SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new poll from Western New England University shows that Massachusetts voters narrowly oppose bringing the 2024 Olympic Games to Boston, with the strongest opposition being in the area where most of the events would take place. The survey, released Friday, found that state voters are leaning against the bid by a 6 percent margin, 40-46%, with 14% still undecided.
Boston was selected by the United States Olympic Committee to be the country’s bidder for the games, and will compete with other world cities such as Paris, Rome, and Hamburg. A final decision by the International Olympic Committee is not expected until 2017.
The survey of 499 adults included both registered voters, and people who are not voters. When those non-voters (77 of the survey sample) are taken into account, the margin of opposition to the Olympics decreases by five points.
In terms of voters, opposition to the games is fairly consistent across the political spectrum, with Democrats, Republicans, and unenrolled voters all opposing the bid. The big difference came when gender was taken into account, with men favoring the Boston bid 46-40%, while women opposed it by a large margin, 34-51%.
The voters most likely to support the bid actually come from the area farthest away from Boston- western Massachusetts residents surveyed back the games 54-34%, while every other region opposed the games. The strongest opposition was in Boston and its suburbs where 35% of respondents were in favor, with 48% opposed.
Backers of the Olympic bid cited the prestige the games would bring to Boston as the top reason for supporting the 2024 games. They also said that visitors and athletes could help bring lots of money into the local economy. Opponents said their top reason for being against the bid is that tax money would have to be spent on the games, while others said the city lacks the necessary transportation infrastructure for such an event.
Survey respondents were warm to the idea of spreading the games beyond Boston, with 72% of registered voters saying they would like to see some events held elsewhere around the state. Still, 51% of those surveyed said that this would make no difference in terms of their opinion on hosting the games.