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The world-class city that got the Olympics now has some world-class cost increases

File under "Dodged a Bullet," perhaps? The Los Angeles Times recently reported the Olympics that LA is getting - in 2028 - are now expected to cost $700 million more than the previous estimates.

This week marks the third time in three years that organizers have revised their expenses upward.

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Yup. There are only two types of people who want to host the olympics: thieves and suckers.

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Someone hack your (expletive), bro?

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I know this is not the most popular stance but stepping back from just feeling smug and expressing how much everyone hates the Olympics for thumbs, but I find their explanation way too reasonable in their explanation in their article to just mock.

The last estimate was $6.2 billion for 2024 and now it's $6.9 billion. Yes, I know $700 million is a mind boggling number and don't y'all start chastising me at that. Inflation rates are inflation and when you have huge numbers than even a single percent would be huge. When you plug in $6.2 billion in an inflation calculator , the increase does seem reasonable. For one example, the inflation rate between 2004 and 2008 apparently would have turn a $6.2 billion project into a $7 billion project.

I personally take no pleasure in wishing failure. The Olympics is corrupt and so my wish is for it to not be corrupt, not dead.

And as I said before and now say again in these Olympics news posts that I find myself in alignment with Roman and Waqiuot in their spirit of their message. I had no problem with a Boston Olympics in the principle of it. An Olympics organized and hosted with good faith can be a great and profitable venture for all parties. The key part is "good faith" - or at least an Olympics signed up with terms favoring the city (a key part of why 1984 LA Olympics was profitable was they were the only bidder and thus can dictate all the terms - and the less recognized part is the LA leadership wanted to dictate terms profitable for the city).

Of course, our leadership submitted a plan that was in no way favorable to us as a city. The complicated engineering needed around Widdet Circle would all-but-guaranteed to go overbudget and by a lot. It didn't had to be that way (or at least for my limited knowledge for possible sites), but it was. Thus, we did dodge a bullet with the plan that was formulated for Boston.

But hopefully the LA version is again done by LA's terms (and their leadership is dictating terms is favorable for LA rather than just the constructions companies like what the Boston version essentially submitted). I hope for their success. Because it can be beneficial for all if chosen to execute it that way.

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even coming close to breaking even, much less turning a profit are long gone. The Olympics are a money grab now, plain and simple. Lots of good things have been ruined by the vultures that tack onto them to make a buck, the Olympics are no exception.

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has averaged ~2%. That would explain a ~9% increase in cost projection, unless we're expecting runaway inflation in the next decade as the fed's insane handling of interest rates since 2008 comes home to roost. (*stares at the camera like Jim Halpert*)

Anyway, 6.2 billion to 6.9 billion is an 11% hike, which is within reason for inflation-adjustment. I don't think we're laughing at this single change in projection, though--this isn't the first time that estimate has been adjusted after the city submitted its bid, and I'll bet you twenty crisp new American dollars that it isn't the last. This is what the IOC does. They're professional grifters, and treating them like they're good-faith actors, who just want some good clean old-fashioned sporting fun, is a good way to see your city scammed out of hundreds of millions of dollars. We're watching the exact same thing unfold in LA that unfolded in Brazil and in Russia. That noise you just heard was the sound of a bullet whistling past our heads.

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that their cost estimates didn't include inflation? Now I'm even happier that we didn't get the Olympics with that kind of piss poor economic planning.

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They bid for 2024 but are now going to host 2028

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As KellyJMF already said apparently everyone is still giving approval to polarbare looking at the thumbs. The original estimates was based for 2024. But LA got granted 2028.

I guess it all about snarky quips. But can y'all keep it with things that are at least half true? There's zero reasonable ways for an estimate calculated for 2024 would thus factor 2028. And from your quip, I presume you're actually thinking they calculated on 2018 dollars.

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The 4 years of inflation should be offset by the 4 additional years of investment income from the capital. Average investment return is far greater than inflation.

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A counter-argument made from the hip but without analysis of the facts. A simple reading of the article (seriously, are y'all reading it?) would reveal the budget is not some giant endowment of cash collecting interest and dividends. It's a budget of planning on what they are going to spend against revenues they will receive - like ticket sales, corporate sponsorships (like specifically NBCUniversal as said in the article), IOC savings, and other private money.

Yes, the article did mention stuff that implies cash they are hold on hand ($616-million contingency fund and a $160 million IOC cash advance). I imagine that implies that money are cash-on-hand and likely held in some financial instruments that gives some return as anyone should do when holding that much capital. But at the same time, it's not as simple as a giant $6.2 billion endowment to throw into the S&P 500 to wait to withdrawal and spend in 2028.

Anyone who read that can easily infer it's not some giant pile of cash already locked in some endowment.

