Getting to No: Examining How No Boston Olympics Won the Fight Over the 2024 Summer Games


Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 4:10pm to 6:30pm


Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, 124 Mount Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

The debate over whether the Boston area should have played host to the 2024 Summer Olympic Games resulted in a stinging defeat for those in the city’s political and financial establishment who publicly threw their weight behind the Olympic bid.  A well-funded local organizing committee backed by prominent members of the Boston business community operating with the blessing of much of the city’s political leadership failed to convince the majority of Bostonians that hosting the 2024 Summer Games would be a net positive for the city and commonwealth. 

No Boston Olympics protestThat Boston would be the sole United States bid city appeared all but certain after the U.S. Olympic Committee selected Boston in January, 2015 as its nominee to host the first Olympic Summer Games in the U.S. in nearly three decades.  Seven months later the bid was withdrawn amid floundering public opinion polls and the dogged opposition of No Boston Olympics, a small volunteer-led grassroots organization operating on a shoestring budget.  No Boston Olympics demonstrated how through the savvy use social media and creative organizing, they were able to counter the well-funded outreach efforts of the Boston 2024 bid committee and its supporters. 

Join us on September 16th at 4:10 for a conversation with No Boston Olympics voluntary co-chairs Chris Dempsey, Liam Kerr, and Kelley Gossett to learn how No Boston Olympics was able to convince Bay State residents that hosting the Olympics wasn’t a winner for the commonwealth.  Also joining us will by WBZ political analyst Jon Keller and Boston Magazine Digital News Editor Garrett Quinn, who will share their insights and observations on how No Boston Olympics  ultimately prevailed in the Olympic debate.  Our conversation will be moderated by Jorrit de Jong, HKS Lecturer in Public Policy and the Academic Director of the Ash Center’s Government Innovation Program. 

A reception with light refreshments will follow.  This event is free and open to the public. 

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