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Boston, Massachusetts is taking the first big steps towards looking into the feasibility of a Summer Games bid for the earliest year 2024. On Thursday, January 10, 2013, the MA State Senate file a Re

Oslo was an abortion - Boston is a miscarriage.

We prefer "Masshole" to "total douche".

woohooitsme83,

Very good job trying to graphically unravel Boston's potential stadium site.

You can verify property ownership using Boston's GIS site: http://hubmaps1.cityofboston.gov/egis/Map.aspx?PropertyID=0700072000

The lot to the south is Amtrak's Southampton railyard. I am not sure of the feasibility of acquiring that land for an Olympic stadium. However, it is certain that if this site is to be developed for an olympic games, alternative locations for the existing transportation infrastructure must be found. This was studied last year with respect to a proposal to expand South Station: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Portals/25/Docs/efs/C-LayoverFacilityAlternativesAnalysisReport.pdf

That report concludes that it was infeasible to relocate either Amtrak's Southampton Yard or the Red Line's Cabot Yard for the sake of a commuter rail layover facility associated with an expanded South Station. Maybe the special politics surrounding an olympic bid change that equation, but I still struggle to imagine where else this vital rail infrastructure could be located. Also, bear in mind that relocating the rail infrastructure will cost even more money and create ever more political opposition.

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what about that small section of rail north of the yard that is by foundry street? Is it part of the usable space because if it is, it could be a spot for a warm up track.

I think it is just as usable as the rest of Cabot Yard. However, there is another hurdle that I didn't see before, which is the Old Colony & Fairmount Commuter Rail Lines, which run straight through the rail yard. That ROWs would have to preserved somehow if the land is to be converted to a stadium. That probably means tunneling, which is only going to add more $ to the price tag. Still, I have difficulty seeing whether or not there is enough room to feasibly connect Fairmount & Old Colony to the current South Station on the other side of the plot of land (North Side). At this point, one would probably bury South Station as well, which would allow one to expand the station as is currently needed as well as begin working towards a tunnel to North Station, but now we are talking about Big Dig 2.0 just to accommodate the stadium.

I wonder... Would it be feasible to construct the stadium on top of the existing rail infrastructure? (For instance on top of an elevated deck). If not, I really believe that building on this plot is unworkable.

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- As said, the southern rail yard is Amtrak.

- The lot north, next to Foundtry St., would be useful, except that its cut off by two fairly major roads. The Bypass road (N380) does not really carry much traffic, so rerouting that one wouldn't be a big deal. Rerouting Fourth or W. Broadway/Traveler would be more problematic.

- There really isn't all that much residential in that corner on woohooitsme83's map. Pull up google maps, and starting from the broadway station, the residential neighborhoods are pretty much east of Dot ave and south of Fourth Street, until you cross back over I-93. There's a a bit south of Southhampton street, and there's a very few houses next to Andrew station. However, thats mostly just very light commercial (towing, demolition, etc.) in that corner. Plus, there's that nice big empty lot there. Plus, if you want to go even more eminent domain-happy (not that I'm encouraging that), there's a fair chunk more of light industry between Dot ave and Old Colony.

- As for how 'welcoming' the surrounding areas are: Southie, immediately east of Dot Ave, is Boston's traditionally Irish neighborhood. Very Blue Collar, lots of events and festivals (big St. Patrick's Day Parade), and use to have a significant organized crime presence (but, due to that, surprisingly low street crime). However, its one of the more gentrifying neighborhoods in Boston (much to the chargrin of some of the locals). Northeast of the yard the Seaport District, which is pretty much ground zero for all the new development in Boston; I believe there's 3 midrises going up right now, and at least 3 more in the paperwork stages. Relatively upscale, its all offices, restaurants, hotels, convention centers, and a few expensive condos. Expect quite a bit of the logistical stuff to go there. West of I-93 is the South End and Inkblot district. Relatively gentrified, and the lots near the highway are also getting gentrified (used to be warehouses and newspaper facilities). South of that, and still west of I-93 is Newmarket (big box retail shopping center and various industrial wholesalers, that sort of thing), and south of that is Dorchester (a fairly poor section of Boston, probably the roughest nearby neighborhood).

- I think every conceivable Boston proposal involves a string of sites, rather than one concentrated park. Yes, I know that the IOC likes more concentrated areas, but every indication is that Boston will not be offering such a plan. So, for example, the aquatics facility will either be in another parcel of Olympic Park (locations around Somerville, where there's some more rail yards and underutilized lots slated for redevelopment, as well as Revere, around Suffolk Downs), or at one of the many universities. At the moment, the major schools don't have aquatics facilities quite up to Olympic standards in terms of size, but I do know that a few of the schools are already looking at replacing theirs. In fact, Northeastern University is looking at totally replacing their athletics facility in the center of their campus. So, concerns about the fit of the Aquatics facility in that 'main' park would most likely be moot. I'd expect either a warmup track or the... sigh, Velodrome to go there.

