No, the financial track record of the games should scare off anyone. If Daley is looking to showcase Chicago to the world, maybe he ought to just make the City a model of open, accountable government. That would cause a lot of free publicity.
Yes, it’s the Big Idea, like the Columbian Exposition, reversing the river, keeping the lakefront clear. Big Ideas drive the future.
–Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big. –
1. I support it because it would provide many construction jobs at a union rate that can actually support a middle-class family. I have many friends who’s families are teetering on the brink of financial collapse due to the downturn in the building trades.
2. I oppose it because it would be the ultimate Chicago construction BOONDOGGLE
Yes. The incredible amount of commerce it generates will be heaven-sent for any restaurant, hotel, transportation company, and retailer in the Chicago area. The effects will be felt for years as tourism increases and other smaller sporting events continue to utilize the world-class facilities the Olympics build. Also, the Olympics are a grand, time-honored tradition that provide an opportunity for us to begin to restore some respect for the State of Illinois.
- Dan S, a voter and Cubs Fan - Monday, Sep 28, 09 @ 10:22 am:
Connot support this because the State of Illinois cannot afford this financially and the security risk is just not worth it.
I don’t discount the legitimate concerns about cost overruns, logistical inconvenience and public safety. As with any event of substantial magnitude, these are fair issues for debate. However, the positive energy of the Olympic Games is (still) worth it. Olympic athletes are still role models that we should welcome to Chicago as nations - friend and foe - cheer them on. In fact, that the world in all its diversity can still organize successfully for peaceful competition in this fashion is, by itself, a victory. That Chicago should shy away from serving as the world’s backdrop because doing so may be inconvenient defies the competitive nature and good nature of Chicagoans. That’s my take.
Absolutely not. It’s completely inadvisable to spend this kind of money while government at all levels is in such a financial fix. Any benefits from having the Olympics are questionable at best. It would create huge disruptions to normal life and commerce. And most important, graft, favoritism, and “interest” would rule the process of spending that money, meaning taxpayers would get little bang for the buck. Of all the stupid things they could have thought, this was the worst.
yes. in a time when there’s not much money for big public works projects, this is a chance to create new infrastructure.
you can bet that the feds will give us some money. plus, the
honor and dignity of the Olympics is so much nicer than the
regular nuttiness that we see in professional sports. a drug
testing miss in the Olympics receives wide scorn. in the professional world, it’s a detour for a while but not nearly
the same sense of shame. and, EQUALITY. women’s sports on
mostly an equal platform. in 2016, women’s golf and
men’s golf, women’s rugby and men’s rugby, same with
track and swimming and on and on. what a great chance
to get this worldwide event in our own community. and
the lasting legacy of the new venues will add to the
great venues we already have and are at an advantage for
having for this bid. unlike many other cities, we have
several venues at the ready, and a beautiful lakefront
to showcase other events. i’m certainly not blind to
the contract pitfalls of the work, but….Let’s go Chicago
I do and for very selfish reasons. Will this be a financial boondoggle, yes. Will it be a Mayor Daley Friends and Family Get Rich program, yes. In a couple years will the Mayor come to the city and ask for a “small” increase in the sales tax or property tax to fund the Olympics and claim the benefits to the city make the tax worth it, yes. But, I live in an area that will be a center of the Games, and I think it will help my property value. Real Estate values are down in the city, and if you are lucky enough to live in one of the Olympic areas, it could be a nice selling point. Hey, its Chicago, should my selfishness be a shock? What did Royko say the true city motto should be?
There is this gigantic billion dollar stadium in Beijing that is one year old, and not being used. It was the symbol of the 2008 Olympics. Visitors can enter this stadium and have a picnic in it. There is talk about perhaps putting up an amusement park in one of it’s corners.
In Montreal, there are remnants of the World Expo back in 1967. One of them is the baseball team. The gigantic buildings built for Expo ‘67 have been finally torn down or modified after being neglected for decades.
There are about a dozen Olympic villages around the world - rotting. They became eyesores instead of the future. The idea that the Olympics brings a renaissance to a city and leave behind valuable infastructure for future city benefits, is an idea that died about fifty years ago. Whether it is one of the world’s fairs popularized a century ago, or the Olympics, also popularized a century ago - these huge fortnight-long extravaganzas are a thing of the past.
Give it to Rio. South America has never been forced to deal with these monstrocities and it is time they suffer along with the rest of the world.
