Boston Mayor refuses to sign host contract for 2024 Olympics

Boston’s mayor delivered a harsh blow to the city’s effort to host the 2024 Olympics when he declared Monday that he wouldn’t sign any document “that puts one dollar of taxpayer money on the line for one penny of overruns on the Olympics.”

That document is the host city contract that has to be signed by government leaders before any city can be chosen as host. Mayor Marty Walsh made his announcement at a hastily called news conference that coincided with Gov. Charlie Baker’s meeting with the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The USOC was pressing Baker for assurances that he would back the bid. But following the governor’s meeting, an administration spokeswoman said Baker reiterated to the USOC that he had to wait for a report from a consulting group, due next month, before making any decision on whether to lend his support.

Olympic bids need strong support from key city leaders. The USOC board was meeting later Monday to discuss the future of the bid. Baker’s recalcitrance, combined with an about-face from a previously supportive Walsh, gives the board an opening to pull the plug on Boston, where public support has lagged. Los Angeles would be the most likely fill-in candidate if the USOC decides to go that direction.

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