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Posts posted by ChrisValentine

  1. As a longtime Boston resident (well, now I live just outside), I have to agree that it would be nice to see something on the Esplanade, but that its just not practical. Anytime they do anything at all there, it is a logistical nightmare. The Olympics... its just not practical. It'd probably be easier to just float a barge out onto the river nearby and hold something on that. So, thats not particularly practical, either.

    My only concern with the bid layout is that I really think they're underutilizing the Beacon Park train yard redevelopment. I'm guessing they're worried about getting that all sorted out in time, but I can't help but think that the current proposed location for the Stadium (Widdett circle) is worse from almost every angle.

  2. Could you elaborate on the benefits of hosting?

    The problem as I see it is that the negatives are objective (diverting money from education/transport/etc to stadiums, disruption of commerce and tourism, etc) while the benefits are subjective (pride, prestige, etc.) It's inevitable that people are going to focus on economics rather than self-confidence.

    If the games are privately funded, as the planners state they will be, what money will be diverted?

  3. I also found an article by the Boston Globe that hinted the idea of the Allston Rail Yards being a contender for the athletes' village.

    Yeah, most of the discussion is centering around the redevelopment of that area of the city, which is happening either way, regardless of any Olympics or none.

  4. Harvard Stadium is technically in the Allston neighborhood of Boston. Cambridge is across the river.

    There's no technically about it. The stadium is most definitely well within the municipal borders of Boston, and also happens to be near the old CSX train yards that have popped up continually as a possible site for an Olympic Village.

  5. Mitt Romney could still be the next President of the USA there is an big draft movement happening to get him to run again and it will be interesting if he becomes the next President of the USA and do the full 8 years from 2017 - 2025 and the USA get's two Olympics and Paralympics Games in an row in 2024 in Los Angeles and 2026 in Reno - Lake Tahoe. He headed the last games in the USA in SLC 2002 and opening up the next ones in 2024.

    The guy has repeatedly said he's not going to run and, in his own words, the GOP should nominate "someone who can win."

  6. Actually, it was a water pipe that distributed tap water, not a sewer network that carried dirty water away. Also, in defense, Boston isn't exactly the newest city, so I'd expect some pretty old water pipes on the verge of exploding, also. The average age of a broken water main is 47 years, the one that ruptured, was 100. This is actually a nationwide problem, and not just exclusive to Los Angeles.

    Get yo' facts straight! :angry:

    Actually, Boston has a pretty damn great water system, with the main lines presently around 26 years old, an absolutely gargantuan treatment plant, and a reservoir system that could support a population roughly 3 times its current service area (at least, thats how much it was when I was studying it back in '09, but its not like our population is increasing that quickly). Plus, California's kinda infamous right now for budgetary woes and shortfalls, whereas MA's... well, its not the poster boy of fiscal responsibility, but its not California.

  7. 95% of Olympic passenger traffic will come into the major airports like Logan. That's where there will be parties and vans waiting to receive them and take them to their lodging. Only 5% would probably come into the smaller airports -- certainly just the domestic ones because Customs and Immigration would only be operating at Logan. Hartford maybe.

    Only if Logan could handle it. If the plan takes into consideration supporting airports, one would imagine that those supporting airports would also receive arrivals in such style, as needed.

  8. But not everyone uses Kayak...

    (but to be fair, Google Flights and TripAdvisor both offer "nearby airports" within advance search)

    My point was that we already have the technology to revolve that specific hurdle, and we're 10 years out from the games.

  9. Unfortunately, most people are simply going to search for "flights from Airport X to Boston International Airport". The first result that comes up? Boston Logan. Only the experienced ones will check the "include nearby airports" box or even do research on the best alternative. Everyone else, AKA the majority of people, will simply attempt to book a flight to a crowded Logan full of people attempting to see the Olympics. Sure, websites can direct users to another airport, but that may only lead to confusion. Besides, the numerous online booking websites, airline booking sites, travel agencies, etc, may lead to a complex of problems.