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Might a group responsible for managing a $7B project forecast how inflation might impact their budget?

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From the race car thingy...

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Except for that one person at the Globe.

Someone should launch a criminal fraud investigation on whatever happened in LA.

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or have people forgotten the art of saying "no" to things that need to be said "no" to?

I'm not looking at Charlie Baker for saying "no" to the whole thing. I'm looking at John Fish for saying "yes" to all sorts of nonsense that anyone who's ever managed a starbucks, let alone ran a construction company, should have been able to see was not even close to feasible.

For example:
A flat "no" to "olympic traffic lanes" should have been item 1.
A flat "no" to "you need to build a new stadium" is also tied in first place.

If he'd done that, then maybe there wouldn't have been a good reason to can it. But by the time it became public, he had practically said yes to hosting it on the back side of the moon. So yeah.

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Can you really blame the guy who owns the largest construction company around here from trying to promote an event that would probably trigger a massive construction boom?

And sure, he recused his firm from building Olympic venues, but there would have been all kinds of ancillary construction that would've come with it, and every other company would already be tied up.

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Baker didnt say no any more than Sarah Palin said no to the bridge to nowhere., As usual he waited until it was decided and then announced he agreed.

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I must see where they are going so I can lead them"

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Congratulations. Please go bug Adam to claim your prize.

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Just remember that all of the Politicians were either for this, or at best stayed silent about it.

It was truly Citizens who shot this thing down, the JP groups, Chris Dempsey and his associates, Shirley Kressel and I. All of us sharing notes and trying to garner support against "The Establishment'. There was not a single elected official that I recall taking a stand against this, certainly not leading the way.

Quienes son los Payasos?

Here was the op-ed I wrote about Fish:

Who is John Fish?

The rhetorical opening line “Who is John Galt” to Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” which provides the basis for much right wing dogma today is appropriate for examining the Boston2024 movement to bring the Olympics to Boston (or more generally any city in America or the Western world). In the story, America is in decline, the people are unappreciative ‘looters’, the bureaucrats and politicians are completely corrupt, and the institutions of the country are inept. Rand suggests that the only people that can save the world is a tiny group of individualist industrialists who decide to leave society behind and start a utopian commune led by John Galt in the mountains. This fictional book has been cited by none other than social budget cutting congressman and Mitt Romney's Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan as inspiration.

So who is John Fish? He is a private citizen leading the charge to bring the Olympics to Boston in 2024, and he just happens to head Suffolk Construction, the largest building contractor in the Boston area, which would likely get billions in construction contracts to build new venues if Boston got the Olympics. Not to suggest that is a conflict of interest.

John Fish is a prominent, successful and giving Massachusetts citizen. In fact he has given well over $100,000 personally in Massachusetts campaign contributions. But he is no Ayn Randian ideologue, instead he would appear to be more an opportunist who completely understands how the pay to play system works here in Massachusetts. How else do you explain multiple maximum contributions of $5000 to both the State Democratic committee and the State Republican committee? Maximum contributions to 3 of the 4 Boston city councilors at large? Contributions to such disparate politicians as rich white suburban Republican Mitt Romney and inner city black single mother Democrat Diane Wilkerson? (She was caught by the FBI accepting bribes and served time in federal prison) Call me naive, but perhaps this money is why no elected officials have come out publicly against this privatization of a civic responsibility, or at least had the fortitude to ask what the fiscal responsibility of their constituents will be.

Funny enough, on a superficial level both Atlas Shrugged and the Boston2024 movement are about fixing the trains! The book’s heroine Dagny Taggart strives in an Olympian manner to believe in the system and keep the trains running before succumbing to the premise that American society is doomed to fail unless we deify and free the elitist industrialists. Cynically, the only promise that Mr. Fish seems to make to Massachusetts society is that if we trust him with an undisclosed amount of our money, he will get the MBTA trains upgraded, built and running sooner than we the people through our institutions of democratic government would otherwise get them.

As has been studied in detail, every recent Olympics held in a Western country has had massive cost over runs, false promises to its hosts, and local citizens left to pay for the consequences for years or decades after. The lost opportunity cost of that money being spent on true civic institutions like schools, job training, parks, and needed infrastructure is immense. Of course, the short term opportunities to connected builders and politicians is immense as well, with large contracts and jobs and front row seats to the connected, all paid by ‘We the People’.

We in Boston like to think of ourselves as more intelligent, more ingenious, and more thrifty than most. I have been to an Olympics myself and like many love to watch and appreciate the athletes brilliance and fortitude. The inspirational video of the marathoner John Akhwari finishing the race in Mexico City with a broken body brings me to tears of pride in the human spirit. If John Fish and Co. have figured out a way that no one else in the world has to make the Olympics cost neutral at worst, requiring no input of discretionary public dollars, I will be first in line to embrace it.

