Skip to content




By Gintautas Dumcius


STATE HOUSE — As public opinion on a Boston Olympics bid remains divided, the organization behind the effort is bringing aboard prominent athletes to support their play for the 2024 Summer Games.

The Boston 2024 Partnership’s board of directors includes Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, former Boston Celtics stars Larry Bird and Joseph Henry “JoJo” White, former Olympian Michelle Kwan, and the 2014 Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi, among others.

The announcement — which also highlighted board members from the state’s business and political sectors — came on the same day as a new poll from Suffolk University’s Political Research Center showed 46 percent of voters opposing the concept of Boston hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics. Forty-three percent support the effort.

Gov. Charlie Baker pointed to the organization’s lack of a detailed plan, such as the location of an Olympic Village and the anticipated expenses of holding the event.

“I think what the public’s looking for is in some ways similar to what I’m looking for, which is the detailed plan,” he said on Wednesday.

“I think once people have a chance to take a look at that and start to chew on it, that will drive, as it should, people’s perspectives about this,” Baker said. “But in the absence of that, it’s very hard for people to sort of sign up for something that hasn’t been that clearly defined for them and for which they don’t know if they’re going to be on the hook to pay for or not.”

Asked about the sports celebrities signing onto the effort, Baker said, “Look, I think this is a town that takes its sports seriously.” That’s one of the reasons the U.S. Olympic Committee picked Boston to bid for the 2024 Olympics, he added.

“I certainly think as ambassadors those folks have tremendous cachet,” Baker said. “But every ambassador needs a plan to talk about. And at this point in time, we still don’t have the kind of detailed plan to discuss that would make it possible for voters and for people to make their own decisions about how they feel about it.”

Opponents of bringing the Olympics to Boston say the effort will distract from focusing on other issues like housing and education.

John Fish, the CEO of Suffolk Construction, is the chair of Boston 2024, and Rich Davey, the former transportation secretary under Gov. Deval Patrick, is the CEO.

Bentley University President Gloria Larson, who backed Patrick and worked as Republican Gov. William Weld’s economic affairs chief, is also on Boston 2024’s board of directors.

Other members include Carol Fulp, the president and CEO of The Partnership Inc. and a former vice president at John Hancock Financial Services; and Daniel Doctoroff, former CEO of Bloomberg LP.

The board includes members with close ties to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh: Brian Doherty, general agent of the Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District, and Thomas Keady, vice president of governmental and community affairs at Boston College.

Sen. Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell) and former interim U.S. Sen. Mo Cowan are also on the board.

“The formation of Boston 2024’s board of directors further solidifies the important relationship between the City of Boston, the bid committee and the USOC. The enthusiastic support from each of the partners reflects the tremendous opportunity the Games provide,” Larry Probst, a member of the board, chairman of the USOC board of directors and the International Olympic Committee, said in a statement.

Olympics supporters are aiming to put together a ballot question effort registering support for Boston hosting the games.

The International Olympic Committee is slated to pick the host city for the 2024 Olympics in 2017.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.