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Boston Olympics proposed by students in project

DohertyAt least one recent Emerson graduate is happy that Boston has been chosen as a contender for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Kelsey Doherty ’14 and two other recent graduates, Donovan Birch ’14, and Luke Fraser ’14, did a class project in a sports communication class taught by Associate Professor Gregory Payne in the Spring 2014 semester that advocated bringing the Olympics to Boston.

“I’m really excited to see what happens going forward,” Doherty said on January 9, just hours after the U.S. Olympic Committee announced that Boston would be the contending host city for the United States. “I think the U.S. has a good chance of being selected because we haven’t been chosen in so long.”

2002 was the last time the Olympics were held in the United States, in Salt Lake City.

Olympics Boston

A mock Facebook page Emerson students established last spring as part of a sports communication class project proposing Boston host the 2024 Summer Olympics.

“It’s a huge opportunity for the city to showcase what we can do,” Doherty said. “The lasting benefits [could be] a better public transportation system, better structures, and most likely better affordable housing going forward.”

Doherty, Birch, and Fraser met with an executive at Suffolk Construction—a major supporter of the Boston Olympics bid—before formulating a research paper and multimedia presentation on why the Olympics should be held in the Hub.

Not everyone is happy with the idea of the Olympics coming to Boston—citing concerns about taxpayer costs, traffic, construction, and possible residential displacement.

Doherty, a Biddeford, Maine, native who majored in Marketing Communications and now works as a social media specialist for the Boston Red Sox, believes those concerns can be worked out.

“As a whole, it’s a great opportunity for the city and the country,” she said.

Payne’s sports communication course focused on business and crisis management, conflict resolution, and how sports intertwines with politics. Students also received several guest lectures from sports journalist Tom E. Curran of Comcast SportsNet.

After attending six Olympic games, Payne said he’s in favor of bringing them here.

“Boston has to step up to the plate and say, ‘We are a global city,’” Payne said. “It transformed Barcelona. I think it would help Boston with its infrastructure issues. The academic piece is very vital, and it would give the local colleges a lot of opportunity to collaborate.” 

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