Olympic Rowing on the River?

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For something that wasn’t supposed to be widely talked about or even a possibility, now we have two (2) reports that not only is the push to bring the Olympics to Boston real but LOWELL could be hosting the Rowing Events on the Merrimack.

Today’s Boston Business Journal sites Partnership president Dan O’Connell listing Lowell has a possible site.

Outside Route 128: There are some events that the Partnership could not locate in or close to Boston. That includes rowing, which would take place on the Merrimack River in Lowell. (The Charles River’s bridges would get in the way, per Olympics guidelines.)

Yesterday in the Focus Section of the Sun Editor Jim Campanini wrote:

The commission has been meeting privately with municipal and university officials for months, engaging them to support the proposal and seeking their participation in the Games. Donoghue, who was appointed to the commission by Senate President Therese Murray, has played an integral part in these discussions. Recently, a closed-door meeting was held at UMass Lowell with Chancellor Marty Meehan, members of Lowell’s Statehouse delegation and other university officials in attendance. Few details have leaked out. But it’s obvious Massachusetts is all-in for presenting a qualified bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, vying with Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. (The U.S. Olympic Committee will select the best proposal by the end of 2015, and submit it to the International Olympic Committee for consideration against other global competitors. The IOC will make its final selection in 2017, seven years ahead of the 2024 Summer Games.) Lowell, according to sources, is being considered for a key role in the Boston plan. Commission members are eyeing the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell for basketball games and boxing matches. They also want to use the university’s dormitories to house athletes, game officials, workers and media members.

The commission is excited about restoring baseball as an Olympic sport, which would bring fabled Fenway Park into the mix for championship round games. This would be a boon to Lowell and LeLacheur Park, which has been identified as a potential venue to host preliminary-round games, along with McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, R.I.

But Lowell’s biggest asset — and one that is essential to the Olympic effort — is the Merrimack River. According to sources, the mighty Merrimack is the lone waterway in eastern Massachusetts that can be upgraded to the stringent Olympic competitive rowing standards. It also offers a clear, unobstructed straightaway for rowers and ample space on both riverbanks to build viewing stands for spectators.

So what do you think? Will the Olympics be “Rowing on the River”?

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