Not a chance. Everytime the Olympics come to town no matter where it is you have to create something bigger and better than the last games had. If it was a matter of using what I am sure are state of the art facilites we already have then go for it, but given the track record of the politicians as of late we will throw more money we dont have at this to create something we use for 2 weeks. In the end spend billions to make millions.
I can think of much better uses of taxpayer money than to fund the cost overruns on Mayor Daley’s last grasp for the brass ring. Sorry, I’d rather see some other city hosting on TV instead of reaching in my pocket to fund them here.
No. Since I personally will not benefit financially from all of the graft and corruption that goes along with the Chicago bid, I simply cannot support this. However, I can be bought and am willing to change my opinion for the right amount of money.
Because its the Olympics, of course. I love everything about this city, and I know some people aren’t ready for the increased responsibility we have taken on lately, but we are now World Wide. It’s time to step up. Go CHICAGO! GOBAMAHAGEN!
In Chicago several of the larger museums (Science and Industry and I thought Field) were built for past world fairs. They are far from abandoned. The Olympics will have an effect far longer than the actual games themselves. If the choices become do nothing and become Detroit or invest and keep people coming, then the Olympics becomes the means to get the needed infrastructure work done. If Obama is on the committee pushing to get the Olympics, then Fed dollars will also be part of the package.
No, there are multiple quality studies that conclude that the net economic benefit is, at best, much less than promoters’ estimates (which of course must be severely discounted, as the promoters often stand to benefit the most.) It’s often a case of using public money to elevate the status of the city’s elite.
I don’t dispute that spending all that money creates jobs. But it’s easy to spend money to create jobs; we could build 100 new state of the art schools and do the same. It’s about, given scarcity, how you allocate public money.
I love the lack of vision exhibited by so many people in Chicago. The same people said the same things about Millennium Park and the Museum Campus. No money! No interest! Corruption will kill it!
And what became of those projects? Were they giant boondoggles that bankrupted the city and ended with disastrous results? No. Over budget and mismanaged? Of course.
But in the end they were magnificent projects that have turned parking lots, a railyard, and a freeway into the one of the most expensive zip codes in the country (Forbes 2005) and the hottest zip code in the country by price appreciation. (Forbes 2006)
Yet even faced with those wildly successful and culturally enriching public projects, the naysayers complain.
The Olympics will bring worldwide attention to a city that is still best known internationally for the mob. Will they be monstrously over budget and mismanaged? Of course.
But will they be wildly successful and change the world’s view of our magnificent city?
She’s concerned about the traffic and the fact that ‘the money could be better spent elsewhere’.
I maintain that we might not be living in the area in seven years, let alone where we live now, so worrying about the traffic on an individual basis is silly. And I maintain that the money wouldn’t be there if the Olympics weren’t coming. Private companies wouldn’t put up any cash without a project…you can’t just assume they’d donate it to CPS or something.
I’ve been dreaming about a Chicago Olympics since 1992, when my friend Chris Franklin and I talked about how awesome it would be to have the baseball events at Wrigley and Comiskey and basketball at Chicago Stadium and track and field at Soldier Field.
(we were 11)
I told my wife, if Chicago gets the Games, that speeds up the timetable for when we have children…because I want a son/daughter who’s 5 then, so they can remember my taking them to a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But she might be so upset that the Games are coming that we end up childless :-)
While it’s true most of the recent Olympics have lost money, the last two Summer Games to be held in the U.S. (L.A. in ‘84 and Atlanta in ‘96) did turn a profit if I’m not mistaken. I do not believe either city regrets having hosted them. Nor did Salt Lake City suffer from having the ‘02 Winter Games. So in the end, despite all the immediate and legitimate concerns about cost overruns, taxes, corruption, etc. I’d vote yes.
I oppose the Chicago Olympic bid because it will be a financial drain on the region that hosts it for the benefit of the few politicians and business leaders who will have white tablecloth receptions with crystal wineglasses while the masses will pay for the excess.
London, Vancouver and Sochi developments are all in financial trouble. Montreal has just paid off the bonds from it’s Olympic excesses. Recent reports have unmasked the lies of benefits of the tourism by showing the lack of long term impact in Milan and Sidney.
Layering on top of that Chicago’s history cost overruns,the effort will provide an epic soap opera of corruption.
