Boston 2024 ended its Olympic bid deep in debt

Now the bidding group is in financial purgatory.

Boston’s Olympic bid collapsed in July.
Boston’s Olympic bid collapsed in July. –REUTERS

The public dissent that led the United States Olympic Committee to drop Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Games was largely fueled by financial concerns—namely, that hosting the Olympics could mean big debt for the city and the state. Apparently, just bidding on the games for a few months meant big debt for Boston 2024, the private group that led the ill-fated effort.

The Boston Globe reports that when the bid collapsed in late July, Boston 2024 faced a deficit of about $3.5 million. The group owed employees, consultants, and vendors more than $4 million, and had just over a half million in cash on hand.

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The Globe cites one unnamed source in saying the debt has since shrunk to under $1 million through negotiations with vendors, by identifying mistakes in its financial statements, and through new donations the group has managed to wrangle even as the opportunity to host the Olympics in Boston is now long gone (the USOC is on to L.A.). According to the Globe, Boston 2024 hopes to keep bringing in donations in the coming weeks before it can close the gap and shutter for good.

The Boston Olympic bid teetered for months amid low public support and tottered with each rumor that the United States Olympic Committee could pull the plug. Potential donors were put in the awkward position of wondering whether to donate while watching the bid struggle, the Globe’s Shirley Leung wrote in June.

At the same time, Boston 2024 may have had a tough time courting the wealthy in the first place. A new survey from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, released earlier this week and conducted in June and July, found that 70 percent of high net worth investors opposed the Olympic bid.

High net worth investors are defined as those with more than $100,000 in investable assets, meaning it accounts for the well-off, not just the super-rich who are key to funding Olympic bids. But Morgan Stanley found support was equally low among even the most wealthy of those surveyed, with 26 supporters compared to 75 opponents in that cohort.

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Read the full Globe story here.

Boston’s Olympic bid: The players

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