    I have to disagree with this specific concern. Not with the concern in general about people flying into smaller airports, I get that there's issues with that (traveling into the city itself being chief among them), and that its not always possible for certain international flights. But with the specific concern about searching for flights. I have 3 counter points:

    - When I search for flights on Kayak, it gives me the option of looking at neighboring airports for any flight. I'm sure there's booking sites that still don't do this, but its not an unknown feature.

    - Booking sites will only get better within the next decade, and I have no doubt that, by the time people are booking flights for the 2024 Olympics, the algorithms will be intelligent enough for the sites to give results for supporting airports, especially for something as involved as the Olympics. Or even some other solution that we currently haven't even imagined.

    - I would imagine that Logan and the Olympic Committee themselves would take steps on their end to most efficiently allocate the load between the various airports, even before we get to the issue of how things will show up on the booking sites.

  10. Cons can start with Logan. It can't possibly handel the necessary international traffic. So people have to route through JFK/EWR? Yick. More cons: Lack of 5* hotels and restaurants; lack of "star power"; getting around the North End is near impossible (anyone want to guess what the line will be like outside Mike's Pastry???), a chunk of Boston's tourist appeal is it's "oldness", which the rest of the world laughs at. And while summer weather in Boston is nicer than much of the US, it isn't Southern California.

    Logan has plenty of ancillary airports. Bradley, Providence, Manchester, Worcester, and Hanscomb could be utilized; Bradley's already a large international airport, and Providence does do some international flights. Of those 5, Providence Airport is already directly connected by commuter rail, and its been a perennial plan to connect Manchester, too (Worcester's connected, but the airport is far from the train station). I would imagine Prov and Man getting decent upgrades (another perennial plan) to help take up the slack.

    The cons about restaurants, hotels, star power, and weather are less cons for Boston than they are pros for LA. Obviously, every city in the world is going to have less star power than LA. I won't be surprised to learn that LA has more high end restaurants and hotels than Boston, simply because LA is huge.

    As for the difficulty in getting around the city... well, yeah, thats a problem for all the ancillary economic activity that comes with the games. But, of course, I doubt Mike's Pastry's is going to complain if they're working overtime to make sure everyone gets their cannollis (nor will Modern, for that matter). For all the grief that Boston gets for its street layout, thats really only an issue around the North End. Sure, the Financial district is just as convoluted... but its a financial district. The areas likely to be a center of Olympic activity are all fairly gridlike when it comes to their streets.

    And the 'oldness'... well, that will definitely be a con if Boston ends up being the US bid, though I do think that Boston can share its colonial charm without sounding too pathetic next to cities 5 times as old. But within the US, its definitely a pro for Boston. Unless there's a surprise Plymouth, Jamestown, or St. Augustine bid hiding in the works.

    There's absolute disadvantages and relative disadvantages. And the relative disadvantages vary when comparing the city nationally and internationally.

  11. While I agree that anything Shaughnessy says should probably be taken with a grain of salt, he's not totally wrong on this one. Not to harp on what Nacre and Athens said, but there's a difference between being anti-Olympics and trying to paint a realistic picture. Again, this article isn't the best example of that, but you guys have to understand that maybe this isn't destined to work out for Boston. You're right that Shaugnessy isn't providing much of anything useful here, but it's up to the folks working on this for Boston to sell it and offer it as a worthwhile project. That's not something I expect either of you to have an answer to, but at some point, John Fish is going to have to put that together. He's going to have to have a plan. He'll need to show he can execute that plan and get people behind it. So forgive the Shaugnessys of the world if they're not interested in backing this. It doesn't make them haters (well, this time it probably does, but still), it doesn't mean they're anti-Olympics, and it doesn't mean they're trying to trash the bid. Once again, I think you are underselling the massive undertaking an Olympics is. And yes, that's true of a lot of other cities, but right now, Los Angeles seems far better positioned to sell an Olympic bid than Boston does.

