Washington: Boston`s troubled bid for the 2024 Olympics suffered another blow on Friday as Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker reiterated he could not give backing to the event until he`s reviewed an independent report of its finances.
"It would be inappropriate for me, or for the Senate president, or for the speaker, to commit the Commonwealth one way or the other until we get that report," Baker told a press conference on Friday, according to the Boston Globe. "I appreciate that the timing in all this is frustrating."
Baker`s comment could potentially complicate matters for the US Olympic Committee, which faces a September 15 deadline to submit a formal bid to the International Olympic Committee.
In June, the USOC reaffirmed Boston as America`s 2024 Summer Games candidate despite strong local opposition.
Support from Baker could boost the bid`s viability, but the governor said that when he speaks to USOC officials on Monday he will tell them he won`t make up his mind until he`s seen the report from the Brattle Group, which is expected to include an investigation into the likelihood of cost overruns and financial liabilities to the state.
Baker said that he and other state officials would not sign an open-ended commitment that Massachusetts would cover cost overruns, the Globe reported.
The Boston bid committee has continued this week to try to allay fears that local taxpayers could end up with a substantial bill for the Games.
On Thursday bid leaders released details of insurance proposals that could minimize risk to taxpayers.
The bid group, which is a private entity, estimated the insurance would cost about $128 million, and would pay out in case of events being cancelled, sponsors failing to meet their obligations, or costs for lower than expected ticket sales and attendance.
But one local opposition group argued that the insurance wouldn`t protect taxpayers if the budget underestimates building costs or if the scope of Olympc projects changes over time.
A televised debate between bid officials and opponents on Thursday was followed on Friday by the release of an unredacted version of the original Boston bid, submitted when Boston beat out three other cities to gain the USOC nod.
Although they made the documents available, Boston 2024 officials say the original bid has been superseded by a revised "bid 2.0."