Governor Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg will be pleased to learn that there is no need to spend state funds to commission a $250,000 independent analysis of the financial impact of bringing the 2024 Summer Olympics to Boston (“Beacon Hill leaders seek Olympic consultant,” Metro, March 24). An array of past independent analyses has already been compiled by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, and it’s available on the center’s website, free of charge.
A cursory survey of the studies indicates that claims of Olympics producing substantial economic benefits are unjustified, job growth is transitory, property values increase (do we really need that?), no long-term impact is seen on either trade or total employment for the host city, and long-term economic legacy effects appear to be modest.
If those studies are not enough for our leaders on Beacon Hill, maybe a few phone calls would do the trick. I suggest reaching out to Allison Stewart of the University of Oxford, whose research suggests that Olympics tend to have cost overruns of about 180 percent on average, or to Victor Matheson, an economist at the College of the Holy Cross, whose research challenges the myth that major events, such as the Olympics, provide large economic dividends for host cities.
If the state does have $250,000 to spare, I am sure that Linda Spears, new commissioner of the Department of Children and Families, has some ideas about how it could be put to good use (“Now at helm, activist finds limits,” Page A1, March 19).