Latest WBUR/MassINC Poll Shows that Boston Area Residents Still Say No to #Boston2024
April 16, 2015
WBUR and MassINC just released their latest poll on public support for the Boston 2024 bid, and it shows that Boston area residents oppose hosting the Olympics here 50% to 40%.
The numbers look slightly better for Boston 2024 than they did last month, when support was 36% and opposition 52%. However, when you’re calling 40% support a comeback, you know things aren’t looking good. Especially when the bump could just be “statistical noise.”
Support for hosting the Olympics is higher in Boston proper than it is in the rest of the metro area. Boston residents support the bid 47% to 41%, a lukewarm plurality. The rest of the metro area opposes the bid 54% to 37%.
Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville registered strong opposition in the poll. When they tested the “inner core” (Boston + these three), they found 47% to 42% opposition. If the number of respondents was proportional to the relative population of this inner ring to the city itself, that means that the residents of Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville oppose the bid 2:1.
When residents were asked to choose which city they thought should host the 2024 Summer Olympics (with choices of Boston, the other three US finalists, Paris, Rome, and Hamburg), only 25% chose Boston. Another 25% chose another US city, and 36% chose one of the European cities. When given a choice of other cities, only 59% of Boston 2024’s supporters stuck with Boston. Only 33% of Boston residents and 21% of those in the rest of the metro area chose Boston when asked.
When asked how likely it is that hosting the Olympics will cost much more than is currently estimated, 89% said “somewhat” or “very” likely (with the latter at a whopping 68%). The public also showed skepticism toward Boston 2024’s housing promises. 72% of respondents found it “not too” or “not at all” likely that the Olympics will result in more affordable housing in the Boston area, with 48% saying “not at all likely.”
Boston 2024 often talks about catalyzing a discussion about transportation investment (while also claiming not to be advocating for any additional money to be spent), but the public is evenly split on this question. 48% found it “very” or “somewhat” likely that the Olympics will leave Boston with a better transportation system than otherwise, whereas 46% found that claim “not too” or “not at all” likely. Only 18% found this to be “very” likely, whereas 28% found it “not at all” likely.
Boston are residents continue to be rightfully skeptical of Boston 2024. Marty Walsh and Boston 2024 should save themselves further embarrassment and just pull the bid. Then we can all start really focusing on issues like affordable housing and transportation without an Olympics looming over us.