June 30 2015

Could The Olympics Come to Burlington/Billerica Sportsman's Club?

By: Rich Hosford

Could the Olympics come to Burlington’s doorstep? 

If Boston is named the host of the 2024 Summer Games, Billerica’s Minute Man Sportsman’s Club, which has its entrance on Francis Wyman Road in Burlington, will host Olympic and Paralympic shooting, a statement from Boston 2024 says. 

Members of Minute Man’s Board of Directors think the venue would be a great fit for the Olympic Games. 

“Minute Man has 80-plus years of promoting excellence in the shooting sports,” said Minute Man Board Member Hank Garvey. "Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games is a generational opportunity to enhance our city and build a legacy that all Bostonians can be proud of. For the athletes we have today in very real pursuit of the Olympic path, this provides motivation and increases their drive to achieve. For the future, it assists us in recruiting kids to be involved with this great sport; they now have a chance to be part of something really special. The members and current athletes of Minute Man take great pride and satisfaction in knowing that Boston 2024 has the confidence in us to ensure we'll be a part of this transformative opportunity."

Boston 2024 Partnership CEO Rich Davey said he believes hosting the events at the sporting club, if the Olympics do come to Boston, will be a win-win. 

“For athletes and spectators, we’re confident that Minute Man will offer an extraordinary experience,” said Davey. “At the same time, the Games will provide the club with new and upgraded facilities that will make it one of the premier facilities in the entire country, ensuring its success for another century. We look forward to working with Minute Man and the towns of Billerica and Burlington about the opportunities the Games will bring.”

Of course hosting an Olympic event, even a relatively smaller-scale one, can bring some issues. As residents know Francis Wyman Road sees heavy traffic, especially during commute times. 

At a recent Board of Selectmen meeting Town Administrator John Petrin said he didn’t believe the traffic impact from the events would be too severe. He said the athletes will be bussed in and it is likely that a large amount of spectators will only be present for the competition finals. 

According to a fact sheet from Boston 2024, there will be 15 events over 10 days of competition for the Olympic Games and 12 events over eight days of competitions for the Paralympic Games. There will be a planned capacity of 5,000 seats for the venue. 

It is also expected to take 16 weeks for the sporting club to be set up to host the Olympics and break-down is predicted to take another four weeks. 

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