Local residents voice support & concern for the 2024 Olympics

A majority of people at these public meetings have been against the games

This artist's rendering released Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 by the Boston 2024 planning committee shows a proposed pedestrian boulevard along a channel running to a temporary Olympic stadium in Boston, if the city is awarded the Summer Olympic games in 2024. Boston goes up against potential bids from Rome, Paris, Germany and South Africa. The International Olympic Committee is scheduled to make its decision in 2017. (AP Photo/Boston 2024)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Boston 2024 group met at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Thursday night, to answer you questions and concerns about potentially hosting the summer 2024 Olympics in Boston. This was 1 of 20 visits Boston 2024 is making across the state.

Meetings have already been held in Boston, Lowell, and Cambridge. Some are hopeful hosting the games will help the state. Carol-Regina Ramsey of Springfield said, “Actually I would, because it’d bring tourists and lots of money to the state.”

A majority of people have voiced concern about funding the events .Boston 2024 CEO Richard Davey said the games would be privately funded, and taxpayer dollars would only be used for event security.

“Others have talked about transportation, and there’s an opportunity over the next 9 years to fix our transportation system,” says Davey.”In fact, whether we have the Olympic games or not, we have to fix our transportation system.”

Boston 2024 has proposed a plan that would make the Boston Olympics the most walkable games in history, unless Western Massachusetts were involved. Congressman Richard Neil and Holyoke mayor Alex Morse both support having some events in Western Mass. Volleyball would be in Holyoke and basketball in Springfield… the birthplaces of each of those sports.

A volleyball hall of fame director wanted to hear how visitors could get to his venue in Holyoke.

“Whether the infrastructure that’s going to be done in Boston includes anything out here in Western Mass, you know, is a concern to us,” says Rick Barry, Vice President of the board of directors of the Volleyball Hall of Fame. “Especially with the construction of the new train stations here in Springfield and in Holyoke.”

Tim Daggett, Olympic gold medalist for the men’s gymnastics team, encouraged people to look at the possibilities rather than the problems. The U.S. Olympic Commission denies rumors saying they will drop the Boston bid because of little public support.

The next Boston 2024 meeting is in Malden on April 7th.

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