As many of the top track and field athletes all over the world have their sites set on Moscow for the 2013 world championships, plans for the 2015 event have been firmed up. It wasn’t without a little bit of luck (for Boston) and a whole lot of drama.
China and the IAAF had supposedly wrapped up the agreement for 2015, which would’ve once again had the world converging on Beijing. However, the deal was contingent on some structural flaws in Beijing National Stadium (aka ‘The Bird’s Nest’) being addressed before anything was finalized. This contingency caused the deal to fall apart. Chinese officials balked at the idea and the IAAF would not back down from their demand.
During an inspection just before the 2008 Olympics began, IAAF officials noticed some slight cracks in the concrete within the stadium. It was not a concern at the time so the event proceeded according to plan. The cracks have grown more severe in subsequent inspections and have become large enough to cause a rift between Beijing and track’s governing body. Chinese officials don’t agree with the assessment of the damage and are hesitant to pump even more money into the expensive stadium that is still shy of five years old.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino saw a huge opportunity for both his legacy and the city of Boston, and successfully wooed the IAAF officials before the world was even aware of what was going on. The event will take place over the second week of August on the track in South Boston, with capacity for “dozens of spectators”.
During the announcement, Mayor Menino said: “Like Varitek splitting the uprights and Bobby Orr winning the Boston Marathon a record eleven times in the 70’s, I wanted to do something great for the city of Boston and its passionate base of sports fans.”
While the move is applauded by virtually everyone, it has turned out to be a game-changer for the political scene in Boston. Word has come from Beijing that Chinese officials are none too pleased with this series of developments. Speculation is mounting that Mayor Menino decided to not run for office in fear of retaliation by the Chinese. A source from within the Mayor’s camp (who wished to remain anonymous) has quoted the Mayor as saying: “If the Chinese were able to get Jack Bauer then there’s no way I’m safe.”
We contacted the Mayor to confirm this, and although he wouldn’t confirm the quote the Mayor did directly address the statement. When told that Jack Bauer is a fictional character from a television show (24), his response was, “what is real? Reality depends on your point of view. I hope he comes back for season six. Don’t tell me, I’m still a few seasons behind.”
This left us with more questions than answers. For now, it’s time to start making improvements to the infrastructure to get ready for the world in a couple of years. For starters, we’ll need to widen William J. Day Blvd, increase the parking by Castle Island (from the current capacity of 50 cars to about 6,000), and then double the amount of hot dog vendors in the stadium. We’ll soon have a new mayor to lead us through all of these changes, and hopefully the city will rally around this new mayor to make this event happen.
For those of you already trying to buy advance tickets online, this has been our first April Fools post.