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Celtics co-owner Pagliuca joins LA Olympic board

Steve Pagliuca.Keith Bedford/Globe Staff

Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, the Bain Capital executive who was brought in to lead Boston’s brief Olympic bid last year, has joined the board of Los Angeles 2024, the campaign to bring the Summer Games to LA in eight years.

In his volunteer position, Pagliuca will help the LA effort with international relations, and will advise on strategic planning and financing, he said in a Globe interview. He was invited to join by LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman.

“The thinking was all that time that we spent on our bid would be valuable to bring to LA,” Pagliuca said.

Los Angeles took over as the US bid city after Boston’s Olympic effort collapsed last July. LA 2024 is trying to bring the Summer Games back to the US for the first time since the 1996 Atlanta Games.


Los Angeles is competing with international bids from Paris, Budapest and Rome. A bid from Hamburg, Germany failed in a public referendum last November. The Rome bid may be in jeopardy, too, due to the recent election of a bid opponent as the city’s new mayor.

“I’m excited about our chances because we have a great committee, huge public support and governmental support, and that’s a great combination to win the Games,” Pagliuca said.

A Loyola Marymount University poll released in February found that 88 percent of adults in LA County support the bid.

With a bid team originally led by construction magnate John Fish, Boston in January 2015 was named the US bid city for the 2024 Games.

But the city’s brief fling with the Olympics was dragged down and eventually snuffed out by a lack of public support and a passionate opposition movement. Public surveys consistently measured support below 50 percent, and the low poll numbers ultimately doomed the bid.


Pagliuca took the helm of Boston 2024 in May 2015, and marshaled the bid team for one all-out effort to change public perception with a new venue and financing plan, which came to be known as bid 2.0. But public perception barely budged and the bid collapsed in late July.

The US Olympic Committee quickly regrouped and made a deal with LA, which hosted the Summer Games in 1932 and 1984.

Pagliuca said he is “not at all” jaded by Boston’s Olympic failure, and that the research he did as head of Boston 2024 convinced him the Olympics can benefit a city.

The International Olympic Committee will choose the 2024 host city in 2017.

Mark Arsenault can be reached at mark.arsenault@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bostonglobemark.