Report: Boston 2024 underestimated cost of Olympics

August 28, 2015
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While the Boston 2024 Olympic bid has been withdrawn, a recently completed analysis of the proposal suggests cost estimates for hosting the Olympics were almost $1 billion short of a more realistic prediction.

State leaders had commissioned the Brattle Group for the analysis, and although the bid was withdrawn, the report was completed and made public as originally planned.

The report by Brattle suggests that certain estimates provided by Boston 2024 were significantly lower than other past Games.

The bid also had not fully developed proposals for the media center and other buildings, such as the Aquatics Center and the Velodrome. That may be why the estimates were not properly calculated. The Brattle Group maintains that a more reasonable cost estimate would have been over $970 million higher than reported in bid 2.0.

The bid anticipated that more than 60 percent of the full cost of hosting the Games would have been funded by outside sources and relied on private developers to fund over $4 billion for projects at Widett Circle and Columbia Point. The Brattle group remained wary of the bid because of the high risks of securing funding from private sources. The financial returns of their investments might have been lower than necessary to cause the developers to actually commit to the project.

The cost for security was also underestimated, according to the report. Previous incidents at the Olympics and past terrorist attacks, such as the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, have increased security concerns for the Games. Boston 2024 proposed $1 billion in security costs was lower than the costs from other Games, such as the $1.4 billion required to secure the London Olympics.

To read the full report, visit 1.usa.gov/1NrCtRZ.

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