Note none of the leaders touting the security of their bid have offered any personal guarantees that the taxpayers will not take a hit.
CO, your comment about having children brings to mind the fact that my mother, now in her 80s, still remembers going to the Century of Progress Exposition (1933 World’s Fair) when she was about that age. That was at the height of the Depression too. She still has mementoes of it.
- the Other Anonymous - Monday, Sep 28, 09 @ 11:14 am:
One of the big persisting myths out there is that investment by government in sports venue make for good economic development. The fact is that the investment made by the public does pay off for some, but it is not a particularly good way to spur economic development. I think the same goes double for investment in a sports venue that is used for only two weeks.
The only argument for holding the Olympics in Chicago is that is prestige — i.e., civic pride. At a time when my city cannot even afford to adequately plow the streets in winter, I just cannot see us affording such an extravagant show of civic pride.
I don’t think we deserve it. The Olympic scheme was hatched to offset bad pub from all Chicago’s corruption. Chicago’s greed makes a hypocrisy of Olympic ideas.
I think Reo and South America need the boost and economic development far more than we do.
I don’t think politicians and their associates can control their need to steal and some of them are friends. I am tired of reading about folks I know going to jail. I start to question my ability to choose my circle of influence.
I’m already sick of the hype and it has barely started. 7 years of it is too much to even contemplate.
- Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Sep 28, 09 @ 11:26 am:
On a personal level, it’s all good. My family would love to go to some events, and it would be great for my line of business. As far as lack of transit capacity, Chicago is far more capable than Atlanta was. Sheesh, people, this is a less than 3 week event that will not be duplicated here for another century.
Word is right. Make no small plans. IL and Chicago could use the boost after what we’ve been through the last decade. And if this is done right, there will be lasting value to the things that are built in the name of 2016.
Rich should also have asked if people are from the city or the suburbs. I find that people in the suburbs love Daley! They go on and on about Millennium Park and the planters on the roads. But they aren’t getting hit with the red light cameras, they aren’t using the parking meters every day, and they aren’t stressed about where their kids are going to high school.
Yeah, the Olympics will showcase Chicago and leave some pretty buildings behind. However, only a small number of people are taking the financial risk, and Daley & Co. haven’t been straight with us about the cost. We need money for schools, roads, and police, not a fancy and architecturally significant stadium that not even U2 could sell out.
I do not support the Chicago 2016 bid. I don’t like the financial proposal. I do not think the Mayor, his staff, or the City Council has any credibility at all on finance pledges.
If the city secures the bid it will push more wealth into fewer hands while the remaining many hands will foster the interest payments servicing the debt. Many will claim it helped them, but this will not last. In the long run they will be poorer for it.
Spiritually, the people will love it. It take a religion and the track record of the aftermath of the Summer Games is its gospel.
I’m torn. Part of me thinks that if Atlanta can pull this off, no doubt Chicago can. But I have some issues with the Mayor’s management of big-ticket projects. I wish I had the same access to investment tips that Michael Scott and others have. They are the ones who will get richer because of their inside knowledge. That’s par for the course, and unacceptable.
Steve Rhodes is a must read for everyone in Chicago with legitimate questions about the bid, the benefits, and the spin coming from Chicago 2016. http://www.beachwoodreporter.com/
I’m for it if it breaks even. I don’t want to subsidize it. And if we don’t win the games on Friday, does that mean we’ll never build a world-class transit system? Shouldn’t we aim for that regardless?
Now, is Copenhagen in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq? Which of our foreign policy issues is the President dealing with here?
OH - the Olympics! Yeah, I hear they are building a nuclear bomb or something, right?
- Speaking at Will - Monday, Sep 28, 09 @ 12:12 pm:
Absolutely not. Like my mother used to say. “You are doing anything else until you cleanup your room.” Illinois has a lot of issues that need cleaning up before we sally forth into an idiotic overspending corruption filled nightmare like the Olympics. Let Rio have it, or anywhere else but Chicago.
The quest to obtain the 2016 Olympics for Chicago will symbolize everything that we have come to know and abhor in the American fabric. It is “Buying Something for Mayor Daley’s Ego” on the City of Chicago taxpayer’s credit card. Unfortunately, every taxpayer in the country will also get to contribute if Chicago can’t run itself after going broke. It will eventually become Barack’s “Chicago Stimulus Package”so that the City of Chicago doesn’t go belly-up and drag millions under with it. “Buy what you want now and worry about paying for it later” which has come to be known to the rest of the world as The American Way.
