Business implications of the Boston Olympics

Assumption College Undergraduate

A new study commissioned by The Boston Foundation reports that a 2024 Summer Olympics in Boston would generate billions of dollars for the Massachusetts economy.

According to the report, venues construction would create 4,100 jobs. Olympic operations such as security, information technology and ceremonies would contribute an additional $5 billion in spending; half of which would benefit Massachusetts firms. And, a Summer Olympics in Boston would undoubtedly have a positive impact on tourism, generating an estimated $300 million in spending.

Nonetheless, the report also warns that for the Olympics to have a positive economic impact, careful planning and budgeting is essential. Cost overruns are not uncommon with large operating budgets as seen in some Olympics host cities in the past.

The concern over cost overruns is a primary issue for those organizing against Boston 2024.  According to a Worcester Business Journal article, the group, No Boston Olympics, believes that the likely cost of the games could run between $10 and $20 billion, a much higher estimate than the projected $5 billion. The group is calling for an independent watchdog group that would oversee all Olympics budget auditing, as well as removal of a clause in the Boston bid that states budget overruns not covered by private and public donations could be passed on to the state.

A privately backed bid to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Boston was submitted on December 1, 2014 and selected earlier this year by the United States Olympic Committee. Boston beat out Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. for the official U.S. bid and was selected to compete with candidate cities around the world.

If Boston is selected by the International Olympic Committee, the economic impact of the Olympics may be felt across the state of Massachusetts, including cities such as Worcester.

Assumption students pursuing a degree in business, who may be interested in the debate over the economic pros and cons of 2024 Boston Olympics can choose from a number of economics courses that may help inform their perspective on the issue. Some of the economics courses offered at Assumption include: ECO 110 Microeconomics, ECO 111 Macroeconomics, ECO 115 Statistics, and ECO 325 Corporate Finance.

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