    Chris, you're saying you haven't seen a good argument against the Olympics? Well, where's the good argument FOR the Olympics. LA seems to have the makings of that. Right now, it doesn't seem like Boston has that. My gut tells me the USOC has kept them in the running more because of the intangibles Boston has and the potential of what they could put together. And again, the question isn't just coming up with the right plan but to convince the powers that be how their money and resources should be used in comparison to other projects for the city. I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, just trying to offer a dose of reality that Shaugnessy, as much of a hack as he may be, is probably right about until Boston and John Fish can show otherwise.

    Again, my point isn't that there aren't negatives or that the argument in favor of the Olympics (in my opinion, the argument boils down to "Its the Olympics!" which is good enough for me) is so self-evident that it doesn't need to be made. Just that the local columnists are not addressing the actual negatives, but rather setting up strawmen to tear down, rather than actual concerns.

    For example, say that the Curly Haired Boyfriend wrote, instead "It would seem that the Olympic planners have decided to address the scarcity of large open spaces in Boston by splitting up the Olympic Village into several smaller 'sub-villages.' However, every indication is that the IOC does not like this sort of approach, so that is another hurdle for Boston to overcome. And the idea of building the stadium over the Beacon Park railyard (just to use my personal favorite)? They better get their act together quickly, or totally screw up MassDOTs rerouting plans there, leading to institutional bickering..."

    Thats the sort of legitimate objections I'm not seeing from the local media.

  12. "Trashing" is a key word here. You and Rik are thinking about this from the perspective of Boston boosters, and thus view people raising question about the bid are haters. For people administering the city this is a question of spending billions on Olympic venues and infrastructure instead of assistance to local businesses, healthcare, education, etc, and raising questions about the wisdom of Boston hosting is part of their jobs. (I'm including the media as the "fourth estate" in this.)

    As for the Olympic Village, that's an issue with the requirements of the IOC.

    Not at all, and I think you'll find that my attitude towards the whole discussion is quite different than assuming that anyone who raises questions is a hater. The questions raised here, for example, tend to be very valid and insightful. I'm talking about the articles that get published in the local Boston newspapers, which tend to boil down to "Boston's too crowded, the Big Dig sucked, and we'll lose as much money as Sochi."

    If any of those columnists were to bother to look at the discussions here, they'd probably be able to present much better arguments against the Olympics.

  13. Found this article today from the boston globe basically outlining all the problems we've gone over. Really, lets just get this over with and put forth LA.


    I'll start taking the anti-booster articles seriously when they start presenting their arguments seriously and take into consideration the actual proposed solutions for the various problems, rather than just restrict themselves to eye-catching hyperbole. For example, does Boston need an Olympics-sized aquatics facility? Of course not. Do any of the major universities in the urban core need a new one? Yes, most could stand an upgrade.

    Every article I've ever seen trashing the idea of a Boston Olympics has been written as though the whole project would be built like a boilerplate Olympic Village that needs to be plopped down whole cloth regardless of its environment. I've never seen an argument against the Olympics that says "Yes, the committee has proposed utilizing student housing at University X, but they have not taken into consideration that that university is hosting the international bipartisan cisgendered future third world leaders conference that same year." Its always "they can't build an athlete's village in the Common."

  14. Kraft owns the teams (both the Patriots and the Revolution) and the stadium and much of the infrastructure around the stadium in Foxboro. Once upon a time, Kraft looked at moving the team into Boston, but for better or worse, that didn't happen. Not that he's firmly entrenched with everything in Foxboro, staying there as opposed to moving into Boston isn't about need, but about desire. Does he want to do that at this point, particularly if he's not in control of the situation? Gillette Stadium was privately financed, so Kraft calls the shots. If that's not the case with a stadium in Boston, I'm not sure he'll want to be a part of that. It's 1 thing to move the Revolution there and try to improve their bottom line. Won't happen with the Patriots though. Not when new stadiums in the NFL are coming with a price tag of a billion dollars.

