrat, and Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish chaired a special commission that determined hosting the 2024 Olympics would be feasible.
"Boston is a world-class city and would serve as a wonderful host for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024," Fish said in a statement.
No Boston Olympics, a group organized to oppose the city's bid, argued there are more important priorities for investment.
"It's always great for Boston to be recognized as a world-class city, as the USOC did today by including Boston on the 2024 shortlist. But make no mistake -- bidding on the Olympics is the wrong priority for Greater Boston," said Chris Dempsey, co-chairman, in a statement. "Our region has far more pressing challenges than throwing a three-week party for the global elite, one that comes with a $15 billion hangover."
Fish plans to lead a "prominent group of Boston business, community, and political leaders" that will explore the costs and benefits of bringing the Games to Boston, according to a press release. The group plans to hold community meetings to gather information and solicit feedback, and to conduct due diligence with urban planners, community activists and financial experts.
The International Olympic Committee will be accepting bids for the Games in 2015 and the decision is expected to be made in 2017. The last summer Olympics held in the United States were the 1996 games in Atlanta.
Michael Norton contributed reporting.