Statewide support for Olympic bid hits new low, poll says

Massachusetts voters continue to oppose by a significant margin Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, according to a new poll that found support for the bid has hit a new low.

The WBUR poll indicated that 49 percent of voters statewide oppose bringing the Olympics to Boston in 2024 and 39 percent support the effort — the lowest level of any statewide poll so far, according to Steve Koczela, the MassINC pollster who took the radio station’s survey.

The anemic results suggest the community meetings, athlete endorsements, and other efforts by Olympic organizers to regain public confidence have not yet succeeded. But there was one bright spot for Olympic organizers in the survey.


If Olympic venues were spread across Massachusetts, the poll found that support for the bid would rise, with 51 percent of voters statewide backing the effort and 37 percent opposed to it.

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Boston 2024, the bid committee, has said it is planning to move some venues to other locations across the state, but will keep most of them in Boston, when it releases a revamped version of its bid by June 30.

Earlier this month, it announced that one event, sailing, would be relocated from Boston Harbor to Buzzards Bay off the coast of New Bedford.

Erin Murphy, chief operating officer of Boston 2024, expressed confidence that support for the bid would grow once the public sees more details about the committee's plan for a privately financed Games that “will bring the significant and lasting economic benefits and have a positive impact on affordable housing, transportation, and public infrastructure.”

“Today’s poll shows support growing if some venues are placed across the state, which Boston 2024 has already started with last week’s announcement of sailing in New Bedford,” she said in a statement.


Koczela said the overall drop in support is significant because it shows that public backing for the bid has not rebounded, even as the massive winter snowstorms — which Boston 2024 initially blamed for its poor poll numbers — have been replaced by summer sunshine.

He said the weak support may also reflect the disclosure earlier this month of the complete Olympic bid book, which revealed that Boston 2024 had privately suggested using public financing for land and infrastructure costs at the Olympic stadium in South Boston.

Koczela said the revelation played into fears that Boston 2024 has hidden some aspects of its plan from the public.

The poll was based on a live telephone survey of 502 registered voters in Massachusetts who were interviewed between June 4 and June 6. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Michael Levenson can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @mlevenson.