Olympics

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  • While I'm a little saddened for dashed hopes, I'm mostly relieved by the decision to cancel Boston's Olympics bid. For me, as for many others, the risks associated with the Olympics appeared too great for the Commonwealth to backstop. We should be proud for the robust debate we've had and I thank all who have participated in it -- it looks to me like we just dodged a bullet.
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  • In the budget debate this week, the Senate adopted an amendment offered by Senator Tarr which sets in place a clear boundary on state liability for the Olympics. The Boston 2024 group has said all along that they don't want to use taxpayer funds or put the taxpayers at risk. However, many of us feel it is critical that we put in place clear legal protections so that we are not surprised.
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  • Senator Brownsberger shares Senator Donnelly's invitation to residents from neighboring communities to attend a town hall meeting in Arlington on Monday, June 1, 6:30-8:30 p.m. to meet with representatives from Boston 2024 and ask questions about the Olympic bid. The meeting will be held at Arlington Town Hall, 730 Massachusetts Avenue.
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  • Scott Lehigh's recent column on the the Olympics does a great job in summarizing my frame of mind. I like the Olympics idea and feel we can eventually work through most of the concerns about venues, transportation, etc. But I'm most concerned about the possibility of the taxpayers picking up the tab. We need to be sure that the taxpayers cannot be tagged for cost overruns or revenue shortfalls -- the Olympics product is a risky one financially and the organizers need to find a way to layoff that risk to private parties better able to evaluate and accept it. The only way that the Olympics organizers will get private sector takers of the risk is if the upside can be made highly probable to exceed the downside. We can fairly assume that revenues have probably already been maximized in the planning. The only alternative is double down on the idea of a truly low-cost, sustainable Olympics. If the organizers move in that direction decisively, then they can reduce the risks enough that they will find private sector takers.
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Will Brownsberger
State Senator
2d Suffolk and Middlesex District