Statewide Olympic venues gain more support

The capacity of the Hall of Fame is half of the TD Garden

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – State Senate President Stan Rosenberg announced Thursday he agrees with House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s suggestion that some Olympic activities take place in western Massachusetts, if Boston gets to host the 2024 Summer Games.

The current plan for the Boston 2024 Summer Olympics places 28 of 33 venues within a six-mile radius in Greater Boston. Organizers want it to be the “most walkable games in modern times.”

However, DeLeo and Rosenberg want some venues in western Massachusetts. Affiliated Chambers of Commerce President Jeff Ciuffreda told 22News it would require major planning to accommodate all the athletes and visitors.

TD Garden, a venue proposed to host a basketball final, can hold more than 17,000 people. In Springfield, the birthplace of basketball, the MassMutual Center holds less than half, 8,000; and the Mullins Center in Amherst has the capacity of about 9,500.

With the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield and the Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke, Ciuffreda believes it can be done.

“We were concerned that all of that money being spent in Boston would mean there wouldn’t be any spent out here. So by broadening the scope, by bringing some events out here, which we are very capable of putting on, hopefully some of our infrastructure needs would be met at the same time,” Ciuffreda said.

The Boston Organizing Committee hasn’t said yet whether they would consider changing any aspects of the plan to include other venues across the state.

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