- As for the rail lines themselves: dropping them down through cut-and-cover (the most likely) or actual tunneling shouldn't be nearly as horrific as the Big Dig, which involved tunneling right under the core of the city, especially if the rail yards themselves get relocated, so it would just be the trunk lines being dropped down. It'll be very easy to cut down through the soil here, because its all in-fill, though there would, of course, need to be some serious consideration of the water due to that infill nature (here's a useful map: http://www.computerimages.com/graphics_court_square/cs_landfill_large.gif ). As for just decking over the facilities, thats certainly a possibility (and might be a decent way to keep the yards mostly intact), especially considering that the surrounding roads (Fourth and the Bypass) are elevated, so any facilities would be level with those roads.

Personally, I think that dropping the rail lines would be the simplest course of action. You'd only be digging under existing track, and they're generally 4-6 wide at any given point, allowing the construction crews to gradually phase the lower lines in, without totally disrupting the rail traffic (dig under line 1 to build the new line 1, then, as you close the old line 1 to connect up the new line 1, the other 3-5 pick up the demand).

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Normally, I don't think it makes sense for host cities to act in secret. But if potential hosts are assembling parcels of land for a possible stadium site, it very well might make sense to keep that part of the plan secret. Or, better yet, "leak" information that they are considering someplace else.

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I wonder... Would it be feasible to construct the stadium on top of the existing rail infrastructure? (For instance on top of an elevated deck). If not, I really believe that building on this plot is unworkable.

Yay! Time for some more inaccurate, rough representations!

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(Just ignore the highly incorrect terrain and location)

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Personally, I think Cabot Yard is the best location (proximity to transit, downtown, the athlete's village, a beach next to the village, a couple of practice tracks and sports fields adjacent to the village, the media center and other venues would be less than a mile down the street, major hospital facilities within a mile or so) but there are problems with that location requiring either relocating the rail yard or decking over it. Other sites have been discussed for months (Beacon Yard, Suffolk Downs, etc.). I don't know which is the one the organizing committee is truly focused on - at this point it's all speculation by those of us outside the loop.

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ChrisValentine what about beacon park?

Personally, thats my preferred site. I read somewhere (don't remember where) that there's a greater concern about cleanup there. However, I really don't think it could be *that* much worse than Cabot.

Beacon has some good things going for it:

- Its getting redeveloped anyway, and most of what a potential Olympic Park there would need to make room (such as re-routing the highway) is on the docket regardless of what Boston does with the Olympics.

- Its somewhat larger than the Cabot lot. Perhaps woohooitsme83 could draft up the layout.

- It has immediate rail access.

- Good views of Boston and the river.

- Better surrounding neighborhood than Cabot.

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I was somewhat surprised to see Boston included on the short list. What are they going to do for a stadium? I cannot see the Red Sox leaving Fenway nor do I see the Patriots moving back to Boston from Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.

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I was somewhat surprised to see Boston included on the short list. What are they going to do for a stadium? I cannot see the Red Sox leaving Fenway nor do I see the Patriots moving back to Boston from Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.

Neither Fenway nor a Patriots move is being discussed. The Revs (soccer) have been talking about moving closer to Boston in a stadium designed for soccer. Currently they play out in Foxboro - which as a US football stadium is passable for soccer, but is too big (it sits half empty for most Revs games). The idea is that an Olympic stadium would be built in Boston and then later downsized to a 30,000 seat stadium for the Revs.

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Neither Fenway nor a Patriots move is being discussed. The Revs (soccer) have been talking about moving closer to Boston in a stadium designed for soccer. Currently they play out in Foxboro - which as a US football stadium is passable for soccer, but is too big (it sits half empty for most Revs games). The idea is that an Olympic stadium would be built in Boston and then later downsized to a 30,000 seat stadium for the Revs.

Of course, we have yet to see that work in practice. That was London's original plan, but it hasn't exactly panned out as expected.

Plus, you need vast amounts of surrounding land to accommodate spectators, vendors, security during the Games, then you only need a fraction of that space for the long-term future of the stadium in downsized form.

The temporary portion of the stadium is also only slightly less expensive than permanent construction.

Finally, NFL and MLB franchises have deep pockets that can offset expenses in a meaningful way. The same can't be said for MLS.

More than a few challenges.

