No love for Boston: Public support continues to lag for city's Olympic bid

No love for Boston: Public support continues to lag for city's Olympic bid
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks during a news conference at the TD Garden, which could host basketball and gymnastics events during the 2024 Summer Games. (Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

Boston residents remain skeptical of their city's planned bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, according to a poll released Friday.

Only 40% of residents support the idea of hosting the Games, radio station WBUR found. That number remains unchanged from April.


Statewide, support has risen slightly — from 39% to 42% — in recent weeks.

About half of the respondents in the city and throughout Massachusetts oppose hosting the Games. Cost has been the primary concern.

"Despite more than two years of salesmanship from Olympic boosters, Massachusetts voters ... do not trust the boosters to protect scarce tax dollars," a group called No Boston Olympics said in a statement.

Boston 2024 officials said they were encouraged by other results from the poll, though.

Statewide, 63% of respondents said they had not closely followed news of the revised "Bid 2.0," which was released late last month. It includes several changes — including venues spread throughout the state — aimed at spurring interest.

Bid officials hope that as the new proposal becomes more widely known, poll numbers will improve.

There appears to be some wiggle room, with 44% of respondents on both sides of the issue saying they were open to changing their minds.

"Boston 2024 is working hard to ensure that the people of Boston and the commonwealth have accurate information about the proposal ... as well as ample opportunities to voice their opinions and participate in the process," Erin Murphy, the committee's chief operating officer, said in a statement. "We are confident the numbers will continue to trend upward as more residents take a closer look at our plans."

It was last winter that Boston defeated Los Angeles in a close race to be the sole U.S. bidder. Two other candidates — San Francisco and Washington, D.C. — finished farther back in the competition.

With the Boston 2024 campaign struggling all spring, U.S. Olympic Committee officials recently stuck by their choice but warned that they want to see an increase in public support.

Follow David Wharton on Twitter @LATimesWharton