But closed door meetings of connected industrialists with government officials and private institutions, no public process, lack of disclosure, and secret bids with a dubious International organization sounds like the kind of bad fiction that the citizens of an educated state should not buy to fix what ails them. When John Fish and the politicians put the following non-fiction in writing: “The citizens of Massachusetts will pay no expenses for bringing the Olympics to Boston” I will begin to believe they are smarter and better than the good people of London, Athens, Vancouver, etc. Until then, Ayn Rand, no cost Olympics, and trickle down economics will stay on the fictional side of my library.

Good thing that Clown didn't get elected, we wouldn't want a voice of fiscal reason at City Hall Plaza.

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But I'm pretty sure the crony/pork industrialist is not the hero of her novels, as opposed to the norm in America where politicians sell out the public to fund stadiums for billionaires that she criticized. Pretty sure the whole point was greatness outside the boundaries/in spite of government, not dependent upon it (but I mostly just played BioShock)

As for Fish, he should get to promoting a housing construction boom instead.

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A few years back I really tried to read that book and see what all the fuss was about. Not that I care about Paul Ryan or Rand (lol) Paul, but a decent percentage of American humans have sang its praises so I figured it wouldnt be a bad idea.

Mind you, I'm no literary snob but it was...I just...It's not good. At all.

Like, reeeeeally not good.

To still see grown adults fawning over it, presumably sensible and smart adults in positions of great power and/or wealth, only reinforced my theory that one's success in life comes down to 95% pure luck.

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...and full disclosure I voted for the clown, but the clown thing killed your chances Kevin. You could have run for City Council as yourself and come in 5th and you'd have a seat at the table in place of Boston's OTHER clown politician once Ayanna won.
Keep going, keep running, stay true to yourself and stand up for your beliefs, many of us share them, just can the clown suit man.

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from the start. However, the one thing that convinced me it was a bad idea was when they announced they would hold beach volleyball at a new venue on the Common instead of on one of the actual beaches that are within a stone's throw of Boston.

Plus, Boston didn't need to have the largest McDonalds in the company (which is apparently another Olympic requirement) anyway.

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I still remember the hissing at the first public meeting at Suffolk when they showed the slide with that volleyball complex on the Common.

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When I think of how we could have had a hastily-assembled high-speed train from North Station to the velodrome in Chelmsford that would have fallen apart 20 minutes after the games ended, what could have been. What could have been.

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Remember when we were all just grumpy because it snowed so much? How we weren't buying what they were selling and not believing what they were telling us? How the experiences of other cities weren't fair to bring up?

Yeah. That.

We don't have a monorail for similar reasons.

Anybody hear from Shirley Leung lately? Me neither.
https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2015/05/22/shirley-leung-boston-2024...

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I attribute our resistance more to the fact that we have internet access and know what happens when the Olympics come to town. The Snowpocalypse was more coincidence than a reason. The idea, supported by the City, but not the State or the Feds was never going to happen.

It will forever be the one thing we All agreed on. Enjoy your velodrome LA.

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Much like I said in 2015.

I believe that Boston had (and still has) the ability to host the Olympics. I believe that Boston could finish the infrastructure in time for the start of the games.

Now, I never said that they could do it on a budget, or that there would be no overruns, because that's just stupid talk. But money aside we could have pulled it off.

Of course, New York went through the whole bidding process and got rejected in favor of Rio in the end, and all they have to show for it is the Hudson Yards redevelopment project. This has to lead to the question of whether bidding then being rejected could have made Boston better. But please, everyone, go on about how Boston could never have put it on.

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... rather shouldn't.

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The reason I glommed on to Swirly's comment is that it reminds us that part of the growing opposition was the negativity over having to deal with record snow levels and its effect on the transportation infrastructure, which were in so many ways a temporary thing.

The fiscal side of the matter is another thing, and the question of value for expenditure should have been key (see this article) but we could have pulled off the logistical side easily. I mean, Athens and Rio managed to do it.

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Boston should offer to host the games but refuse to build anything or spend a dime of public money. Host the games in existing stadiums, use existing hotels, etc. Maybe run a few extra trains and buses.

Of course, Boston wouldn't be selected with those stipulations. But that's how Olympics should be done.

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I think they should build a permanent summer Olympic site in Athens and host it there every every 4 years. Maybe some kind of world champiobships in between.

As far as winter Olympics, they can build it anywhere. Nobody watches anyway. /s

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The thing is that the bid was going to give away Widett Circle for pennies on the dollar for the Olympics. The deal was actually structured so that even if we didn't get the bid the developers would still get to keep the land there (supposedly because they would have to start some site work before the winning city was announced). That land is underutilized and within spitting distance of downtown. Parcels have already been sold at market value and there is little doubt that the area is ripe to be transformed but the Olympic bid was a huge giveaway, especially regarding that area and I'm glad the whole thing went belly up here for that reason (and will never vote for Marty for backing that debacle among other reasons).

