How Does Boston 2024 Pay Stack Up?

Boston 2024 CEO Rich Davey (left) is making $300,000 per year. John Fish, the group’s chairman, is not pulling a salary.
Boston 2024 CEO Rich Davey (left) is making $300,000 per year. John Fish, the group’s chairman, is not pulling a salary. –The Boston Globe

Boston 2024 is paying the staff it has on hand so far about $1.4 million per year, the Olympic bidding nonprofit disclosed Monday. That’s between 10 employees, with the highest paid employee — CEO Rich Davey — making $300,000 per year and the lowest making $55,000. (You can see the full list here.)

So, we know what Boston 2024’s paying. But how does it compare to other recent U.S. Olympic bids, Chicago 2016 (which lost out to 2016 host city Rio de Janeiro in October of 2009) and NYC2012 (whose bid to bring the Olympics to the Big Apple in 2012 ended when the International Olympic Committee chose London in July of 2005)?

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It’s still early in the international bidding process for the 2024 Olympics. Boston 2024 has a good two and a half years to go as it tries to convince the IOC to give the games to Boston, and its staffing situation will change between now and then. At this point, though, its top salary numbers look similar to its most recent predecessors. It’s probably too soon to say how overall staff pay and its use of consultants will compare.

Top Pay

Davey, Boston 2024’s CEO, is making $300,000 per year. The group’s COO, Erin Murphy, is making $215,000 per year. John Fish is chairing Boston 2024 as a volunteer and is not pulling a salary.

Chicago 2016 published a look at three years’ worth of finances in June 2009, a few months before the IOC passed it over.

Its highest paid employee—COO Dave Bolger—matched Davey’s $300,000 salary.

Three others made $250,000 per year, including Chicago 2016 President Lori Healey, who had been chief of staff to then-Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. Two other Chicago 2016 employees made at least $200,000 per year. Chicago 2016’s chairman and CEO, insurance executive Pat Ryan, like Fish, did not take a salary.

NYC2012’s salary and financial data is less readily available than Chicago’s, but its IRS filings provide some information. (Boston.com was able to immediately obtain its 2004 and 2005 filings.) Executive director—Jay Kriegel, a longtime strategic and communications adviser for businesses and government, according to his Bloomberg profile—was paid $287,000 in 2004 and $226,000 in 2005 (the year in which the IOC made its decision). Its director of operations, Andrew Kimball, made $154,000 for the full year of operations in 2004 and made $113,000 in 2005.

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The first engineer of NYC2012’s bid—a private equity type, Dan Doctorff—left the group to work in the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg as an economic development chief before the bid got to the IOC phase. Doctoroff worked closely with the bid in City Hall, where he followed Bloomberg’s lead and took a dollar per year as his annual salary.

Other staff

So far, including Davey, Boston 2024’s ten employees make a total just shy of $1.4 million per year. The group is still staffing up; at past public meetings, Davey has suggested the total number of paid staff would be in the 20s—which would put it well short of the size of Chicago’s and New York’s committees. Boston 2024 is also planning to work with volunteers and interns, but for the time being, the average employee is making $139,000 per year, with a median salary of $120,000. If the rest of its staffing is more heavily focused on junior employees, that number would stand to come down.

Chicago 2016 counted a total of 57 employees in June of 2009. On top of the aforementioned top brass earning at least $200,000 per year, six employees made between $100,000 and $200,000 per year, 28 made between $50,000 and $100,000, and 19 made under $50,000. In addition to paid staff, Chicago also had “loaned employees’’ from other Chicago companies working on the bid, as well as 12 contractors and groups of volunteers and interns. In total, this made for a workforce of 153.

Chicago 2016 said staff and contractor pay combined totaled $6.2 million per year by the end of the bid. That works out to $89,850 per consultant and staff member, though Chicago 2016 said that by including loaned employees, interns, and volunteers, the number came down to about $44,000.

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In New York, the bidding group’s top paid employees made less than Chicago 2016’s. Aside from NYC2012’s top two executives, Kriegel and Kimball, only three others made more than $120,000 in 2004.