Barack has seen his polling numbers falling like hail in a thunderstorm. Since his campaign promise (which got him elected) was to get our US troops out of the Middle East within a year or 18 months but which has instead morphed into more troops and longer terms of duty in Afghanistan, Barack is looking for any other distraction that he can find. It is the old Chicago Machine distraction or sleight-of-hand trick whereby “Now you see it, and now you don’t”. The people in the United States are going to eventually realize that when they elected Obama, what they had actually done was that they elected The Daleys and The Chicago Machine. They make Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi-scheme look like it was amateur magician night at The Apollo.
I’m absolutely for it. The Olympics would be a great catalyst to bounce us from our couch of cynicism and low expectations, where we have become way too comfortable. The Cubbies, politics, CPS, transit doomsdays… Let’s focus on the positive, and forge as much change as possible. It will be fun to see how many bunnies Mayor Daley can pull out of his hat with his Washington and Illinois friends (Yep Quinn, there’s a reason for that man’s support. You owe him big time, now).
Yes, I support the Olympics bid for Chicago. There is no question that the infrastructure improvements will inure to the benefit of Chicagoans for generations. The urban renewal for the South and West Sides will be considerable. The image of the city will surely be improved as well. The economy of the city will benefit for decades as a result of a successful hosting of the Olympics.
Sure there will be naysayers. Sure, there will be people who profit off the games, but the contracting will be done by an international company that will be less susceptible to old fashioned Chicago nepotism.
Right now Chicago is a “fly-over” city to too many people. International trade and business will continue to grow. We need to move to the top tier of world class cities or end up like St. Louis, Cleveland, etc. The Olympics are the best way to market Chicago to the World.
I also need to respond to VanillaMan’s comment about foreign policy. It is also important to remember that the Olympics are about bringing countries together in a positive manner. Ultimately, one of the most important legacies of the Olympics in Chicago is a symbolic move away from the “independence” of the Bush Administration and towards a more cooperative model.
Some argue that we the tax payers will be left to pay the tab some say it will stimulated the area economy. I really don’t know who is right. The reason I oppose the olympics is because I really belive that if we don’t get the bid Mayor Daley will probably have a nervous break down in front of the world. I mean Cry maybe even pass out overwelmed by the emotional grief and the reality that someone actually said NO to da Mayor.
I support it, just for the fact that all the city flags will have to be changed. I’m soooo tired of only having four stars on the flag….perhaps the bigger question will Obama get his own star on the city flag? Hmmmmm…
I live in Chicago and I am a strong supporter. I attended one of the ward by ward info sessions and the presentation and responses to all the quesstions were impressive. I think it will be exciting for Chicago. Hope we get the bid.
Has the City of Chicago under Daley ever managed a major public works/park/stadium type of project and come in at the proposed budget? Any where the cost overruns were less that double the initially proposed budget?
I ask this question in all seriousness, I really can’t think of any.
I suspect it will go as well as the parking meter agreement, execution & management times 100x. I wish that there was such a concerted effort by Chicago/Cook Co & IL officials to cut the violent crime rate & lower taxes to improve the quality of life for all of us instead [or in addition to current olympic efforts]
I would be in favor of it, if it won’t cost the taxpayers, if the buildings/facilities built will be put to good use after the event, if it really brings in tourism after the event, if construction workers here, and restaurants reep the benefits.
Hopefully construction companies, such as Bovis Lend Lease, an Australian company does way too much work here, yes it employs local people, but the main profits leave the states.
I know people who lived in Atlanta during the Olympics there, and they wished they got out of town during those 2 weeks it was just congestion beyond belief. If anyone has taken CTA or our local roads during rush hour now, and it’s not pretty, I just don’t know how so many more people moving around is going to go smooth.
Why do I oppose the olympics, let me count the ways or
visit www.nogameschicago.com because the site has the details on all of the problems with hosting an Olympics in general and why the corrupt Daley administration (known far and wide for scandals, squandering and skullduggery)should not run the Games.
And send an email to the IOC in support of Rio by visiting www.chicagoansforrio.com
Whoa, called out by ‘Anonymous’! Well, when you’re scolded by someone like that, you tend to pay attention.
And all I did was tell a nice little story about why I like the Olympics, in the middle of a 50-response thread.
