Ignored or included? Western Massachusetts’ role in Boston 2024 plan

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Boston 2024 organizers continue to unveil their new Olympic plan.  22News discovered if western Massachusetts is still in the conversation.

Olympic organizers have started to shift away from their original plan of a walk-able games.  We should know in the next few weeks if Western Massachusetts will have any involvement in their Olympic plans.

“I think it would be a perfect place,” said Agawam’s Tyrra Minto.

Springfield is the birthplace of basketball.   Holyoke is the birthplace of Volleyball.  To have some involvement in a Boston Olympics makes sense.

“We wouldn’t expect to have the finals or anything like that so I think there is some infrastructure that is already in place,” said George Mulry, Executive Director of the International Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke.

Olympic organizers are now looking at communities that need jobs and redevelopment both Springfield and Holyoke fit that bill, but will western Massachusetts be ignored?

“It’s a big challenge and truthfully I don’t know the answer to that yet,” said Mulry.

Western Massachusetts groups are talking with Boston 2024 organizers.   They have suggested hosting preliminary events in basketball and volleyball.

“I think one of the key things is to utilize existing venues, to not waste any private or public monies building something new that’s only going to be used one time so utilizing places like UMass or the Mass Mutual Center would allow Holyoke to be a host,” said State Rep. Aaron Vega, (D) Holyoke.

Rick Sullivan with the Economic Development Council of western Massachusetts told 22News having any Olympic involvement would have a long term tourism impact in our region.

Other ideas floated out there for western Massachusetts include white water events along the Deerfield River, equestrian at the Eastern States Exposition, cycling and staging athletes and/or their equipment at Westover Air Reserve Base.

The International Olympic Committee will select  it’s finalists for the 2024 games next spring.

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