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Walsh Promises Transparency In Boston 2024 Olympics Bid

BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Boston Mayor Marty Walsh promised the bidding process for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games will be open and transparent.

The mayor joined Gov. Charlie Baker and the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee at a news conference Friday to celebrate Boston winning the bid to represent the U.S. in the global competition for the games.

USOC board members chose Boston, with its promise of frugality, reusable venues and inspiration after its comeback from the marathon bombings, over Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington.

"We don't think there's a better team for us to be working with," Larry Probst, USOC Chairman told reporters Friday.

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A sketch of Boston's Olympic scene. (Photo credit: http://www.2024boston.org/)

Boston joins Rome as the only other city that has officially decided to bid. Germany will submit either Hamburg or Berlin, with France and Hungary among those also considering bids. The International Olympic Committee will award the Games in 2017.

Baker and Walsh also tried to calm skeptics who fear public money will be misspent in an international process that has been plagued in the past by corruption.

Read: Keller: Keep Taxpayer Money Out

"I promise this will be the most open, inclusive and transparent process in Olympic history," Walsh said.

"We are not going to be using taxpayers' money to be building venues in the city of Boston or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."

Watch: Walsh: No Taxpayer Money For Olympic Venues

"This is what I would describe as an opportunity for us," Baker said, adding that we all need to "determine what we want this region to look like over the next 15-20 years."

John Fish, the chairman of Suffolk Construction, who is in charge of the Boston 2024 bid also promised to be "very, very careful about cost and expenditures."

Though officials said many existing venues could be used around Boston, new construction would also be required if Boston is chosen to host the Olympics.

Among the facilities required would be a large Olympic Stadium, which if Boston's bid is accepted could be built on Widett Circle along Interstate 93.

Olympic Stadium
Widett Circle, along Interstate 93, would be used for an Olympic Stadium if Boston's bid is chosen. (WBZ-TV)

Walsh also announced that the city will host nine public meetings this year to discuss proposed venue plans in Boston.

The first will be held on January 27 at 6:30 p.m. at Suffolk Law School.

The rest of the meetings will be held at the following locations:

• February 24, 6:30 p.m. - Condon School Cafeteria, 200 D St., South Boston
• March 31, 6:30 p.m. - Harvard Business School, (building to be determined)
• April 12, 6:30 p.m. - Roxbury Community College, 1234 Columbus Ave., Roxbury
• May 19, 6:30 p.m. - Cleveland Community Center, 11 Charles St., Dorchester
• June 30, 6:30 p.m. - English High School, 144 McBride St., Jamaica Plain
• July 28, 6:30 p.m. - Mildred School, 5 Mildred Ave., Boston
• August 25, 6:30 p.m. - Orenberger School, 175 West Boundary Road, W. Roxbury
• September 29, 6:30 p.m. – East Boston High School, 86 White St., East Boston

Seeking to become the first American host for Summer since Atlanta in 1996, Boston focused on its ability to use the more than 100 universities throughout the area to house events and athletes.

It touted a walkable, technology-based Olympics with an operating budget under $5 billion (Considered frugal by Olympic standards). It said as many as 70 percent of its venues would not stand permanently, and a new main stadium might be shrunk to someday host a soccer team. Colleges might pay for many of the venues, then take them over after the Games.

The committee unveiled a few sketches of what the scene may look like in the city for the games.

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(Photo credit: http://www.2024boston.org/)

OLYMPIC OPPOSITION

The protest group, No Boston Olympics, promised to keep fighting Friday, stressing that the state's priorities should include safe communities, quality education and responsible environmental policies.

"That's why we need your continued support as we move forward. Please join us for a public meeting on Wednesday, January 16th to be held in Boston or Cambridge. And its not just Metro Boston residents who should join, but citizens and taxpayers in Worcester, Springfield, North Adams, Dartmouth, and Lowell - citizens across the Commonwealth who will bear the risk from the promises Boston2024 has made to the USOC, all without public input," the group said in a statement.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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