Overall, NYC2012 paid about $3.5 million in salary in 2004. Kriegel, the executive director, told Boston.com that the group employed about 55 people during the international bidding process, but it fluxed from time to time. Using that number of employees (55), though, NYC2012 would have paid about $63,600 per staff member in 2004, which adjusts up to $77,940 today when you account for inflation.

In 2005, NYC2012 paid $2.7 million in salary. But it’s harder to say how that works out on a per-employee basis over the course of the year, because by early July the IOC had already chosen London, and NYC2012 began winding down operations.

Consultants

Boston 2024 is also working with 18 companies or individuals as consultants, and pays them monthly. It recently added former Gov. Deval Patrick, who is being paid a $7,500 per diem rate on when he works (it’s not yet clear how often that will be). The highest paid monthly consultant—fundraising consultancy SCR & Associates—is making $20,000 per month. Other companies or individuals doing consulting work are making as much as $15,000 per month or as little as $2,500 monthly. If Boston 2024 keeps all of their consultants around for the full bidding process and at their current rates, it will pay them a total of somewhere around $4 million.

Those consultants are local, and for the most part specialize in things like fundraising, communications, and political operations. Judging by Chicago’s and New York’s bidding processes, Boston 2024 will also eventually pay for lots of other consultants with Olympics expertise.

Chicago 2016, for example, reported spending more than $11 million on “subject matter experts,’’ which appears to align with the consultancy terminology, as of June 2009. At the time of the report, the group spent $4.6 million on venue and operations specialists; $3 million for international relations; $1.1 million for PR and media relations; $480,000 for government relations; $635,000 for fundraising; $413,000 for marketing; and $542,000 for environmental experts.

Chicago 2016’s highest paid contractor made more than $3.1 million in the 36 months ending June 2009, which works out to $86,000 per month, for media and international relations expertise. During those three years, its other highest paid consultants made between $1.25 million ($34,790 per month) and $530,000 ($14,743 per month).

NYC2012’s Kriegel, meanwhile, said it is difficult to ballpark a guess for the number of consultants that worked on the bid. But he said some were international and that the total was “more than 2,000’’—some of whom were involved consistently, and some who came in for meetings here and there. “Their engagement varies,’’ Kriegel said. “Using the word ‘consultant’ is a little tricky here.’’

In Boston 2024’s case, somebody like Patrick is being paid on a per diem basis, and it’s not clear at this point how often he will work. That’s in contrast to the group of consultants being paid monthly. That list includes companies like PR firm Northwind Strategies, which is deeply involved with the bid and handling all press inquiries.

Overall, NYC2012 paid its top consultant about $25,000 per month in 2004. Its other top consultants that year made between $7,600 and $9,200 per month. In 2005—again, a shortened year for the group, as the IOC made its decision in July—NYC2012 paid its top consultant $182,687. It’s not clear how many months that pay was spread across.

Like Boston 2024’s employee count, time will tell how its consultant stable grows, and how consultants are accounted for by the group.

Bidding budget

The plan is for all of these costs during the bidding process to be covered privately.

Boston 2024 says it will pay for its bidding expenses with $75 million raised in donations. Like Chicago and New York, Boston 2024’s focus will be on local donors, while the United States Olympic Committee will not seek donations from within the region, The Boston Globe reported a couple weeks ago.

NYC2012’s bidding budget during the IOC selection phase was about $55 million, Kriegel told Boston.com, all of which he said came from private donations.

Chicago 2016 raised a bit more than $75 million in its bidding effort during the next Olympic cycle. It spent $70.6 million of it. After losing out to Rio in 2009, some top executives received bonuses, and the leftover $6.8 million was donated to a youth sports nonprofit, according to a 2010 article from Crain’s Chicago Business.

The heavy bulk of Chicago 2016’s funding came in the form of donations, but a thin fraction came from merchandise sales and event revenue. Boston 2024’s plan draws on those ideas some, as it has also worked quarterly events and merchandise into its bidding budget in hopes of earning about $1.5 million between the two options.

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