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Every time the failed Olympic bid comes up, I like to bring up one small piece of it: the bid's plans for the equestrian events. They were going to build out White Stadium, in Franklin Park, and host a bunch of events there. The plan went something like: we're going to renovate the stadium where BPS plays its high school football games, which is currently crumbling after decades of neglect and which has a seating capacity of ~3000. We're going to turn it into a venue that will hold 10,000 dressage enthusiasts. To get the athletes to the park, we're going to dedicate one lane of the already-severely-congested Columbia Road to athletes and the IOC elite. To get the 10,000 spectators (who are dressage enthusiasts, remember, so whose average age is 55) there, we're going to pack them onto the Orange Line, tell them to go to the last stop, and then tell them to walk the last mile on foot. Up a 12% grade. In July. To sit on the bleachers in the hastily-renovated football stadium.

Every part of the plan was as comically bad as this. It was the most obvious attempt at a cash-grab I've ever seen, and it just so happened to be bankrolled by the city's biggest construction magnate. The fact that people are still carrying water for it four years later boggles my mind.

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To get the athletes to the park, we're going to dedicate one lane of the already-severely-congested Columbia Road to athletes and the IOC elite.

You do realize that this would have been for a few days.

Do you think that London or Beijing built their Olympic infrastructure in places where there was previously no traffic?

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To get the 10,000 spectators (who are dressage enthusiasts, remember,

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That's was a funny line.

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Erik, Columbia isn't "severely congested" (especially not compared to several other arteries in Dorchester & Roxbury). The Olympics would indeed have resulted in "severely congested", though.

...and you forget - not everybody was going to walk uphill from Forest Hills. They were going to have some people walk from Four Corners commuter rail.

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Just NoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

Well maybe in LA's case its hAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhA

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IMO The Olympics will always be a huge gala party for the corporate class and politicians at tax-payer expense and on the backs of the Boston residents and neighborhoods.

Have we forgotten the logistics of traffic? of managing the sudden flood of people? the clean-up? the waste? etc.
Some of you might remember the No Boston 2024 debate and we don't need to go through it again.

"Shirley Leung, hope you've returned to your own LA where you can offer your wisdom and advice."

The IOC and the games are simply 'Bread & Circus' on steroids.

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Deval Patrick, $7,500/day for "consulting" for Boston 2024.....That was only the onset of what would be a expensive event.

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The Olympics need to have permanent venues if they are to survive and remain sustainable.

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Why must all the events be held in the same place? There are already dozens of venues worldwide built for each of these sports. So what if track and field events are in Spain and horse events are in New Hampshire.

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the citizenry rose up to successfully oppose this patently obvious taxpayer swindle. I'm trying to think of a more corrupt group of world-class thieves than the IOC. FIFA, maybe?

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The NCAA is up there. At least FIFA athletes get paid for their work.

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Ever hear of scholarships?

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"Student-Athletes" get scholarships to go to classes they don't have the time, or in many cases, the inclination to attend so the NCAA can profit off their unpaid labor to the tune of billions of dollars.

You call that fair pay?

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for participating in the athletic program. Hardly providing free labor, and certainly not unfair. Especially as these people will wind up on professional teams as a result of the NCAA exposure.

And if somebody doesn't like that arrangement, they don't have to participate.

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In most cases, they literally HAVE to participate if they want to go to the pros. You don't understand a thing about this, do you?

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The Olympics have been largely irrelevant since the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" in Lake Placid, NY. I doubt they'll be around in 20 years, definitely not on this scale. In '80, just before cable TV took hold nationwide, there were only three networks so it was a choice of the same old sitcoms or the Olympic games with both popular and unusual sports and previously unknown star athletes from around the world. The Cold War added to the competitive enthusiasm. The summer and winter games were also held in the same calendar year, so just when you were starting to get sick of them, they were gone for four years. By the time the games rolled around again, the viewer was curious enough to check them out, although by 1984 and successive games, the multitude of non-Olympic TV and entertainment options were previously unimaginable.

Now the games are played to declining TV ratings and half-empty venues, despite NBC showing them on every NBC commodity on cable. We're assured that when digital is factored in, the ratings aren't that bad yet even the live venues where the lesser games are held are empty or tickets are given away free. As for Boston hosting, it was a complete attempt at a massive money grab. The indictments would have been more entertaining than the Olympics themselves. In a city and administration that can't run a D-list music festival without two Mayoral aides going to federal court, criminal defense judo would have been the number one Olympic sport.

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