In the summers of 1986 and 1987 I covered the Montreal Expos. For those of you under the age of 15, the Expos were a National League team that played just outside the city.

The ‘Spos (not to be confused with Maine’s own Spose, a rap performer) called Olympic Stadium home. They called it home because La Stade Olympique was the city’s albatross, a sporting monolith built for the 1976 Summer Games.

I thought a lot about Olympic Stadium last week when word was announced that Boston had been chosen as the city that will represent the United States in bidding for the 2024 Games. The news was met with mixed reviews to say the least. Whereas most cities would give out a unified cheer upon hearing the news, Bostonians immediately took to complaining about the cost, the traffic and the headaches.

Traffic and headaches are part of life in a big city. Here in Boston we deal with them every April for the running of the Boston Marathon. We deal with them in October for the Head of the Charles Regatta. We’ve dealt with them through the World Series and the Stanley Cup finals and the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

It’s the cost of hosting the Olympics that should be a concern to this city. The last thing Boston needs is another Big Dig.

City officials have vowed this will be a “walkable” Olympic Games, and that much of the infrastructure needed to host elite athletes from around the world is already in place at nearby colleges and universities. The plan is to have the majority of the new construction taken on by those institutions as well, like an Olympic Village that will later serve as housing for the UMass-Boston campus.

It’s a great proposal. I just can’t stop thinking about the Big O. The stadium, built to look like a massive flying saucer, was designed with a retractable roof. Due to cost overruns and construction delays that roof wasn’t added until 1987 – 11 years after the Games had left Montreal. It was meant to be a towering presence outside the city, and still hosts concerts throughout the year.

It’s also one of the reasons the Expos didn’t survive. Baseball fans didn’t want to travel that far outside the city for games every night. Imagine if the Red Sox called Foxborough home. Gillette Stadium is a great place to tailgate once a week, but you’d be hard pressed to go there 81 times a summer.

So the stadium sits empty most nights, adjacent to a velodrome that didn’t find a post-Olympic use for cycling until 1992, and a sports village that has had little success in the past 38 years.

The stadium itself cost nearly double what was originally predicted. Construction costs weren’t paid off for 30 years. People in Montreal still call it “The Big Owe” because of the tax burden it put on the city.

And so Boston promises to keep the costs low for the proposed Games. They are the same promises heard in Montreal and Beijing and London. Rarely do the costs of serving as the host live down to expectations.

The Olympics themselves do live up to expectations. We can only imagine the thrills we might see in the summer of ’24. That’s why any metropolitan city would love to host the world.

But at what cost? That’s the question we’ll be asking for the next two years as the USOC bids to bring the Games to Boston.

It’s a question they are still trying to answer in Montreal.

Tom Caron is the studio host for Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.