I don’t understand what you mean by ‘come up with’ arguments. I illustrated two that I have heard, and I don’t think either is a realistic barrier.
People are worried about money, and if the taxpayers will be on the hook. Every US Olympics since LA in 1984 has been profitable for both the host city and the IOC.
“But”, the naysayers argue, “we could spend that money more wisely”. Sure — except it would never happen, and once again, the money would never be there. This assumes that we have four-billion dollars sitting around waiting for a use. If that were the case then I would completely agree. But this money does not exist yet. It won’t exist until and unless the Games are awarded to Chicago.
People are worried about corruption. There’s absolutely no way to convince someone worried about corruption that there won’t be any, or at least won’t be much. It’s a universal negative, and if that’s your reason for opposition, then good on ya, because I can’t change your mind.
I don’t think that we’re all going to show up in July 2016 and find that it was all a sham, there are no real buildings, and that Daley and his cronies are off in Bermuda with four billion dollars. It’s a trumped up charge in this case and not the best counter-argument.
People are worried about transit. The Olympics would help provide an impetus for vastly improving Chicago’s mass transit system and roads. Whether that will actually happen or not is to be seen, but it’s at least ten-times more likely to happen if the Games are coming.
What else are people worried about? I don’t think I’m making up any of the above items, as I was accused of doing. I’ve thought this through and come up with my opinion, that yes, the positives outweight the negatives.
And if I plan to have a little fun with it, then so what? We all should.
There’s too much focus on the specific cost plan offered in the bid proposal. What about the countless Chicago area businesses that will be operating at record levels for several weeks around the Olympics? And the projected bump they’ll enjoy from increased tourism and events that ride the coattails of the Olympics for years to come? Millions of dollars will be injected into Illinois’ economy by people from all over the US and the world–how’s that sound to anyone in the service industry in the city? It sounds like they’ve got themselves a job.
On one hand, I think it’ll be a great prestige boost to the city, the state, the region, and the country at large, could help kick-start some necessary infrastructural improvements across Chicagoland, give a good short-term boost to the local economy, create jobs, and overall increase tourism to the area that would’ve otherwise not thought about coming to Chicago sans its potential status as an Olympic City.
On the other hand though, I’m very concerned about the financial footing of the plan, it’s potential negative effects to taxpayers, and especially worried that NW Cook County could find itself screwed by paying more and getting nothing in return for benefits that might only go to the city itself.
Despite the negatives though, I’m tentatively supporting it, but to be honest I honestly think that Rio’s going to win the 2016 games.
I don’t understand what you mean by ‘come up with’ arguments. I illustrated two that I have heard, and I don’t think either is a realistic barrier.
lol CO, I wasn’t scolding you, silly. I was simply admiring your tenacity–and perhaps picturing your wife rolling her eyes (just a little, perhaps) as you were trying to convince her that the barriers, really aren’t barriers.
And I agree–you should have as much fun with this as you possibly can. I’m sure everyone else will, too!
I have a good friend who was an insider and VERY involved in the Altanta Olympic planning and execution. We have discussed the Chicago bid and aspects of being a host city regularly for over a year now. Bottom line: There is no reasonable way to compare Atlanta with Chicago. First of all the city size differential and the significant number of structures which are already in place in the Chicago area must be considered. Also, Atlantans were seeking hype, recognition and respect for their city in ways that can only be compared to Beijing’s inferiority complex issues. Chicago has a multi-type, multi-pronged transit system that needs serious upgrade, but it at least has one. Atlanta was in gridlock for weeks both during the final touches and during the games. Chicago as host city will absolutely “drag them in” in unprecedented numbers. We already have the lake shore, world class art and architecture, shopping, restaurants, music and cool neighborhoods which interest and draw tourists from across the nation and worldwide. Atlanta had/has nothing to remotely compare.
I do worry about security, graft and cost over-runs. These are legitimate concerns for Chicago as they were in Atlanta. But, I am one of many who recognizes the civic and historic value of the 19th century’s 1893 World’s Fair, and the 20th century’s Century of Progress. Yet, the benefits of these fairs were not so fully understood and appreciated in their own day. Also, interestingly, both of them were built and conducted during economic downturns. I think the 21st century’s 2016 Chicago olympics will have a similar long term positive impact on our city. And, I hope we get the Olympics.
