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Boston 2024 Picks Conte Forum For Olympic Wrestling, Judo

Conte Forum will host Olympic wrestling and Olympic and Paralympic judo if Boston is tapped as the host city for the 2024 Games, Olympic officials stated.

The decision is part of the local bid committee’s revamped Olympic venue plan, which is expected to be released in full early next week.

“At the request of Boston 2024, Boston College has agreed to offer Conte Forum as a venue for the proposed Boston Olympic effort,” University Spokesman Jack Dunn said in an email. “Our effort to host wrestling and judo in Conte Forum reflects our desire to be of service to the city and the region as it moves forward with its Olympic bid.”

The proposal announced Wednesday represents a change from an earlier venue plan released in January, when BC was previously excluded from Olympic plans because the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) saw potential technical operational difficulties with Conte Forum. The committee had originally proposed both wrestling and judo in the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

According to University officials, members of the USOC and International Olympic Committee (IOC) visited BC in May and performed a facilities assessment before the updated venue plan was released on Wednesday.

“What I think makes Conte Forum viable for some event is because it’s air conditioned, and we have all the bells and whistles for TV conditions that people would need to broadcast the events across the world,” said Tom Keady, BC’s vice president of government and community relations and member of Boston 2024’s board of directors, in May.

The report released by Boston 2024 also indicates that Harvard University and Northeastern University would host events. The Olympic archery competition is scheduled to take place at Harvard Stadium, and Northeastern would potentially host weightlifting at Matthews Arena.

Boston 2024 is also in discussions with several other colleges and universities—including MIT and Boston University—where 70 to 75 percent of Olympic venues plan to be held on local campuses.

“Our vision for the Olympic and Paralympic Games includes key partnerships with Boston’s world-class colleges and universities to help deliver a plan that is fiscally responsible and sustainable,” said Richard Davey, chief executive officer of Boston 2024, in a statement. “We look forward to working closely with each college and university to ensure our plans fully align with the future they envision for their institutions.”

Looking forward, the new venue plan is expected to highlight a detailed budget for the Olympics, as well as a detailed analysis of the potential benefits and risks of bringing the Games to Boston. Public support for the bid has been waning for months, with a June WBUR poll measuring statewide support at 39 percent. With its new proposal, Boston 2024 hopes to revitalize public support for the effort.

Featured Image by Emily Fahey / Heights Senior Staff

June 26, 2015