The Slatest

Boston Olympic Bid in Big Trouble as Mayor Says City Won’t Promise to Pay Cost Overruns

Not so sure: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh at an Olympics-related press conference in January.

Maddie Meyer/Getty/USOC

Update, 3 p.m.: The AP reports that Boston is dropping out of Olympic bidding. The U.S. Olympic Committee may nominate Los Angeles in Boston’s place; official bids are due Sept. 15.

Original post, 12:45 p.m.: Boston has been selected as the United States’ nominee in the competition to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, but its bid is nagged by residents’ objections that the event would be a huge pain and a waste of money. The latter issue is such a concern that city Mayor Marty Walsh, who has long pushed the bid forward despite broad opposition, said Monday that he will not sign any International Olympic Committee host contract that would require a government promise to cover any cost overruns. From

“I cannot commit to putting the taxpayers at risk,” Walsh said.

Olympic organizing group Boston 2024 has said it would put a multi-faceted insurance policy in place, protecting the city from the threat of cost overruns. The group published some details about the plan last week, but Walsh said Monday the city has been “unable to conclude” its analysis of the bid’s risks.

(The Boston 2024 group is a private organization that says it can cover the cost of building venues and operating the Games if public money can be used for infrastructure improvements—and if the government gives out some big tax breaks.)

Boston is not actually yet under any pressure to make a formal agreement with the IOC, but if the U.S. Olympic Committee decides that not guaranteeing overruns would ultimately doom the city’s bid, it could be replaced as America’s nominee by Los Angeles.