A new poll of Massachusetts residents indicates that Bay State residents are not exactly embracing the idea of hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics in Boston, less than three weeks before a key United States Olympic Committee meeting to determine what to do next in the bid to land the Games.
A survey of 502 registered Massachusetts voters, commissioned by WBUR, a Boston public radio station, showed that 49 percent of those who responded said they oppose the idea of holding the Olympics in the Boston region. Thirty-nine percent were in favor.
“To see support 10 points behind opposition just isn’t a number that I would imagine they’re going to be excited about,” pollster Steve Koczela said of the private local Olympics organizing group Boston 2024.
The USOC announced in January that it would back a bid from Boston to win the 2024 Games over bids from Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Although a decision from the International Olympic Committee on the site will not be made for two more years, it has set a Sept. 15 deadline for interested nations to finalize their domestic selection process.
The USOC will next meet on June 30. Though board member Angela Ruggiero suggested at a recent Boston city council meeting that the city’s bid was not a done deal, USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun has repeatedly publicly supported Boston’s bid and denied speculation that the committee is looking for another city.
The WBUR poll found, meanwhile, the concept of public support for the Olympics in a Massachusetts-wide setting to be a more popular idea. When respondents were asked if they favored an Olympics with events spread throughout the state, support rose to 51 percent with those opposed at 37 percent.
Boston 2024 announced last week that it will move Olympic sailing events to New Bedford, rather than in Boston Harbor, the original plan. The organizing group has agreed to abide by the results of a 2016 state-wide referendum on whether to move forward with an Olympic bid.