    I don't really see how that is relevant to my post. I'm saying that the Patriots *definitely* wouldn't move to Boston (well, maybe a 0.01% chance), so the only options left is the Revs. And Kraft has been open to the idea of moving the team to the urban center, and has been talking about it for years now.

  15. Wait...is the NFL an organization that people take seriously? Never liked US Football, never will.

    Well, in the United States... yes.

    Honestly though, 'sports capital of the world' seems like a very meaningless phrase, unless every major country in the world followed the same sports.

  16. Therein lies the issue. If Boston were to construct a soccer specific stadium, where does Kraft fit into that? Right now, it's his team and it's a stadium he both owns and operates. Needless to say, the Revs would be better off elsewhere, but again, the owner obviously has a say in that. Obviously with an Olympic bid involved, that makes it an even more intriguing situation, so I don't know what the solution is to that dilemma. Because at the end of the day, this is Robert Kraft we're talking about.

    The original incarnation of the Sounders that played in Seattle were 1 of the highest drawing clubs in the league, particularly during the mid-70s when the NASL was booming. So this is hardly a new phenomenom that a soccer club in Seattle is doing well. Yes, it helps them that they play their games in a location well suited for them. But they're literally drawing nearly double the next best team in the league. Again, you can't just put it on the stadium when they're drawing in the 40,000 range and the next highest team is in the low 20s.

    Again, it goes to the point I made earlier. The Revolution want a soccer specific stadium because that's what the majority of their competitors have. The issue is with ownership.. what's best for Kraft? Does he make more money keeping the team in Foxboro or by moving them closer to Boston? A lot would depend on who owns and operates the stadium, let alone how it's funded. That's not a small factor in these things, especially in the larger context of an Olympic bid.

    Would it look aesthetically pleasing to have a generic elevated highway as the entrance to an Olympic Park (assuming since Beacon Park seems big enough)? Most tourists will probably take the Green Line (?) walk a block or two and see a giant sign with "BOSTON OLYMPIC PARK --->" on it, attached to a cement thing with cars zooming across it. Of course, it is possible to beautify it a bit, but that would require money... ;)

    As Aquaman said, the main reason there's an elevated viaduct at the moment is to cross over the tracks by the rail yard. But if you look at the layout at the moment (apple maps has a nice 3D view), you can see that the highway returns to ground level just after passing over the tracks, which is beyond the Beacon Yard area. In fact, before that one elevated section, the highway's below-grade.

    However, I could see the Olympic bid altering the layout; perhaps the new course would remain below-grade the whole way.

    Therein lies the issue. If Boston were to construct a soccer specific stadium, where does Kraft fit into that? Right now, it's his team and it's a stadium he both owns and operates. Needless to say, the Revs would be better off elsewhere, but again, the owner obviously has a say in that. Obviously with an Olympic bid involved, that makes it an even more intriguing situation, so I don't know what the solution is to that dilemma. Because at the end of the day, this is Robert Kraft we're talking about.

    Kraft has been advocating for an urban stadium for the better part of a decade.

  17. god you are ridiculous stop tearing everything apart seriously...

    Come on, man. The whole point of these sorts of discussions is to tear everything apart. Because thats what happens when *anyone* is bidding for *anything.* Thats how bidding works. I was on both sides enough in college to understand that; anyone who wants to demolish your bid is really your best friend.

    Another thing to note: all the (known) possible main stadium locations both have extra pricetags in them (Cabot & eminent domain, Beacon & highway rerouting)

    Not entirely correct. Cabot, yes. But the highway around Beacon is getting rerouted no matter what, so thats not really an Olympic cost. Boston could pass a resolution banning any future Olympic bids, and the Mass Pike is still going to get rerouted.

    The only way this would be an Olympic cost is if the reroute would be altered due to the Olympics. For example, if they want to put some support facilities under the highway, or some concourses connecting the park to the north and Commonwealth Ave to the south, or possibly some rail connections.

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