Posted: 12:39 pm Friday, June 20th, 2014

To would-be Olympian in Boston, Atlanta is a ‘second-rate’ city 

By Jim Galloway

For the years its baseball team has stood up to the pinstripes in New York City, we doff our caps to Boston. For the way the New England city refused to allow the bombers of the famous marathon to steal its soul, we salute its residents.

But there are limits.

The city that harbored the original American tea party is on the short list for the 2024 Summer Olympics, and has been worrying about the billions it would cost. From the Boston Globe:

[C]onsider David D’Alessandro’s take.

The former chief executive of John Hancock, a company that previously sponsored the Olympics, has been skeptical of a Boston bid.

No more.

“Is it technically feasible? Of course it is,” said D’Alessandro, who has attended eight Olympics. “If Atlanta can do it, Boston can do it, please. Atlanta is a second-rate city at best. And they pulled it off in 1996.”

We haven’t heard from Mayor Kasim Reed on this, but the AJC’s Katie Leslie tapped former mayor Shirley Franklin. Her reply:

shirleyboston

In conclusion: We already have Brian McCann as a reason to root for the Yankees. Don’t tempt us.

205 comments
chucksop
chucksop

It's interesting that this kind of article in an Atlanta paper brings an anti-Atlanta crowd out of the woodwork.  If Atlanta is really so second rate why would they need to come here and expend their energy piling on with their criticisms.  It reminds me of the great quote by Andrew Young in 1996.  He said that when you're the lead dog you'll have the others trying to chase you and bite your rear.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

When was the last time economic activity came to a halt in Boston over 2 inches of snow?

One might expect a first-rate city would be able to handle a routine weather phenomenon.

jcatl
jcatl

It's true - Atlanta is a second rate city with no leadership and surrounded by red state idiocy. Truth hurts.

electric1234
electric1234

No Mayor of Atlanta has any reason to open their mouths to say anything except Andrew Young, all other mayors are implicated, yet to be indicted, or in trouble for corruption like Bill Campbell, Shirley Franklin is nothing and never will be anything! She has NO CREDIABILITY!

bchitwood
bchitwood

I was a volunteer at the Canoe/Kayaking venue on Lake Lanier.  Sure there were problems such as the daily thunderstorm that ruined our them rudimentary communications services.  However, the worst was dealing with the "Olympic Family" and the foreign press.  I was shocked that the rudest people were from Great Britain, Canada, and France. The kindest and most considerate, who often brought gifts and food were the Eastern European countries such as Romania, Russia, and the other countries.  I had a British press rep who stood and screamed at me until he could not talk because a bus was five minutes late.  However, one of the nicest guests we had was Princess Anne, the Princess Royal.  She shook hands and spoke to staff and athletes.  Even the Clintons were so kind and grateful.  In my opinion, the press made a mountain out of a mole hill with the glitches.  Because of this, I doubt that the USA will host another summer Olympic games for MANY years.  Such a shame too.  It was so awesome seeing people of different countries forming life long friendships and bonds.  That is what I will take away from the '96 games.  


Good luck to the cities vying for the 2024 games.  My pick would be New York, Dallas, or San Francisco!

atlfalconno1fan
atlfalconno1fan

Seattle not Boston should hold an olympics and Atlanta had no business with such an event..being in Georgia is Atlanta,s downfall and holds it back with politicians wanting the state to turn back to 1920,s.Seattle offers unbelivable stunning views a vibrant downtown thats popping mass transit.. Atlanta downtown is a sad joke..seattle one of the most educated cities in the country surrounded by water and stunning mountain views and a mind blowing beautiful skyline..Seattle feels like a city Atlanta feels like a giant suburb...boston is well known and doesnt need the recognition..meanwhile cosmopolitan Seattle doesnt get the recognition it deserves because the natives dont want it to become another Atlanta

1Fred
1Fred

So many misconceptions about the Atlanta Olympics.  Such short memories and lack of knowledge.