In the abstract, I am not against an American city hosing the Olympics. But I do not trust Chicago to host the Olympics, and I therefore do not support this bid. For those of you from here, let me tell you something, there are not stories of fraud and criminality of politicians and their developers constantly on the front pages of other cities’ newspapers like there are here. The Olympics will be the biggest fraud of taxpayers money this city has ever see. Contemplate that.
Secondly, the Olympics will bring a lot of short-term easy money to Chicago and Illinois. Thus, the systemic reforms necessary for our state and city to make will be deferred several years. Deferred not eliminated. Eventually, the fiscal bogeyman will come, only he will be bigger and meaner than ever before. This is a long term disaster for this city and state, although it will employ and enrich several politicians in the short term. This is the second reason why i do not support this bid.
So Chicago needs to host a bunch of games to be considered ‘world class’, huh? Sad.
- Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Sep 28, 09 @ 3:16 pm:
No. Because I visited Athens in 2008, four years after their Olympic Games. And I saw large unused or underused facilities that they were still paying for. Facilities that were starting to look a bit ragged from lack of use. Parking lots cracking with vegetation poking through. Some trolley tracks with no trolley. And the complaints of those living in Athens who claimed that the Olympics were a financial boondoggle.
The stories some of these residents told were mind blowing. About all the stray dogs that were rounded up and euthanized two weeks before the torch was lit. All the homeless were rounded up and shipped out. If you didn’t have a garage for your car or motorcycle, you shipped it out to family in rural villages to keep for those weeks. No parking anywhere! Buildings in disrepair were painted or demolished by the government.
Of “guides” who kept tourists in several parts of Athens and no where else. The local neighborhood diner (caffeneo) saw no Olympic visitors. The “big money” people made out like bandits.
Come to think of it. Sounds like Chicago on steroids!
I do understand the arguments of proponents focusing on the tourism bump, infrastructure, etc. But to be frank, The Olympics is nothing more than a two week block party with a costly and extended run-up.
I think the fiscal implications will not be as touted. We have seen a new analysis that says the original 2016 committee analysis is overzealous on how much the city has to gain. Is it worth that much for so little? I doubt people will flock to the city after telling their children ‘this is where the temporary stadium once was…’ and similar things.
I would like to see officials in this city and state turn away from this distraction and have a real dialogue on how to plan big for the next 100. Once we have those goals, then we can talk about the olympics. Not the other way around. Its a misapplication of Burnham’s maxim.
I was in a relatively good mood this afternoon, even though the weather is changing and there is a chill in the air. I decided to read a “Chicago Tribune” article on Obama deciding to go to Copenhagen to lobby for Chicago. I am ambivelent as to whether or not the City of Chicago wins. But, in the spirit of competition, I hope they do. I am a life-long Chicagoan who loves his City and wants to see its image on the international stage polished.
After reading the “Tribune” article, I decided to skim the readers’ comments. Now, I am in a funk because first of all, there are a lot of haters out there. And second, if you put the words “Obama” and “discuss” in the same sentence, 95% of the comments are ridiculously venomous and outrageous!
Those who portray themselves as “God and Country First” in these blogs and then spew such bile have little regard for either.
No, I don’t support it at all. I was in Sydney over the summer, and went to the Olympic Park from 2000. Our tour guide told us that 9 years later, they are STILL paying it off, and still have a long way to go. Mainly, by using speed cameras around the international airport. Just one of those got about $4 million in one year.
That is Sydney, Australia, which actually has money and was not then and is not currently in an economic/budget crisis. We don’t have the money to do it, and will still be paying for it long after all the buildings are torn down because they can’t be used for anything else.
It is also important to remember that the Olympics are about bringing countries together in a positive manner. Ultimately, one of the most important legacies of the Olympics in Chicago is a symbolic move away from the “independence” of the Bush Administration and towards a more cooperative model.
Yeah - after a century of Olympics, we’ve seen this work so well! Who could forget how well those Berlin Olympics worked out. The 1980 Moscow Olympics really helped the Cold War issue, didn’t it? Then there was the 1916 games held in - uh, no - there was that war, but the 1940 and 1944 games were, ummmm…
Well anyway, Chicago might get the Olympics in seven years, so let’s make sure we send our president to hob-nob with the Olympic committee in Copenhagen, because that’s what presidents do, right? Didn’t Bush try to get the Olympics to Houston or Dallas or Kennedy - didn’t he go to some city where the Olympic Committee was holding a meeting right around the time of that Cuban Missile Crisis so that Boston could be considered?