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Neither Fenway nor a Patriots move is being discussed. The Revs (soccer) have been talking about moving closer to Boston in a stadium designed for soccer. Currently they play out in Foxboro - which as a US football stadium is passable for soccer, but is too big (it sits half empty for most Revs games). The idea is that an Olympic stadium would be built in Boston and then later downsized to a 30,000 seat stadium for the Revs.

That is what I read in a few articles. For a Boston bid to be feasible, an Olympic stadium has to be built within the city limits. Will this new (temporary) olympic stadium also include track and field? If so, that would give a terrible look for a soccer stadium to have the spectators deal with more distance away from the soccer field once the stadium is converted for a soccer team. And tearing up the track and field and moving the seats over them just sounds expensive, and not even possible probably. And it probably wouldn't give them the bid either, as the IOC was extremely upset when the track & field was gone after Atlanta finished hosting the games. They want a legacy of track and field in whatever city is hosting the Summer Olympics.

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, as the IOC was extremely upset when the track & field was gone after Atlanta finished hosting the games.

Some were; but they knew that going into the bidding and awarding process. I mean why was the stadium shaped that way? The 51 votes Atlanta got were OK with it. The ones who weren't had voted for Athens.

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That is what I read in a few articles. For a Boston bid to be feasible, an Olympic stadium has to be built within the city limits. Will this new (temporary) olympic stadium also include track and field? If so, that would give a terrible look for a soccer stadium to have the spectators deal with more distance away from the soccer field once the stadium is converted for a soccer team. And tearing up the track and field and moving the seats over them just sounds expensive, and not even possible probably. And it probably wouldn't give them the bid either, as the IOC was extremely upset when the track & field was gone after Atlanta finished hosting the games. They want a legacy of track and field in whatever city is hosting the Summer Olympics.

The IOC wants the Olympics to leave a legacy. Doesn't mean a stadium or other building has to continue to be used for its original purpose. I'm sure the IOC would much rather have a situation like Stadium Australia, where the stadium is used regularly (albeit not for track & field) than, say, Beijing Olympic Stadium which doesn't see as much use.

With Centennial Olympic Stadium/Turner Field, as baron said I'm sure there were some who didn't like the post-Olympic use for the stadium, but at least it got used for something. Most cities, including London, don't necessarily have a need for a large scale athletics venue, so I'm sure the IOC will take what they can get.

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The IOC wants the Olympics to leave a legacy. Doesn't mean a stadium or other building has to continue to be used for its original purpose. I'm sure the IOC would much rather have a situation like Stadium Australia, where the stadium is used regularly (albeit not for track & field) than, say, Beijing Olympic Stadium which doesn't see as much use.

With Centennial Olympic Stadium/Turner Field, as baron said I'm sure there were some who didn't like the post-Olympic use for the stadium, but at least it got used for something. Most cities, including London, don't necessarily have a need for a large scale athletics venue, so I'm sure the IOC will take what they can get.

But then again, London's promise of an athletics legacy (in a downsized stadium) was certainly one of the promises which saw the vote swing towards them and away from Paris. I'm certain Paris would've won that battle without that promise. So sometimes it matters as London proves, other times it doesn't as Sydney and Atlanta prove. Each race has it's own dynamics so it's hard to say whether it'll be a factor for future races. Certainly I think a stadium with a workable athletics legacy stands you in better stead than one without, but whether it'll be a deciding factor depends on the race.

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. Most cities, including London, don't necessarily have a need for a large scale athletics venue, so I'm sure the IOC will take what they can get.

Most cities? I'd say no city needs a large scale athletics venue.

Note to cities - "promise" whatever you want when bidding, but it's insane to actually carry through. Maybe someday the IOC will learn and stop unofficially requiring this.

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It feels like none of you follow the current IOC decisions, meetings, conversations with Rio, Tokyo or any of their plans or "requirements" especially when it comes to Temporary or Legacy because everything people have listed has been the opposite to what they want. They are very much for less expenditures of funds and are in favor of perm/temporary structures that can be reduced in size and they are making the athletics program Smaller!

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It feels like none of you follow the current IOC decisions, meetings, conversations with Rio, Tokyo or any of their plans or "requirements" especially when it comes to Temporary or Legacy because everything people have listed has been the opposite to what they want. They are very much for less expenditures of funds and are in favor of perm/temporary structures that can be reduced in size and they are making the athletics program Smaller!

Are you really saying that after Sochi2014 and Tokyo2020?

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It feels like none of you follow the current IOC decisions, meetings, conversations with Rio, Tokyo or any of their plans or "requirements" especially when it comes to Temporary or Legacy because everything people have listed has been the opposite to what they want. They are very much for less expenditures of funds and are in favor of perm/temporary structures that can be reduced in size and they are making the athletics program Smaller!

Not when they vote. Only afterwards.

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