Good things that came from Atlanta 1996 -
A lot of civic pride and a belief we can do anything
No civic debt
Facilities that for the most part did not become white elephants and many are still in use today (except for tennis venue)
At the time of the Games, the most countries ever to participate
At the time of the Games, the most athletes ever to participate
Pioneered the concept of relatively close venues (Olympic Ring), a concept still used today
Pioneered the concept of a single Olympic Village for the athletes instead of spreading them all over.  Yes there were some sub-villages but they were for venues such as sailing at Savannah
Pioneered the concept of a public gathering place for those not attending an event to gather and enjoy meeting and mingling - Olympic Park
Amateur sports participation that continues to today - check out the Georgia Games
Press facilities that were unequaled - I worked as a tech volunteer in the secondary press center at Emory and heard the journalists praise the facilities
A technical infrastructure that allowed control rooms in NY to real time control cameras in Atlanta.  That infrastructure mostly was existing and then was added to making Atlanta one of the best connected locations in the world.

Sure there were bad things.  One of them was the top Olympic officials themselves.  My brother worked as a venue manager at the Inforum and has stories to tell about how they were convinced they were the original Olympic gods.  Nothing short of bowing down to them would make many of them happy.  The vending may have looked bad but when I was downtown enjoying things, most of the vendors were selling their wares.  People wanted to buy.


For all the bad things people can point out about the Atlanta games, I can point to the games since and show just as many bad things.

atlfalconno1fan
atlfalconno1fan

sometime the truth is very uncomfortable....he is to an extent right ...Atlanta has a lot of potential but not the right folks to guide it and manage it..too much corruption,racial division and way to ghetto and poorly planned as a 36 yr resident Atlanta has did a sh**tty job of planning and lack vision..boston is very cosmopoltian..Seattle,San fancisco,Portland,Charleston,and Greenville,sc denver ..are however my favorite cities

flfenn
flfenn

Boston can kiss it.  Their traffic is world-class.  No way they will figure that out anytime in the century.  Remember Atlanta was offered to give a bid for 2024, but wisely declined. Boston should be worried about their own modern problems.  How many venues can Boston afford to build and then waste away?  On the bright side, might be the impetus for the building of a new baseball stadium to replace the aging Fenway Field.

chrisM67
chrisM67

I've been to Boston...the city is dirty and there's just not a lot to do except drive around and look at run down buildings.I wish i could say the people were friendly but they were not. Just seemed to be kinda full of themselves. Boston was a nice city 200 years ago  but the transportation system is outdated as well as the infrastructure and your winters really  stink. A true representation of the U.S.A. and culture you are not. Please don't embarrass Americans with  your attempt to be on the world stage. Atlanta pulled it off ...you Boston  can't. .

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

Big events equal big failures in Atlanta. Please, no more Olympics or Superbowls to save us further embarrassment.

Cere
Cere

Haha! You go Shirley!! Perfect response!

RangeRover
RangeRover

Having traveled domestically and internationally to many, many large cities, I have reached this simple conclusion:  every city has it's good and not so good citizens, and I have never been to a city where 95% of my interaction wasn't anything but positive, educational, enlightening and enjoyable.  Without good people you wouldn't have cities.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

Atlanta is a great City, second only to Chicago and Detroit in car jacking, burglary and City corruption. More of the City's employees have GED's even if they printed them up in City Hall.

peachstealth
peachstealth

There are only two Alpha ++ cities in the world, New York and London. There are no Alpha + cities in the US but the category includes Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong, There are two Alpha world cities in the US, Chicago and LA.

San Francisco, Washington DC, Boston, Miami and Atlanta are all ranked as Alpha-  World Cities


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_city

tim0202
tim0202

Is Boston the city that inspired Quahog?

td1234
td1234

All cities with a population over 100,000 are not worth living in because they are too crowded and too progressive. 

HighRanger
HighRanger

This native Georgian actually loves Boston (I realize it's politically incorrect for a Southerner to admit that). For runners, Boston is Mecca, and during every one of the 8 Boston Marathons I've been blessed to be a part of, Boston folks have treated me like royalty. They've been super nice...even if they talk funny. But Atlanta second rate? Nah, just compare Hartsfield to Logan. Ha! After leaving ATL and landing at dinky little Logan, you'd think your flight had been redirected to Epps Field in Athens....

Avatar77
Avatar77

Atlanta is definitely 2nd rate -- but so is Boston.  I just cant figure out why any city would want the Olympics.  Billions of dollars and for what?

Stuffy
Stuffy

Atlanta may be second-rate but at least we are not so low-class as to throw out an unprovoked barb at one of our fellow American cities. Boston is looking kind of third-rate right now themselves.

