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Hundreds Attend First Public Meeting On Boston Olympics

BOSTON (CBS) - The city held the first of nine public meetings about the city's US Olympic bid. Hundreds attended, cramming a small room at Suffolk Law.

It is clear, even the possibility of bringing the 2024 Summer Olympic Games to one of America's oldest cities, has divided the city itself.

"I love the Olympics and I love the City of Boston but not together," one man said. "And what I would like to know is what will it take to stop this?"

Photos: Boston Olympic Plans

"If the public feels this is something we shouldn't pursue as a city it's certainly something I wouldn't pursue as a city," answered Mayor Marty Walsh.

City officials and members of Boston 2024 answered questions, and collected critical feedback. Many residents worry about funding, infrastructure and venue location.

"Please move beach volleyball from the Common," another man said. "It's not a degraded area. We love the place and it's sacred. Please protect it."

Boston 2024 Olympics
Artistic rendering of arena on Boston Common. (Image from Boston 2024)

"I think if we are able to win this bid it will be a huge employment opportunity," another man said through an interpreter.

"Boston is better prepared than any city it the past 20 years to host the Olympic and Paralympic games," a supporter said.

City Councilor Josh Zakim has called for a citywide vote on the Olympics. Zakim introduced his order to the full council Wednesday.

Mayor Walsh says this is a huge marketing opportunity for the city. 85 million tweets were posted about Boston when it won the US bid, but Walsh says he only cares about the 646,000 who actually live here.

"If I feel that there's something wrong here, I am not going to support this Olympic bid moving forward," said Walsh.

Mayor Walsh will meet with the group No Boston Olympics Friday.

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