Updated with comments from Boston Olympics critics.
One of the main criticisms about Boston hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics is the potential cost to the city and state. But the leaders of Boston2024 said they expect to make money on the Games.
The major question chairman Steve Pagliuca asked and answered today during a press conference announcing Boston2024’s Version 2.0: Can we run a privately-funded Games with a surplus? Yes, he said, to the tune of $210 million.
“That creates a contingency-slash-surplus,’’ Pagliuca said. “It’s a surplus if we don’t use the contingency.’’
Pagliuca said the group expects to generate about $4.8 billion in revenue, though that number may creep above $5 billion. Organizers expect to sell 9.1 million tickets, making $1.25 billion, with the rest of the money coming from sponsorships and licensing.
Costs will include $754 million to build venues (including a temporary stadium), $921 million for support services, and $128 million for an insurance policy. The total costs are estimated at $4.595 billion.
The 2012 London games, which the Boston2024 group has closely modeled itself after, had a surplus of 52.8 million pounds, or about $83 million.
Boston2024 said it will more than double that surplus.
But if that doesn’t happen, the group No Boston Olympics said today, there’s nothing that protects taxpayers in Massachusetts from cost overruns.
“The promise of a surplus has been heard in host cities before, but public debt and under-utilized venues have been the typical post-Olympics reality,’’ the statement said. “If Boston 2024 believes in the soundness of its own projections, it should state in writing that it will disavow the taxpayer guarantee that the International Olympic Committee has asked of every host except Los Angeles in 1984.’’
Evan Falchuk, a third-party candidate for governor in 2014 and a leader behind a referendum on the Olympics, said the 2.0 proposal “still doesn’t get at the fundamental problem … that taxpayers are on the hook for cost overruns and revenue shortfalls.’’
He didn’t see anything positive in the new version of the plan.
“There’s nothing they’ve presented today that says now we should trust them,’’ he said.
Proposed venues for Boston Olympics