PSWallace
PSWallace

Boston is a great American city. It is not a great international one. Second-rate, at best.

sbreslin
sbreslin

There are more Bostonians living in Atlanta than in Boston.

findog
findog

We did 96 on the cheap

Billy sold so many vendor slots we looked like a third world bazaar

We built the Ted, and it didn't last 20-years

Just hang your head and hope it passes

ATL56Native
ATL56Native

I can't believe Atlanta was ranked that high ? We have nothing here except bars, strip joints and losing sports teams. We're ranked near the bottom in education and have a high crime rate. 

electric1234
electric1234

What's Shirley Franklin talking about? She likes girls as wives!

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

I was there in 96' and totally disagree. Olympics were a complete mess from jump street and proved ATL was not and is still not ready to host an international event.

chrisM67
chrisM67

@atlfalconno1fan Ghetto...... every city you mentioned has ghetto spots as well.  My guess is that you are another transplant that always thinks your own house is better than everyone elses. Get a life and quit being so condescending . Atlanta is a world class city.  and stacks up very well against  others around the world . Now its not London , Paris or New York  , but i don't think that's necessarily a bad thing

diegoblanco
diegoblanco

@chrisM67 Are you freaking serious about transportation???  You want to compare the sleezy MARTA to the T?  You can traverse the entire state by public transportation. You don't need a car to get around.  Here you go North you go South.You have no clue what you are talking about

Kamchak
Kamchak

@chrisM67 

I've been to Boston and my experience does not in any way mirror yours.

Just sayin'.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@GeorgeJetsen 

Big events equal big failures...

Please define "big" .

Thanks in advance.

 

BlackandRed
BlackandRed

@td1234 That's cool, gramps. Sit on your borch and cuss at the kids for cutting across your lawn.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Heaven forbid that people like government. I live in the boonies and aspire, once again, to live in a civilized city. Culture is such a rare and wonderful gem.

Sam_Hill
Sam_Hill

@Avatar77 Rats. I was going to say this exact thing.

Boston has always been in the shadow of NYC and always will be; Atlanta wants to be the NYC of the south but will never make it. There is too much dividing us in Atlanta:  suburbs v city; conservative v progressive; black v white; a state government and legislature that loathes the city and its inhabitants, etc. 

For a moment the region, city and state were united (with the exception of the homophobes in Cobb County) for the Olympics but that is all over now. 

We've reverted to hating our neighbors.

SFG
SFG

@Avatar77 The taxpayers did not pay for the Games in Atlanta

SFG
SFG

@findog Correction the Mayor of Atlanta Bill Campbell not Billy Payne sold the vendor slots

honested
honested

@findog 

I'm just glad the 'Two Weeks of Outdoor walmart' is long over.

ChipJones
ChipJones

@electric1234 Did you know the word "bigot" is from Middle French, referencing the Normans'   repeated plundering of Gaule?

honested
honested

@MoistDawg @jcatl 

You miss the point.

The 'red staters' should move west (just across the border) where their delusions are accepted.

td1234
td1234

@NWGAL Please define what a "civilized city" looks like in your mind? What does "culture" look like in your mind? 

findog
findog

@SFG @findog pardon me, I thought the fat guy with the airport named for him ran the city up to the last year [91-95]- quit while the bond market was good - and good ole Billy had nothing to do with how the budget was balanced with vendor contracts?

GentlemanJim
GentlemanJim

@SFG @findog  True, Campbell was a disgrace to the games.  But at least he was a crook (and he went to jail for a while).  Whose idea was the pickup trucks in the opening ceremony?  The Olympic mascot Whatizit/Izzy.  And out of millions of dollars spent $1.7 billion), the games EXACTLY broke even???  That is because Billy and his cohorts sold their papers and mementos back to the Olympic committee for whatever money was left.  No one questioned that.  How about the bombing and besmirching the reputation of the hero who prevented more deaths?

electric1234
electric1234

@RickDDay @electric1234  Nope don't do the Michael Sams thing! Hey! Hey! as he got deflowered while dropping the soap in the locker room shower! Gays all know where the going in the future, a nice warm cozy abyss with a guy with a pitchfork and horns by the name of Satan!