No? Gee, just imagine what could have happened if Eisenhower was able to get the Olympics to Boston - maybe there wouldn’t have been a crisis in Cuba with the Soviets, right?
I do not support the bid for many of the previous cited reasons (graft, corruption and Daley’s hegemony)! I have other geo political reasons, but I don’t dare get into them here.
I love the Chicagoans for Rio Web site. It makes comparisons between Rio and Chicago. The best one is Rio has naked people dancing vs. Chicago has chubby people eating. LMAO! http://www.chicagoansforrio.com/
Rio is iconic and has been overlooked for so long—too long. The aerial views of Rio from the ocean outward or inward are nothing short of spectacular and breath taking. Rio is mega sexy, as is all of Brazil. http://www.rio2016.org.br/en/
Chicago just doesn’t and couldn’t compare. Besides, Rio has most, if not all, of its Olympic venues already constructed. Perhaps above all, Rio has huge international support. Outside of Chicago there isn’t much buzz about Chicago 2016. Rio has the coolness factor, and not even Obama can top that. He’s no longer cool.
I do not support it because I am skeptical of the Daley administration’s ability to pull this off without soaking the taxpayers and making millionaires of a very very select group of people. But mostly, I just wanted to be able to say I agreed with Carl Nyberg about something just once.
Just visited chicagoansforrio.com. Sounds like even Obama might have a hard time convincing people that having the Olympics here instead of in Brazil would be more fun. (Is that a bad thing to say as a former Chicagoan?)
I live in the ‘burbs, and would love to see the Olympics in Chicago…that said, I whole-heartedly disagree with Obama breaking precedent and traveling to the IOC meeting - it demeans the role. No other sitting POTUS has done this, and it’s just an opportunity for him to distract from an otherwise miserable performance over the last couple of weeks/months (Not a talking point, but a statement of objective fact)
I moved from supporting, to opposing, back to supporting. The move to opposition was due to the parking meter fiasco, which symbolizes what I believe to be a serious decline in Mayor Daley’s handling of the city. The giveaway of billions of dollars to an out-of-town bank is nothing short of a tragedy, and raises serious questions about the city’s willingness to take on the political challenges of, among other things, staging the games if they don’t even have the guts to raise the parking rates themselves.
I’m back, just, in the Yes camp simply because I feel having the Games and being forced to measure up marginally outweighs losing them and being forced to wake up. But it’s a close call. In the Chicago of ten years ago with the Mayor Daley of ten years ago, it would have been an easy yes.
Daley’s massive incompetence is reason #1 with a bullet. All the money he’s thrown away with the sales of valuable city assets for pennies on the dollar. The regular boondoggles with major city construction projects going 2 or 3 times over budget and taking 2 or 3 times as long as they are supposed to. The inability to maintain existing city infrastructure let alone improve it. Junior is as ineffective at managing the budget and bureaucracy as his old man was effective. Senior was a sleeze in many ways, but at least he didn’t wreck the city’s finances.
Oppose because it ain’t worth. Believe it or not, Chicago is already a global city. We have a stellar international reputation and a large number of tourists visiting each year and a lot of immigrants from all over the world moving here each year. The Olympics aren’t going to change that. It takes a very unique circumstance for the Olympics to elevate a city’s status, and Barcelona is pretty much the only city that has ever seen its status raised by hosting the Olympics. And that’s because it was Spains coming out party. Spain had only been free of Franco for 15-ish years when the Barcelona games were held.
What about the other Olympic hosts? Athens - reputation unchanged. Seoul - regional city, no particular international reputation. Montreal? Fading fast into being Canada’s 3rd city thanks to the ascent of Vancouver, which was happening even without Whistler. Toronto surpassed Montreal in importance and reputation years ago. Munich? Sydney? Mexico City?
The only other instance of the Olympics elevating a city in the Barcelona manner may have been Tokyo back in 1964 (I think), and that was Tokyo’s coming out party as it arose from the ashes of WWII.
As far as US cities go, Los Angeles was already a major city of world reknown pre-Olympics and remained the same post-Olympics. Mention Atlanta overseas and people barely recognize the name. Vague recollection that they held the Olympics at some point in the past.
Mention Chicago and people know - they know Michael Jordan, the Sears Tower and Al Capone. Which is a lot more than most people know about Munich (Oktoberfest!).
