Boston mayor: 'Cannot commit' to Olympic bid if taxpayers at risk

Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:24am EDT
 
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By Jacqueline Tempera

BOSTON (Reuters) - Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Monday said he would not "commit" to a deal to bid for the 2024 Olympic Games if doing so would leave city taxpayers vulnerable to the costs of hosting such a large-scale event.

The idea of hosting the Summer Games in the city has been controversial, with opinion polls showing that many residents of Boston and its surrounding communities fear the event would take a heavy toll on local budgets.

"I cannot commit to putting the taxpayers at risk," Walsh told reporters at a press conference. "I refuse to mortgage the future of the city away. This is a commitment that I can't make without ensuring the city and its residents will be protected."

If the U.S. Olympic Committee pushes ahead with the bid, Boston will be competing against world capitals including Rome, Paris, Hamburg and Budapest in seeking the Games.

The Boston 2024 committee last week unveiled a plan to carry some $2 billion in insurance that it said would cover any unanticipated costs.

(Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Susan Heavey)