BOSTON (WWLP) – The birthplace of basketball will not be the site of the gold medal game for Olympic and Paralympic basketball, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Springfield will not be included if Boston is chosen to host the 2024 summer games.
In a ceremony Thursday including soon-to-be-enshrined Basketball Hall of Famer JoJo White and Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, the TD Garden was announced as the location for the men’s and women’s basketball finals in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The arena will also be home to all Olympic gymnastics and trampoline events.
Boston 2024, the organization that has been organizing Boston’s bid for the games, is increasingly looking outside the city for venues. Their original plan had promoted a “walkable” Olympics, with venues confined largely to a single area of the city, but with polls showing greater support for a more “statewide” bid, their plans are spreading out. There has been speculation that Springfield could host at least some Olympic basketball games as part of the plan.
Boston 2024 recently announced intentions to hold Olympic beach volleyball events in Quincy, Olympic sailing on Buzzards Bay off New Bedford, and shooting events at a range located in Billerica. The organization is expected to have more venue announcements in the coming weeks, and it’s still not clear where all of the basketball games will be held.
The decision to host the basketball finals in Boston is not exactly surprising, given the large capacity of the TD Garden. The Garden can accommodate 19,600 people, while the MassMutual Center in Springfield can hold only about 7,300 for basketball.
The International Olympic Committee will make a final decision on a host city for the 2024 games in 2017.