Boston 2024: New Bedford – Ideal Host for Olympic, Paralympic sailing

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The first in a series of venue announcements for Boston’s vision to host the 2024 Games

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (June 4, 2015) — New Bedford, a storied and historic maritime city, will host Olympic and Paralympic sailing on Buzzards Bay if Boston becomes the host city for the 2024 Summer Games, Mayor Jon Mitchell and Rich Davey from the Boston 2024 Partnership announced here today.

Following extensive collaboration with community groups, elected officials and other key stakeholders, Boston 2024 is developing the next phase of its Games Concept, which includes venues plans, like New Bedford, that reflect significant input from throughout the city and state.

To host Olympic and Paralympic events, all venues must meet a comprehensive set of criteria, including meeting the technical requirements outlined by each sport’s National Governing Body and International Federation. For Boston 2024, the selection of venues is also influenced by the potential for the Olympics and Paralympics to create long-term benefits for the communities where events are hosted. The unique quality of Buzzards Bay’s wind resource has long been recognized in the sailing community worldwide. Today the Bay hosts the Buzzard Bay Regatta, the largest multi-class regatta in the United States.

Situated in the geographic center of Buzzards Bay, New Bedford, with its historic Fort Taber and surrounding park grounds, extends well into the Bay and offers spectacular access to the water. With a proud maritime history as the global center of the 19th century whaling industry, and today the home of the nation’s top commercial fishing fleet, the City’s story is a compelling maritime backdrop to Olympic sailing competition that will draw visitors and athletes from across the globe.

Mayor Jon Mitchell used the occasion to praise the local group of sailing leaders, the New Bedford Olympic Sailing Steering Committee, that he assembled to present the concept to Boston 2024.“We were convinced that New Bedford could significantly contribute to the strength of the Boston 2024 Olympic bid. We made our case, pledged our partnership, and asked 2024 to evaluate our proposal on the merits,” Mitchell said. “I can’t say enough about the level of responsiveness and engagement of Boston 2024. The more we learned what Boston 2024 sought in a sailing venue and they learned about what the City had to offer, the more this change came to make perfect sense.”

Hosting Olympic and Paralympic sailing will serve as a catalyst for the revitalization of New Bedford’s Fort Taber, which would serve both as a viewing area for spectators and the location for medal ceremonies, a dual purpose rarely experienced in Olympic and Paralympic sailing events.

“The guiding force behind our planning has been engaging with our community partners to unite our futures through the Olympics,” said Rich Davey, the chief executive officer of Boston 2024. “We are thrilled that New Bedford has agreed to host Olympic sailing in Buzzards Bay, one of the most spectacular and iconic locations for competitive sailing anywhere.”

UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman echoed Mitchell’s and Davey’s comments. “We are committed to making the Boston 2024 bid as competitive as possible and as beneficial to the community as possible. Importantly, we look forward to working with Boston 2024 to assure that athletes have the housing they need as they train and prepare to compete.”

“US Sailing is excited about the selection of New Bedford and Buzzards Bay as the sailing venue for the Boston 2024 Olympic bid. These waters provide some of the finest sailing conditions in the world and will deliver fantastic competition,” said Jack Gierhart, Executive Director of US Sailing. “The New Bedford venue also offers an incredible opportunity for fan-athlete interaction and spectating that will set a new standard for Olympic sailing. The Olympics in New Bedford will be incredible, and equally important, the legacy left behind with improved facilities, increased public awareness and access will be a huge benefit for sailing in the U.S.”

As Boston 2024 shifts its planning from a preliminary “proof of concept” submitted to the U.S. Olympic Committee in 2014 to a broader Games Concept that reflects detailed analysis and community feedback, the organization plans to announce additional venue hosts over the next several weeks. This is a natural evolution in a multi-step, multi-year bid process that culminates in the selection in the summer of 2017 of the 2024 host city by members of the International Olympic Committee.

For more information about New Bedford serving as the venue for Olympic and Paralympic sailing, please see this fact sheet.

CONTACT: Kyle Sullivan, kyle@northwindstrategies.com

– See more at: http://www.ussailing.org/boston2024_newbedford/#sthash.59VriN0w.dpuf