Boston’s temporary Olympic stadium would cost as much as regular one, but at least would go away afterwards

Boston’s 2024 Olympic bid got the nod from the U.S. Olympic Committee in part because it promised not to leave the city littered with white-elephant sports venues, most notably by building a temporary stadium in South Boston that could be taken down after the Olympics were over. But stadium architects have warned the Boston Globe that “temporary” doesn’t mean any cheaper:

Benjamin Flowers, an associate professor of architecture at Georgia Tech, said a 60,000-seat stadium would be so large and complex that calling it a temporary structure would be inaccurate.

“What they are really saying is, build a full-on stadium and then demolish it,” said Flowers, who studies stadiums around the world. “It strikes me as a curious proposition to suggest investing the many hundreds of millions it would take to do that to then demolish it and take it down.”

The bright side of doing that, it seems, is that the stadium site could then be used for something more useful — development, parks, space elevator deck, whatever — once the Olympics were over. It’s a bit of a weird way to be selling the world’s biggest sporting event — and we’re gonna build a super-cool stadium and then tear it down again because everyone knows stadiums suck — but points for honesty, at least.


7 comments on “Boston’s temporary Olympic stadium would cost as much as regular one, but at least would go away afterwards

  1. Thanks for the link and commentary Neil. This has been a question that has been burning for me during the USOC city selection process. “What the hell does 60,000 temporary stadium look like and how much does it cost?” Its is stacked high school stadium seating with big banners as the facad, lights handing from cherry pickers, porta potties, and mobile homes for locker rooms?

    Seems to me if it practically costs the same as a regular stadium, it’s one damn expensive park we get afterwards and everyone is fooling themselves.

  2. Just another reason to RUN AWAY FROM THE OLYMPIC BOONDOGGLE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE!
    They (USOC, IOC, Federations, NBC/Comcast, sponsors, politicians and hangars-on etc.)
    play any you pay.

  3. Hmm, this is interesting. I wonder if I could get the public to build me a new stadium EVERY YEAR!! Man it would be fun to be playing in my current gilded palace and see my new one being built across the street. And maybe the one for 2 years hence going up across the way.

    With every known public resource sucked up into buliding me stadiums, we might have to enslave the lower classes and have them stomping straw and mud into bricks or the like in order to “git ‘er done” but waiting for the plebes to git ‘er done is just one of the sacrifices we billionaires have to make.

  4. Outside of the hilariously overdone opening and closing ceremonies, does the main stadium actually pack in this many people? What are the attendance figures for track and field?