Local enthusiasm for the Olympic bid will rise now the arduous winter is over, bid officials hope ©Getty Images

Steve Pagliuca, the new chairman of Boston's bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, has claimed concerns over the bid's budget will soon "fade into the background" and that the end of the city's harshest winter in over a century will lead an increase in support for the campaign. 

Despite the bid process not officially beginning for another three months, Boston has already faced a torrent of local criticism and opposition, with Boston Celtics co-owner and Bain Capital executive Pagliuca replacing John Fish last month as part of an attempt to regain momentum.

Almost every step they have made has faced scathing analysis, with reports surfacing last week suggesting the bid will be reliant on a proportion of public money provoking another storm of negative reports.

But, speaking to insidethegames, Pagliuca has vowed once again that the process will be fully open and transparent, with an Independent Commission having been appointed to ensure full compliance.

He also believes the end of the winter - where Boston endured a highs of 110.6 inches of snow, the most since records began in 1872 - will lead to heightened popular enthusiasm, as the public will now be able to focus more on future events.

"It was such a long winter, it basically stopped the city," he said.

"They weren’t going for anything."

Pagliuca spoke shortly before the release of a Quarterly Report outlining how $2.8 million (£2.5 million/€1.8 million) has been raised so far this year in comparison with $2 million (£1.3 million/€1.8 million) spent.

In total, $14 million (£9 million/€12.5 million) in cash and value-in-kind has now been raised.

This is "one of the strongest fundraising starts ever for a Bid City", it is claimed.

Together with his wife Cyndy, former chairman FIsh was the biggest individual donor, with the pair having contributed between $1 million (£650,000/€900,000) and $2 million (£1.3 million/€1.8 million).

Steve Pagliuca (centre) pictured as part of a Boston 2024 delegation which visited Lausanne last week for meetings with the IOC
Steve Pagliuca (centre) pictured as part of a Boston 2024 delegation which visited Lausanne last week for meetings with the IOC

Pagliuca claimed the bid team are now focused on their venue plan and on "trying to find what is good for the community", following last week's release of plans to hold sailing at New Bedford's Buzzards Bay.

This will be focused around the Widett Circle area in the south of the city, with around 25 or 26 venues, including the main Stadium and the Athletes' Village, to be held there.

"We will start to roll out more information and then reveal the whole venue plan at the end of June or beginning of July," he told insidethegames.

"We are listening to everyone and want a venue plan that is good for the community, good for Boston and good for the Olympics."

He spoke positively following a recent visit to Lausanne to meet with International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials, who advised them to "conform with the Agenda 2020 reform process as much as possible".

He also dismissed the well-publicised comments of US IOC member Angela Ruggiero about the possibility remaining for the US bid to come from elsewhere.

Ruggiero, who accompanied the Boston delegation here to the Olympic capital, warned there could be “no guarantees” Boston would be America's candidate.

That appeared to open the possibility for the likes of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C - the three cities beaten in the domestic race which ended in January - to revive their ambitions.

But Ruggiero's remarks were based on a technical question and were "taken out of context", Pagliuca claimed.

Boston 2024 has retained the full support of the United States Olympic Committee and its chairman, Larry Probst, Pagliuca insisted, adding that as far as they are concerned, it remains "full speed ahead".

A host city is not due to be chosen by the IOC until 2017, with the bid process officially opening on September 15.

Rome and Hamburg are other confirmed bidders, with Paris and Budapest also poised to launch attempts. 

To read the full Boston 2024 Quarterly Report click 


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