With all the problems this city and state are facing, it is hard to believe that our mayor and governor are on their way to Copenhagen… and don’t get me started on the problems our country is facing and yet… our president is heading there too!!!
I have 3 words re: the Chicago Olympics proposal: No. No. No. There has been no transparency re: financing the Olympics. I don’t know anyone who is for it except that out-of-towner who is the AM DJ on WGN.
Judging from all of the “no Chicago 2016″ comments, it appears that Mayor Daley’s chickens may have finally come home to roost. No pulling rabbits out his hat anymore. At this rate, I don’t know how he is gonna be re-elected in 2011.
I just spent a week in beautiful Vancouver. the locals I ran in to wasted no time telling me how they are a billion under water an they expect more losses. This is a city preparing for a Winter Olympics which is much smaller and has no history of corruption.
I think I will start a pool if Chicago wins the event to predict the sized of the cost overruns and deficit, how about 25.00 per square……..:’) That will make quite a pot…… To be fair, I will include a section for profit as well for the optimists. I think I can also make an indictment grid betting on how many will be indicted over the river of money that will flow…..
Tony Blair, like President Obama, was pretty desperate for any kind of positive news when he attended the last IOC Summer Games decision.
Actually you could put Putin in this same category.
I may go out to the protest tomorrow. If anything I think it will be important to highlight how little credibility on finance matters that Mayor has. When he eventually dumps it on the City Council it won’t get any better. They’re even worse on finance issues.
In the end they may just bust the piggy banks and say the TIFs are now open for business.
TGCN, I too seem to remember the Gay Games being touted as a dry run for the Olympics. However, given the fact that any event with “gay” in its title will (for better or worse) probably have a significantly more limited appeal than the regular Olympics, I wouldn’t use it as a benchmark for the attendance or income one could expect from a regular Olympics.
LMAO… I just read on another blog that if Madrid and Toyko are eliminated, or not expected to finish strong/be in contention, both cities will join the already enormous international support for Rio’s 2016 bid. LMAO. Obama’s appearence will matter not.
I oppose hosting the Olympics for so many reasons:
1. For every reason given for it, there is a better way to get to that purpose. Tourism requires steady growth, not a single big party. Worldwide reputation can be built with an advertising effort. Construction work is needed on our infrastructure before we need new (and temporary) sports arenas. And so on.
2. Everything Daley touches turns to a huge liability. Every time Daley is in charge of a large project, it finishes late and vastly over budget. There is every reason to think this will be the same; we already went from “no public money” to “a lot of public money.” The obvious next step is “even more public money.”
3. The support process has been built on lies and bullying. Now that a little information has leaked out at the end of the process, supporters are equal in number to the opposition. When people learn the truth, they generally oppose the Olympics, and public support should come through an honest process, not these lies.
I think it’s a good idea, but only if the City of Chicago bears the risk alone. Their politicians will spread out the gravy, so they need to be solely on the hook.
If Chicago gets the bid (which I think likely), there will be numerous efforts from Chicago pols to dump the load on the entire State. The R politicians, who will probably be running things statewide after the next general election, MUST stop that from happening. Then its OK. Daley can dip into that ‘rainy day fund’ he’s been accumulating.
I am totally opposed. Apart from City Hall patronge workers and mayoral allies, I have not met a Chicagoan who supports the 2016 Olympics. Everybody sees it as another chance for Daley to fleece the public treasury and award multimillion dollar contracts to his cronies and the insiders while the taxpayers are burdened with debts for decades to follow.
No, Never….I have done many trade shows in Chicago and have always had to pay more than at any other than the venue in the States. The corruption is an International Joke. All the Olympics is going to do is fill the pockets of the connected………very little trickle down.
Why give a city with this reputation the chance to rip off the taxpayers again !!
A lot of people are saying this is a “once in a lifetime” opportunity that cannot be repeated. I’m not so sure.
If Chicago loses these Games, what’s to stop them from bidding again in four years for the 2020 Olympics? Or the 2024 Games after that? (Other than the fact that Mayor Daley might not be around for those Games, but you never know.)
If all the groundwork for making a bid has already been done, why not just update and repeat it for the next cycle? Other Olympic cities have made multiple unsuccessful bids before finally winning.
So with that in mind, I say NO to this bid for economic and political reasons, but maybe yes to a future bid if those conditions improve.