Gateway Cities Innovation Institute applauds Boston 2024 Selection of New Bedford to Host Sailing



Contact: Winthrop Roosevelt
(617) 224-1625

Statement: Gateway Cities Innovation Institute Applauds
Boston 2024 selection of New Bedford to Host Sailing

The Gateway Cities Innovation Institute applauds Boston 2024 for revising their initial bid for the Olympic Games to include New Bedford as the venue for the sailing competition. Locating the Olympic Yachting Center in New Bedford and Buzzards Bay, a water body whose steady winds have long made it a training ground for Olympic sailors, is not only a logical location for the global competition but also a unique opportunity to use the investment in the games to transform this vital regional city. We hope that Boston2024 will continue to expand the concept for the games to regions beyond Boston. 

While the net economic benefits of the Olympics remain uncertain, including Gateway Cities like New Bedford in a truly Commonwealth Olympics would fit with the urgent policy priority to find bold new strategies expand growth and economic development beyond Route 128.

In this context, it is particularly critical to think carefully about when and where public subsidy for the games is appropriate. A complete prohibition on public funding for Olympic facilities could lead to missed opportunities. If an Olympic facility located in a Gateway City can be retrofitted in ways that generate long-term benefit for the host community, then public subsidy should be on the table. In Boston, where Olympic facilities are unlikely to have transformative effects, this test presents a high bar. In many Gateway Cities, a smart approach to facilities could stimulate revitalization and, over time, pay dividends to Massachusetts taxpayers.

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