Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca officially took over as chairman of the board of the Boston bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics on Thursday. Pagliuca has replaced construction tycoon John Fish, who has been one of the most vocal leaders of the controversial campaign to bring the Olympics to the city.

The shakeup is part of an effort to revitalize public support for the bid, which was low to begin with but plummeted during the harsh winter which caused widespread chaos on the MBTA. Most polls show that support has been growing slowly since then. As part of the leadership changes, Northeastern athletic director Peter Roby has become vice chairman, and Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino joins as an unpaid advisor to the committee.

Pagliuca's first key date as chairman will be June 30, when the Boston 2024 leaders are scheduled to unveil an updated list of venues for the Games along with details on funding and practical information about the Olympic stadium and athletes' village. The plan calls for the Olympics to be privately funded, with proceeds coming from broadcast fees, corporate sponsors and ticket sales. Private investors would finance some new venues, lease them for the Games and then continue to operate them commercially. However, federal taxpayers still stand to pay about $1 billion for the event's security.

Pagliuca, a Framingham native, bought the Celtics in 2003 as part of the Boston Basketball Partners investment group. He is currently one of three majority owners along with H. Irving Grousbeck and his son Wyc, the more visible of the owners, who is often seen sitting courtside at TD Garden.

Daniel L. Doctoroff, a USOC member who chaired New York City's unsuccessful bid for the 2012 Olympics, was among those praising Pagliuca upon his appointment. Via The Boston Globe:

Steve is just the right person to take on this role. He’s incredibly disciplined, organized, and financially sophisticated. Since a lot of the concerns people have expressed are around money, he will have the credibility to talk to the public and the press and the political establishment about the budgets in a way that very few people could.

The International Olympic Committee will select the host for the 2024 Games on September 15, 2017. Besides Boston, three other cities have officially announced their bids: Hamburg, Paris and Rome.

Follow Nick García on Twitter @N_A_Garcia

Image credit: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe

Nick García 5/22/2015 07:46:00 AM Edit
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